South African National Parks revealed the organisation is preparing to reopen its overnight facilities after three months. Picture: Clinton Moodley.
South African National Parks revealed the organisation is preparing to reopen its overnight facilities after three months. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

SANParks to announce dates for reopening of accommodation bookings in the next few days

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 19, 2020

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South African National Parks (SANParks) revealed preparing for a recall of its hospitality staff and a phased in approach in the reopening of its overnight facilities in the wake of an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that accommodation providers can resume operations in alert level 3.

Ramaphosa revealed in his June 17 address that sit-in restaurants, accredited hotels, cinemas, theatres, casinos, personal care services and non-contact sports including cricket, golf and tennis, will be opened. The return of hotels will not include Airbnb services, he said. SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni, said Ramaphosa's address brought good news to SANParks and nature lovers who for three months have yearned to visit their favourite national park.

“However we urge those who cannot wait to book into our accommodation to exercise a bit of patience as SANParks readies itself for the reopening 

"SANParks will approach the opening of its accommodation facilities responsibly to ensure that the gains made by South Africa in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic are not compromised," he said. 

Mketeni said the parks will immediately activate the retraining of staff on new operating protocols in line with industry standards. 
"The safety of both staff and guests is critical, and we have to ensure that we are in compliance with regulations as well as health standards and protocols. We will announce the dates for the reopening of accommodation bookings in the next few days," he added.

This follows SANParks announcement that vistors to the Kruger National Park (KNP) going on self-drives need to adhere to the Covid-19 health protocols outlined by the government. KNP said maintaining social distancing is critical for self-drive excursions. 

Managing Executive of the KNP Gareth Coleman said the organisation entered unchartered waters with Covid-19. He said the park was doing everything to ensure that health protocols were met. 

“It's important for us to orientate our colleagues at the front line on the Health Protocols around the virus so they could assist and safeguard our visitors and employees. The issue of PPE’s, training and the recording of personal details of visitors went as envisaged, and we are grateful for the massive cooperation from our clients,” said Coleman. 

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