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Media Release: Conferencing in the Mopaniveld

Date: 17th June 2009

The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) acting Managing Executive Mr Abe Sibiya officially opened the new, state-of-the-art R5,2-million Mopani Conference Centre on Friday June 12, 2009.

Mopani Conference Centre exterior
Mopani Conference Centre

The Kruger National Park’s (KNP) acting Managing Executive Mr Abe Sibiya officially opened the new, state-of-the-art R5,2-million Mopani Conference Centre on Friday June 12, 2009.

“I can proudly state at the official opening this facility at Mopani Rest Camp that the KNP has certainly arrived as a conference venue with a number of world class options that will hopefully meet and exceed most clients’ needs,” Mr Sibiya said.

Mr Sibiya went on to explain why the KNP, which is world famous for its high standards in conservation management and for its ability to balance the needs of tourists with the demands of conservation.

“Kruger’s tourism business has always been seasonal with high season times coinciding with South African school holidays. Conferences are seen as one of the ways in which these huge drops during off peak times could be negated,” explained Mr Sibiya.

Built thanks to Infrastructure Development Program (IDP) funding from the South African Government, the conference centre can house up to 300 people cinema style in its main hall. The facility was converted from the camp’s shop and storerooms and this work took nine months to complete.

“As I stand before you, I can proudly say that the establishment of this facility only had a negligible environmental impact and this was short term. All these buildings were already here and all they needed was to re-organise the interior and equip them for conferencing,” said Mr Sibiya.

In addition to the main conference hall, the facility also includes three break away rooms which can house 21, 30 and 45 people respectively (all cinema style) and a tea area which includes a wooden deck that overlooks the nearby Pioneer Dam.

Break away room
Main Conference Hall

The break away rooms also include 15 moveable panels that can convert the three separate rooms into either two larger rooms (one hosting 67 people cinema style and the other housing 45 people cinema style) or one large venue which can house 150 people cinema style.

All four venues, the main hall and each of the three breakaway rooms include screens and full audio visual aids.

Mopani Rest Camp is one of the newer large camps in the KNP and can accommodate 506 people. It is situated 74 kilometres north of Phalaborwa Entrance Gate.

In the KNP, other conference centres include Berg en Dal Rest Camp, a small venue at the Elephant Hall in Letaba Rest Camp, a small conference centre at Shingwedzi Rest Camp and the conference facility in Skukuza Rest Camp, which is presently being upgraded.

For more information about the new Mopani Conference Centre, access the SANParks Website (www.sanparks.org) or contact Christa von Elling on (013) 735 6535.

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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