UPDATE: Kruger appoints interim restaurant manager after Ringgold's expulsion

2017-12-14 07:30 - Gabi Zietsman
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - South African National Parks (SANParks) has appointed Tindlovu Management Services to take over the disputed restaurants in Kruger for six months.

After a long battle with ousted Ringgold, who used to manage the restaurants at Kruger National Park's Satara, Olifants and Letaba rest camps, SANParks has decided to hand over management of the restaurants to one of the companies already managing other facilities in the park for six months, while they start the tender process for a permanent candidate. 

SEE: Kruger camps see restaurant shake-up due to ‘poor service’

Letaba's restaurant has been operational since Wednesday, and Satara and Olifants will be operational on Thursday and Friday respectively. 

Tindlovu manages Berg en Dal, the Afsaal Picnic Site, Mopani Shingwedzi and Punda Maria.

SANParks also states that Tindlovu has made every effort to accommodate the existing staff in the takeover.

“All of our accommodations are equipped with kitchen and braai facilities should visitors to the three rest camps wish to self-cater.  We thank you for your patience during this time and we do apologise to our visitors for the current inconvenience that was caused over the last couple of months”, said the Tourism Development and Marketing Managing Executive Hapiloe Sello.   

SANParks first announced in September that it had ordered thee Ringgold restaurants to vacate the premises, in a legal dispute over poor services and complaints from visitors, a move that was welcomed by many Kruger fans.

ALSO SEE: SA on a plate: ‘It’s about time Kruger got rid of terrible restaurants’

What does the public think about this move?

Visitors had a few mixed reactions, some waiting to see how the new menu looks under Tindlovu, sharing their opinions on the Kruger Facebook group with many wishing good luck to the company.

Stefan Steyn writes, "Depends on the menu whether we will be happy or not. At least it's progress."

Many had good things to say about Tindlovu's other restaurants, and happy with the change.

"If its Tindlovu, its the best choice they made. Always had great service and food there," says Karien De Swardt Oosthuizen.

ALSO SEE: The Xmas holiday conundrum

Giju Varghese writes, "Wow... thanks Tindlovu for rescuing national parks. All of a sudden, they don't know how to manage these seamlessly any more."

"Whenever we‘ve eaten at any of the Tindlovu venues in the park, we enjoyed great food and service," says Brigitte Tombers-Loeb.

Annete Hoppe however thought the opposite. "Oh no! Not them!!! Ghastly, horrible, disgusting!!! Won't ever put our feet in any of these."

One Facebook user preferred the previous restaurants. "It's a great pity the previous restaurants closed/were forced to close, as they were decent. Mugg&Bean is decent throughout SA. Hope that whoever is chosen long-term steps up and offers good fare at reasonable prices and provides good service," writes Steve and Julie Benbow.

"KNP is the jewel in SANPark's crown so should be a showcase for all that is good in SA conservation." 

Barry Hyman Bass still prefers to avoid the restaurants altogether. "I still cook my own. Cheaper and better."

What to read next on Traveller24:

WATCH: Climber plunges to his death from skyscraper in crazy 'rooftopping' stunt

PICS: MSC Seaside named best new ship of 2017

Zululand Conservation Miracle: A unique South African adventure