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Media Release: Kruger Will Award Achievers

23 November 2007

The Kruger National Park (KNP) will award its achievers in a glittering function to be held in Skukuza tonight (Friday November 23, 2007) called the 2007 KNP Achievement Awards.

“This is our attempt to honour those members of our staff who have excelled during the past year or who have given excellent service to our guests over a long period of time,” said the KNP’s Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize.

Awards will be given to 42 KNP staff members who have excelled in the categories of “Outstanding Service in the Workplace” and “Outstanding Service to Tourist/Client/Customer”. There is great pride among KNP staff members as they go and get their awards in these categories and the trophies and certificates are displayed with considerable pride in their offices soon after the award ceremony.

In addition to those awards, there are also collective awards where the various camps, entrance gates and ranger posts vie against each other for top honours.

For management purposes, the KNP is divided into three regions, Nxanatseni, Nkayeni and Marula (listed in geographical order from North to South) and, as Nkayeni Region walked away with top honours in 2006, the region will do its utmost to try and win the award again tonight. However, there is strong competition from the two other regions which have both made great strides forward.

The coveted Department of the Year award was swooped by the slick veterinary surgeons and game capture experts from Veterinary Wildlife Services at last year’s event but this department is sure to receive stiff competition from departments like the KNP’s Scientific Services, Technical Services and Conservation Services, all of which have been in the forefront of excellence during the past year.

Last year, the jewel “Best Camp of the Year” in the KNP’s crown was Berg en Dal Rest Camp but Satara, Letaba and Mopani constantly snap at the heals of this large camp in the southern-most region of the park. Tourists and staff members’ alike look forward to hearing which of the KNP’s famous camps will walk away with top honours in this category and 2007 is no exception.

The KNP’s secluded and exclusive bush camps also compete for top honours in the Bush Camp of the Year category and the 2006 winner, Biyamiti Bush Camp has pretty tough opposition from Sirheni and Talamati bush camps. Staff members at those respective camps are at the edge of their seats in anticipation for the announcement of this award.

KNP rangers and field rangers also account for huge competition among themselves for the award “Ranger Post of the Year” and the 2006 winner Mooiplaas will probably get stiff opposition from Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Tshokwane and Vlakteplaas ranger posts for this coveted prize. Within its first year of operation, the KNP’s newest entrance gate, the Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility walked away with the coveted “Entrance Gate of the Year” award but this year, Giriyondo won’t have it entirely its own way with stiff competition from gates like Kruger, Punda Maria and the newly upgraded Phalaborwa Entrance Gate.

There are two new categories this year which will give awards to the best shop and concession lodge in the park. The shops operating in the park are, for the most part, operated by Tyger’s Eye and they will be vying for what is sure to become the coveted “Shop of the Year” title. There are seven concession areas in the park and they will be competing against each other for the award “Concession of the Year” which is also sure to heat up as time goes by.

The Awards are adjudicated by a team of high profile KNP managers from different departments and the facilities mentioned are judged on areas such as overall performance, implementation of various systems, financial performance and management, guest complaints and compliments, compliance to policies and general neatness of the facility.

Total SA also awards the best filling station in the KNP with an award called the “Total SA Top Service Award”.

The awards will be held tonight (Friday November 23, 2007) at a specially adapted site at the Skukuza Airport and the programme director will be Mr Sydney Baloyi. Guests will be addressed by the KNP’s Managing Executive Dr Bandile Mkhize, the SANParks Chief Executive Dr David Mabunda and the keynote address by Edcon Transformation and Corporate Affairs Group Executive Mr Mpho Makwana.

This is the ninth year in succession that the KNP Achievement Awards have been hosted.

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

William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communications, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email:

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