Nature-lovers will finally be able to stay at their favourite nature reserve locations as the majority of South African National Parks (SANParks) accommodation options will officially open on August 14, following an announcement from the group.

Guided Overland Safari Vehicles (OSVs) will also be permitted as soon as the regulations pertaining to their operations are gazetted said the environmental organisation.

Addo, Camdeboo and Karoo National Parks are scheduled to open on August 17, followed by Mountain Zebra National Park on August 20.

The organisation has decided to open reserve accommodation following an announcement from Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane’s on the response measures and directions for Alert Level 3 Lockdown as it pertains to the tourism industry.

Kubayi-Ngubane announced that overnight accommodation will now be permitted for residents of various provinces that the respective National Parks are located in.

“We are in the process of ensuring that the opening of our national parks for accommodation is done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests, accommodation will not run at full capacity as we will employ a phased-in approach to opening. Therefore our loyal guests can expect limited availability of accommodation in some parks at these beginning stages of our reopening, with a gradual increase in availability in the next few weeks,” said SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni.

Additional visitor management procedures in line with regulations have been put in place and overnight guests will be required to provide proof of residence in the form of a municipal account or similar legally acceptable document when booking. Only two people per accommodation unit will be accepted with the exception of children.

Self-drive guests are still restricted to a 70% vehicle capacity as per the Department of Transport’s regulations and the quota system still applies for day visitors.

“We look forward to welcoming all our loyal guests but we appeal to our colleagues, tourists, and their friends and families to travel responsibly. Enjoy the parks and please make sure you follow all health and safety protocols,” concluded Mketeni.

Bookings can be made online, telephonically or via email at [email protected] or 012 428 9111 or www.sanparks.org/bookings/.

Picture: SANParks

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