CRA Travel & Entertainment News – South Africa
By Sisonke Mlamla
Cape Town – The Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) has finally been opened up to visitors for self-drive excursion, according to the South African National Parks (SANParks).
Chief executive Fundisile Mketeni said SANParks used the time to prepare for the expected arrival of guests.
He said they appreciated that after three months of confinement, the public was keen to engage with nature and enquiries from their loyal visitors were encouraging.
“We are obligated to ensure that the opening of our national parks for self-drive excursions is done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests.”
TMNP spokesperson Lauren Clayton said a maximum of 250 vehicles a day would be allowed daily, with no more than 75 vehicles allowed in at any time.
“The daily quota could be revised in terms of compliance with the lockdown regulations,” she said.
Clayton said daily operating hours were between 8am and 4pm.
“A Covid-19 health-related questionnaire is to be completed upon arrival at the gates, as well as mandatory temperature screenings being done by our staff.”
She said visitors with a temperature screening of 37.4ºC and above would not be allowed access.
“Wearing masks is compulsory. No mask, no entry,” she said. “Permitted activities include self-drive vehicles limited to three persons per vehicle of the same household, and motorbikes limited to one person per bike only.
“Prohibited activities such as surfing, cycling, fishing, hiking/walking, trail running, launching of vessels, braaiing and picnicking are not permitted as per Covid-19 alert level 3 regulations.”
Clayton said Olifantsbos and Bordjiesrif roads, the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre, restaurant, shops, the funicular and accommodation facilities within the Cape of Good Hope section remained closed.
Andricus van der Westhuizen, the DA Western Cape spokesperson on environmental affairs and development planning, said reopening was a good move.
“I am in full support of recreational activities that will not lead to increased exposure to infections by the virus.”
However, people must “please not undertake these activities with people other than those with whom they already share living spaces”.
Cape Town Tourism chief executive Enver Duminy said: “It really is fantastic to see tourism businesses slowly but surely opening up across Cape Town.
“The latest announcement about Cape Point opening for self-drive excursions, and the excitement around this announcement, just goes to show that people are, in fact, itching to travel and explore once again.
“We are hopeful that this gradual opening of attractions, along with our bounce-back efforts and the work done by the City of Cape Town, will mean a quick return of travel, even intra-provincially, and that many of those who benefit both directly and indirectly from tourism will once again reap the benefits of this industry.”
Clayton encouraged guests to adhere to the speed limits within the park and to take pictures only from their vehicle, in the designated areas.
“Everything as we knew it has been changed by Covid-19, therefore we are requesting guests to adhere to all official alert level 3 regulations.”
Credit to Cape Argus