South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that accommodation facilities in the majority of its 19 National Parks, including Kruger National Park, will be open for intra-provincial leisure travellers as from 14 August 2020. In addition, Addo Elephant National Park, Camdeboo National Park, and Karoo National Park will reopen accommodation facilities in 17 August 2020, while Mountain Zebra National Park is set to reopen its cottages, chalets and the camping ground on 20 August 2020.
According to SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni, the reopening of the National Parks for accommodation is done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both staff and guests. Accommodation in the National Parks will initially not run at full capacity as SANParks will employ a phased-in approach to opening. Travellers can therefore expect limited availability of accommodation in some National Parks in the beginning stages of the reopening, with a gradual increase in availability in the next few weeks.
SANParks has implemented additional visitor management procedures in line with regulations and to further mitigate the risk of the spread of coronavirus. Overnight guests will be required to provide proof of residence (municipal account or similar legally accepted form of verification of primary residence) at the time of booking accommodation and again when checking in. No more than two people will be allowed per accommodation unit except for parents and children.
Tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours in Guided Overland Safari Vehicles (OSVs) [Open Safari Vehicle?] once regulations pertaining to their operations are gazetted by the Government of South Africa; all OSV operators need to be registered with SANParks before they are permitted to enter the parks.
The opening of visitor activities and tourist attractions in the National Parks will be in keeping with restrictions and aligned with the opening dates set out. As more information is gazetted SANParks will amend the protocols and inform guests. We’ll keep you posted!