SA's national parks to remain open as 'excellent opportunities for isolation'

If the cabin fever starts creeping in during the Covid-19 crisis, you'll still be able to head to one of our national parks.

South African National Parks (SANParks) released a statement stating that parks will remain open while they will be introducing intensified hygiene protocols and measures according to the World Health Organisations' guidelines to help stem the spread of the virus. 

READ: SA's most and least visited National Parks 

“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 of a daily basis,” says SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni. 

“In these trying times, it should also come as some relief to people weary from disease outbreak concerns, that National Parks with its wide-open spaces, low-density tourist numbers, self-drive and self-catering accommodation options, is still able to provide excellent opportunities for isolation, rest and relaxation.”  

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Reservations policy revised

But for visitors with existing bookings who don't want to risk it, SANParks has reviewed its reservations policy to accommodate guests and have conceded that all amendments and postponements will not be penalised or charged extra fees - with conditions.

In instances where the traveller may not have a fixed date for the postponed booking, they should contact the call centre at reservations@sanparks.org. 

Cancellations will however be subjected to the standard cancellation terms and conditions.

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Closure of border posts

SANParks would also advise visitors entering parks through the following border posts to choose alternative routes as they will be closed:

  • Alexandra Bay and Sendelingsdrift in Richtersveld National Park;
  • Tweerivieren in Kgalagadi National Park;
  • and Pafuri and Giriyondo border posts in the Kruger National Park.

"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 & social distancing principles and that we are more than happy to accommodate them in our National Parks," concluded Mketeni. 

SEE: What visitors can look forward to with the R396m SANParks upgrades - over the next 3 years