Sep 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Kruger National Park to get R320m makeover

Visitors to the Kruger National Park (KNP) are set to benefit from a R320 million infrastructure rehabilitation program that will run over the next three years.

KNP Chief Executive Gareth Coleman said the The first phase of the program will provide significant impetus to upgrade infrastructure and improve visitor experience.

“The decline in tourist revenue under Covid-19 has impacted our revenue, but the need to maintain our infrastructure and improving is omnipresent. The infrastructure program will also help create much-needed jobs in the area,” he said.

Coleman said they would be entering into contracts and work packages with successful construction and construction contractors and will be doing so by the completed should be late May.

“The contractors will move in on site in May and June and we will see the results of those investments in the second half of 2022.”

The funds for the upgrades comes from payments from insurers and contributions from the national Ministry of Tourism, but mostly comes from an infrastructure development program assigned to SANParks by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.

< p>Among the tourism facilities that this year Priority items include:

  • Rebuild the burned out Letaba store and fences;
  • Rebuild the Lower Sabie gas station, also destroyed by fire t;
  • Construction of the main building roof of Shingwedzi, which was removed due to termites;
  • the Phalaborwa Wildlife Activity Hub (phase 1);
  • Shangoni (phase 1) which includes a picnic area, campground and Shangoni reception facility;
  • Punda Maria Tent Upgrades
  • Upgrade of five entrance gates in Pafuri, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni and Numbi;
  • Renovation and upgrading of more than 110 tourist accommodations in camps throughout the park;
  • Upgrading of Sweni Trails Camp;
  • r Repairing and upgrading of termite-affected observation deck at Camp Skukuza;
  • Repair and upgrade of termite-affected observation deck and restaurant handrails at Camp Olifants;
  • Refurbishment of selected staff quarters;
  • Renovation of identified tar roads; and
  • Re-graveling of selected gravel roads.

Other projects are expected to start next year.

“We will do our utmost to reduce the impact on the visitor experience and ask our customers for patience and understanding for any inconvenience caused during the renovation. We also urge visitors to heed the additional signs in affected locations and heed the advice of our staff,” said Coleman.

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