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Media Release: MZNP tops again at awards

Date: 20th July 2011

Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP) once again shot to the top of the ranks, scooping four major awards during SANParks’ Frontier Region Awards, held in Graaff-Reinet at the end of last week.

The awards ceremony is held annually to celebrate the achievements and excellent performance of staff members in the four national parks – Addo Elephant, Karoo, Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks – which fall into the Frontier Region management grouping.

Mountain Zebra National Park was awarded Best Performing National Park and Best Performing Camp for the fourth year in a row for excellent achievements in conservation, tourism and people & conservation: SANParks’ three core business areas.

The achievements in the 2010/11 financial year which led to this success included the introduction of red-billed oxpeckers, successful management of the cheetah population and the success of the Working for Water project, which focuses on eradicating invasive alien plants. Achievements in the tourism field included the introduction of successful new activities for visitors, upgrading of the mountain cottages and 2.3% and 4.5% increase in camping occupancy and guided game drive activity respectively, despite the nationwide slump in tourism. Relationships with the local communities surrounding the park were positively reinforced through environmental education, various community development projects and economic empowerment initiatives. Good financial management and positive experiences of visitors in terms of customer service also contributed to the accolades.

Mountain Zebra National Park also took home the awards for Reception of the Year and Entrance Gate of the Year proving that staff members are always focussed on providing outstanding customer service.

One of the highlights of the awards ceremony was the handover of an award to Sue Downie and Lucky Mavrandonis for the valuable financial and operational support they have provided to SANParks in terms of the monitoring and protection of rhino. Downie and Mavrandonis have raised funds through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and other private ventures and have harnessed innovative measures to ensure that rhino are effectively conserved in the national parks in the region.

Nominations for the Regional Award winners are sent through to the national SANParks Kudu Awards adjudication

The awards ceremony was much enjoyed by all who attended, with a lively atmosphere provided by Graaff-Reinet’s own La Petit Jazz band.                

Issued by:
South African National Parks               

Enquiries:
Megan Taplin, Regional Communications Manager, Addo Elephant * Camdeboo * Karoo* Mountain Zebra National Parks, e-mail: megan.taplin@sanparks.org, Tel: 083 6508649 or (042) 233 8609

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