South African National Parks (SANParks) said yesterday it had been working on measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in line with the actions announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening.
SANParks chief executive Fundisile Mketeni said it would like to assure all staff and visitors their health and wellbeing were of critical importance.
“It is for this reason that we are introducing measures to enhance hygiene protocols in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines,” Mketeni said. “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.
“In these trying times, it should also come as some relief to people who are concerned about the outbreak that national parks with their wide-open spaces, low-density tourist numbers, self-drive and self-catering accommodation options are still able to provide excellent opportunities for isolation, rest and relaxation.”
However, should travellers still be concerned about their vacation plans to SANParks, they could consider postponement to a later stage.
He said SANParks had reviewed its reservations policy to accommodate valued guests and was happy to announce that amendments and postponements would not be penalised or charged extra, subject to certain conditions.
In instances where the traveller might not have a fixed date for the postponed booking, they should contact the call centre at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellations would, however, be subjected to the standard cancellation terms and conditions.
SANParks said certain ports of entry were closed.
“It is against this background that SANParks would advise travellers intending to enter/exit our parks through the following border posts: Alexander 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 added.
“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 and social distancing principles.”