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Media Release: Project Brief - Proposed Nossob Motorised (4x4) Eco-trail - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - South Africa

Date: 11th December 2000

The SANP (South African National Parks) are investigating the introduction of a 4x4 (motorised) eco-trail in the South African section of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This proposed trail provisionally to be known as the Nossob 4x4 (Motorised) Eco-Trail, is approximately 200 km in length and can only be undertaken in an appropriate 4x4 vehicle. It should be noted at the outset that the purpose of this trail is to provide an "eco-experience" of the Kalahari and is not a 4X 4 route for the purposes of putting ones vehicle to the "test".

The SANP are bound by various environmental legislation including NEMA (National Environmental Management Act) the EIA Regulations (R1182/3 - the Environment Conservation Act) as well as the principles of IEM (Integrated Environmental Management). The proposed activity is a listed activity in terms of the aforementioned regulations and will only be permitted pending the positive outcome of an Environmental Assessment (EA). The National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (NDEA&T) have issued a directive that the SANP can run the eco-trail on a "trial" basis only for a period of a year as part of the Environmental Assessment. During this period the PPP (Public Participation Process) of the EA will also be conducted and the trail closely monitored.

The proposed route traverses the dune-veiled on average approximately 5 to 8 km west of the Nossob River and is orientated in a sub-parallel direction to this river (i.e. NNW-SSE orientation - refer to the attached plan) from a distance of approximately 40 km from Twee Rivieren to a point approximately 65 km NNW of the Nossob Rest Camp. Access points to the trail are from the tourist road between Twee Rivieren and Unions End. 

During the trial period it is intended to run one completely self catering trail per week (per 7 day period), comprising 
a minimum of 2 vehicles (excluding the Trail Leader’s vehicle) and a maximum of 6 vehicles / 20 persons (inclusive of the Trail Leader's vehicle). It is recommended that trailists endeavour to book as a single group, failing which single bookings will be considered, pending the minimum number stipulation of 2 vehicles. Four temporary overnight sites have been located consisting of a rustic toilet (long drop) and shower facilities. It is intended to run a 2 and a 3-night trail (utilising 2 or 3 of the 4 temporary overnight sites) on an alternate basis. The trail will depart on any given day of the week on a first come first serve booking basis. Trails will end at approximately midday at the Nossob Restcamp.

No trailers / caravans will be permissible and all equipment and provisions (including fuel, water and firewood) must be carried within or on the vehicle. Restrictions in respect of types of vehicle (based on axle length and ground clearance) will apply; details of which may be obtained from the Trail Manager as designated below. Prospective participants will be required to sign an indemnity form and a strict code of driving will be enforced during the trail. All participants will be required to complete a questionnaire in terms of the PPP (Public Participation Process) of the Environmental Investigation.

Some other information of note in respect to this trail includes the following:

  • Water - Much of the water in the region is brackish and hence drinking water should be self catered. Those participants wishing to utilise shower facilities should supply their own water. An amount of 10 lt. / person / day is recommended.
     
  • Fuel - All fuel (petrol / diesel / gas / firewood) must be self catered and is available at Twee Rivieren / Nossob. The collection of wood within the National Park is prohibited. 
     
  • Cost - the cost of the trail is R400 / vehicle / night, irrespective of the number of occupants + entrance fees to the park, presently at R36/adult and R18/ child.

  • Bookings - these may be done at the Reception Office, Twee Rivieren at telephone number (054) 561-2014 or fax number (054) 561-2005. 
     
  • Trails are envisaged to commence towards the end of January 2001
  •   

Enquiries:
Mr Martin Engelbrecht (Trail Manager) 
Tel:(054) 561-2006; Fax (054) 561-2005
E-mail: martine@parks-sa.co.za during office hours only.

OR

Mr Nardus du Plessis 
Tel: (054) 561-2010; Fax (054) 561-2005 during office hours only.

NOTE: As indicated this Eco-Trail is in the EA (Environmental Assessment) phase and all those wishing to register as an I&AP (Interested and Affected Party) in this process should contact:

Dr Hugo Bezuidenhout (Environmental Co-ordinator)
Tel: (053) 832-5488; Fax: (053) 833-4543
E-mail: hbez@kimnet.co.za

OR

Mr Murray Macgregor
(Head: Environmental Services, SANP)
Tel: (012) 426-5209;Fax: (012) 343-2723/2832

All queries concerning the EA Process should be directed to the same. It must also be noted that as this activity is in a trial period it may be subject to change/s at short notice.

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