A recent outbreak of Covid-19 at Lower Sabie rest camp in the Kruger National Park (KNP) has revived allegations of non-compliance at the park’s Berg-en-Dal rest camp.
The allegations have since been refuted by South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesperson Isaac Phaahla.
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would move from lockdown level 1 to amended level 3, SANParks acting chief executive Xola Mkefe reassured that all day and overnight guests were still welcome, provided they abided by Covid-19 regulations such as wearing masks, social distancing and regular sanitising.
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He also said the park would continue with “limiting face-to-face contact between staff and guests”, and that aside from opening and closing gate times changing, overnight reservations were unaffected by the shift in regulations.
Despite assurances, allegations emerged the Berg-en-Dal rest camp was not adhering to Covid-19 regulations. There were reports of no sanitising stations, no mask wearing and little social distancing.
When asked about the allegations, Phaahla said SANParks was made aware of them, and initiated investigations.
“We did our internal investigations and found them to be untrue,” he confirmed to The Citizen.
The Lower Sabie camp could reopen as early as 28 January, Phaahla said, adding that a plan was in place to inspect the camp and conduct contact tracing from Sunday.