SA's national parks open for stayovers from next week

Business Insider SA
(Geoffrey Veenendaal for SAN Parks)
(Geoffrey Veenendaal for SAN Parks)
  • After government last week announced that interprovincial leisure travel will be allowed, SANParks says it will offer accommodation from August 14th. 
  • But you can't visit a park outside your resident province - and will have to provide proof of residence before you book. 
  • Self-drive guests are still restricted to a 70% vehicle capacity.
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South African National Parks (SANParks) announced that accommodation at the majority of its parks will reopen from August 14th.

However, you are only allowed to visit a park in your resident province. "Interprovincial visitors will be prohibited entry into the parks," according to a SANParks statement.

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, SANParks said. “No more than two people will be allowed per accommodation unit except for parents and children).”

While its parks - including the Kruger National Park - have been open for day trips since June, no leisure travel accommodation has been allowed under South Africa's stringent lockdown rules.

Last week, however, government announced that interprovincial leisure accommodation will now be allowed. It also said that tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles. SANParks says that these vehicles will be permitted as soon as the regulations pertaining to their operations are gazetted. 

Self-drive guests are still restricted to 70% vehicle capacity.

SANParks says its Addo, Camdeboo, and Karoo National Parks will only open on August 17, while the Mountain Zebra National Park will open on August 20. Accommodation at other parks will be open from next week Friday.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni, said “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”.

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