South African National Parks (SANParks) has advised that it has not opened for overnight accommodation as per Level 3 lockdown regulations on leisure and interprovincial travel.
Day self-drives in national parks like Addo Elephant Park continue to be permissible for residents of the various provinces that the respective National Parks are located in; visitors are urged to book online and to observe all COVID 19 health protocols while in the park, including exiting the park with as much of their refuse as hygienically possible.
Fundisile Mketeni, SANParks Chief Executive Officer acknowledged that the organization is aware that many domestic tourists are eager to enjoy the tranquillity offered by national parks and that they would like to extend the current self-drive opportunities to overnight stays.
He urged tourists to be patient until leisure travel and interprovincial travel regulations are implemented.
All overnight bookings for July have therefore been suspended; the public will be advised in due course when bookings open. The organization advised those with overnight bookings to delay their travel and not cancel.
Mketeni concluded by advising South Africans to continue supporting government efforts to minimize the impact of COVID 19 by adhering to lockdown rules.
“We are seeing increasing infection numbers and regrettably the loss of lives as well. This is a reminder that a decision to open up our facilities has to be well-considered to ensure our colleagues, tourists and their friends and families’ health are not compromised.
We all have to be patient and trust the processes and decisions of our leaders during this difficult time, we will announce the dates for the reopening of accommodation bookings in due course”.