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

2019-06-21 16:30 - Selene Brophy
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train accommodation on selati bridge over sabie ri

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Kruger is the flagship of South Africa's 20 National Parks - making the planned upgrades over the next three years welcomed to improve the visitor experience.  

The focus of the improvements will be on various aspects of accommodation in the park, conferencing venues and day visitors' facilities - as well as entrance gates and road upgrades. 

Some of these upgrades are currently underway, with the demolition of artificial dams in Shingwedzi and Sirheni, up until the 28th of June 2019 - expected to impact the some tourist routes in the park. The dams to be demolished are Louis se Gat and Kanniedod Dams. 

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Tourism Update reports Kruger will be receiving a new day visitor site at Shingwedzi, a conference venue at Mopani and upgrades to the tented accommodation at Lower Sabie are some of the upgrades and developments planned for South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Funding awarded by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to the value of R396 million for SANPArks infrastructure development until 2022, will see R195 million used for to the Kruger National Park. 

Blake Schraader, Head of the Department of Technical Services is quoted as confirming the designs for the upgrades as 99% complete.

Traveller24 contacted SANParks and is awaiting added details as roll-out timelines, as the "team in Kruger is aligning the required maintenance plans with the available budgets and they will revert back shortly".

Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Letaba, Satara, Orpen, Roodewal, Lower-Sabie, Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop have all been pegged for improvements, with a new conference venue in the pipeline for Mopani. 

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Schraader says, "new day visitor facilities, similar to those at Letaba, Satara and Orpen, will be built at Shingwedzi and Olifants". 

SANparks is said to be centralising commercial activities in the park, with a "swipe card system" to fast-track Wild Card holders access. 

Crocodile Bridge Camp is also going to be repositioned as a longer-stay destination, as opposed to transiting through - with the through road set to be removed. 

Traveller24 will update with more details of the upgrades as they continue.

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