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Media Release: Ongoing upgrades in KNP

29 July 2005

Various tourism facilities in the Kruger National Park (KNP) will be upgraded and developed over the next few months, according to the KNP’s HOD for Technical Services, Mr Blake Schraader.

The developments and upgrades will include camps, day visitor areas, reception buildings, entrance gates and facilities for scientific research at various locations throughout the 2 million hectare national park.

Most of the projects, in total valued at more than R32 million, will be funded by the National Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism’s (DEAT) poverty relief grant.

At Lower Sabie Main Camp, developments worth R3,8-million include the upgrade of the river view accommodation units and the rebuilding of Keartlands Guest House. The upgrade of the river view accommodation will be completed by March 2006, whereas the rebuilding of Keartlands has already been completed. New oxidation ponds and the rehabilitation of existing sewerage works will be completed during October 2005.

Orpen Camp and Entrance Gate will see development worth R4,5-million, including the upgrading of existing accommodation units and the creation of a new day visitor’s area, a swimming pool and a new reception building. The project to upgrade the accommodation units and the new day visitor’s area, swimming pool and new reception will be completed by mid-December 2005.

Satara Main Camp will also see development and construction worth R10,4-million over the next few months. A day visitor’s site and swimming pool will be added to this camp’s already impressive list of tourist facilities and these will be completed by June 2006. The caravan park and some of the accommodation units will also be upgraded, with these projects’ completion dates scheduled for the first half of next year. The Frankel Guest House, which was destroyed by fire recently, is also being rebuilt and scheduled to be reopened by the end of July 2005. The rebuild of the Frankel Guest House will be funded by the KNP.

Satara will also receive an upgrade of its sewer works and oxidation plant, which will be completed by the end of February next year.

Letaba Main Camp has also been identified for the upgrading of present facilities and construction of new facilities worth R4,5-million. Work on the new day visitors’ site, which will include an attractive swimming pool, has already started. The camp itself will also receive a new swimming pool. These major projects are scheduled for completion by the end of March next year. Letaba’s tourist accommodation is also in line for an upgrade, which will be completed by the end of June 2005.

Phalaborwa Entrance Gate is in line for a R5,8-million upgrade. With this project, not only will the entrance gate itself be rebuilt, but an office complex for the Northern Business Unit and a new building containing research facilities for SAEON will also be built. Work on the new entrance gate has already been started and is due for completion at the end of April 2006.

Shingwedzi Main Camp is also in line for upgrading of its tourism accommodation. This project, which will cost in the region of R1,6-million, is due for completion by the end of February 2006.

Punda Maria Main Camp, which last year received new luxury tents and a swimming pool, will receive upgrades to its present tourism accommodation units valued at more than R500 000. This project will be completed by the end of October this year. A bird hide, which was built with the help of the Honorary Rangers, has already been completed at a cost of R60 000, which was kindly donated by Sasol.

The project to build the new day visitors’ site at Letaba and the upgrading of tourist accommodation at Lower Sabie were successfully tendered for by emerging contractors that have completed the KNP’s Contractor Training Programme.

 â€œWe apologise to any of our guests that are inconvenienced by this construction work but we hope that these new developments will ultimately add value to our tourist facilities in the Kruger National Park,” Dr Schraader concluded. 

… Ends

Issued by:
Raymond Travers
Media Relations Practitioner
Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4116
Cell: 082 908 2677

William Mabasa
HOD: Public Relations and Communications
Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363
Cell: 082 807 3919

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