Paul Shabangu, was the first to be lifted into the car. The 14 seater activity vehicles can lift weight up to a maximum of 250 kg. PHOTO: Brenda Masilela/ANA

MPUMALANGA,  The Kruger National Park on Tuesday, introduced four vehicles which will be used to transport tourists with mobility challenges on game viewing activities.

The 14 seater activity vehicles can lift weight of up to a maximum of 250 kg. 

Paul Shabangu, 42, from Nelspruit was the first person to be lifted in his wheelchair into the car, he described the experience as life-changing.

"I don't stay far from the Kruger National Park but then every time I thought about coming I would be discouraged knowing that it's hard for me to get on the vehicles but now I'm that they have cars available for people with mobility disabilities," he said.

Deliwe Sambo, 29, who was a bit scared in the beginning, said she's also happy with the innovation.

Deliwe Sambo, who was a bit scared in the beginning, was easily lifted into the ca while sitting on her wheelchair. PHOTO: Brenda Masilela/ANA

"I never thought I would also go to a game drive and now it's possible, I'm happy."

They were both taken on a two hour game drive.

General Manager of the Kruger National Park, Lucy Nhlapho said this one of the initiatives by the park to enhance the appreciation of people with disabilities.

"We would like to ensure that the Park promotes access whilst creating an inclusive environment which provides wildlife experience for all," she said.

Nhlapho said people with disabilities should also be able to use and enjoy the Park. "This is an important segment of the market should not be excluded from interacting with nature."

“We believe that the launch of the activity vehicles for people with mobility challenge will increase awareness and understanding as well as improving access to the tourists with disabilities; in particular the wheelchair users for their benefit and enjoyment. 

We place commitment to equity and diversity and these we can only achieve if we give access to everybody in our tourism offerings, regardless of their physical, intellectual of sensory capabilities,"  Nhlapo said.

- African News Agency (ANA)