South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced how it will manage overnight accommodation in its various National Parks during alert level two of South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of COVID-19. According to SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni, in alert level two the number of persons allowed in accommodation establishments is restricted to not more than 50% of the facility. SANParks will therefore be obligated to amend or cancel bookings in National Parks and Camps that are currently booked beyond that capacity and in addition, to reject new bookings that may lead to operating above the regulated 50% threshold. Mketeni said “that while SANParks understands the inconvenience and the frustration this will create, our reservations team are on hand to assist with regards to reallocating bookings from one camp to another within the same Park to ensure that we are operating in adherence to the law at all times”.
In instances where a paid forward booking has to be cancelled, SANParks will apply a transparent and fair process of LIFO (last-in-first-out) principles implying that the person that booked earlier will receive preference over someone that booked later. Affected guests will be contacted and offered alternative facilities or alternative date. No guests will be charged cancellation fees if an eventual cancellation occurs and is due to COVID-19 related circumstances.