Media Release: Official opening of the New Entrance Gate to Addo Elephant National Park
16 March 2010
Addo Elephant National Park officially opened the new gate complex at the main entrance to the Park today.
In view of growing tourism numbers to the Park and World Cup Soccer around the corner, the visitors’ first experience of the Park is now enhanced by the impressive new structure that now forms a welcoming entrance to a tourism destination of this stature,” says Paul Daphne, Executive Manager of SANParks. The new thatched entrance gate is a project that has been funded by a combined project through the Park’s Honorary Rangers and PPC Cement. PPC Cement has previously partnered with the Park’s Honorary Rangers in other projects, such as the construction of the PPC Discovery Trail in Addo Main Camp in 2002.
The first section of this trail has been made universally accessible and is very popular with all tourists visiting the Park. Bernard Venter, General Manager of PPC Cement, said today that they have partnered with Addo Elephant National Park in conservation and tourism initiatives since 1995 and that they will continue to do so as part of their conservation and environmental policy. Daphne explained that due to the tremendous growth in visitor numbers and the vast expansion of the Park, investing in Addo Elephant National Park means investing in SA’s natural heritage. In spite of the worldwide recession, the Park has shown a growth in visitors to the Park over the last year, with an increase in South African visitors.
Over the last 6 years, government has invested billions into SANParks throughout SA to improve and develop new infrastructure. Addo Elephant National Park has benefited tremendously from this and has completed numerous projects in the Park, such as the new Camp Matyholweni close to the N2 at Colchester. Daphne also reiterated that the combined investments from government, private business (such as PPC Cement), the Honorary Rangers and local communities has helped to make this Park the success it is today.
Recently completed projects include a new picnic site in the game area, new tourist roads and the release of animals into the Colchester section of the Park. Currently, R11 million is being spent on the development of additional new tourist roads in the Colchester section and short term plans are to remove the fence between Addo Main Camp and Colchester sections so that the animals are able to roam freely between the two sections. There are currently other exciting projects in progress, which will enhance the visitor experience and are due for completion this year. Watch this space….
South African National Parks
* Photos available on request*
Mandy Roets – Regional Marketing Manager, Addo Elephant National Park, SANParks, tel: (042) 2338645, cell: 072 525 4615, email: firstname.lastname@example.org