South African National Parks (SANParks) has been working on measures to combat the spread of the COVID 19 epidemic (caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CV2) in line with the actions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa last night (Sunday, 15 March 2020).
SANParks, CEO, Fundisile Mketeni said as we all face this unprecedented and unpredictable situation, SANParks would like to assure all its staff and visitors that their health and wellbeing is of critical importance. “It is for this reason that we are introducing measures to enhance hygiene protocols in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.”
“We are taking extra measures to enhance cleaning and hygiene protocols in all our parks. Furthermore, we are working closely with a team of experts from the health and tourism sector to assess and guide interventions on a daily basis.”
He further indicated that he understood the level of uncertainty and anxiety associated with international travel, but wanted to assure the South African public that our National Parks will remain open during this time and will be taking necessary precaution to ensure visitor and staff safety.
“In these trying times, it should also come as some relief to people weary from disease outbreak concerns, that National Parks with its wide-open spaces, low-density tourist numbers, self-drive and self-catering accommodation options, is still able to provide excellent opportunities for isolation, rest and relaxation.”
However, should travellers still be concerned about their vacation plans to SANParks, we would rather encourage visitors to consider postponement to a later stage. SANParks has reviewed its reservations policy to accommodate its valued guests and is happy to announce that all amendments and postponements will not be penalised or charged extra fees (T&Cs apply). In instances where the traveller may not have a fixed date for the postponed booking, they should contact the call centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellations will, however, be subjected to the standard cancellation terms and conditions.
SANParks takes note of the closure of certain ports of entry. “It is against this background that SANParks would advise travellers intending to enter/exit our parks through the following border posts: Alexandra Bay near and Sendelingsdrift in Richtersveld National Park, Tweerivieren in Kgalagadi National Park as well as Pafuri and Giriyondo border posts in the Kruger National Park, that those border gates will be closed for entry. This is in line with government’s strategy to mitigate the impact of COVID 19,”Mketeni said.
We urge travellers who elect to proceed with their travel plans, to assist us to mitigate the spread of the disease by practising good hygiene & social distancing principles and that we are more than happy to accommodate them in our National Parks, concluded Mketeni.