The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) is pleased to announce that accommodation at its various nature reserves will open for leisure travelers with effect from 07 August 2020. Tour operators with guided tours in Open Safari Vehicles (OSVs) will be permitted to operate as soon as the regulations pertaining to their operations are gazetted. 

This follows the announcement made by the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on the easing of regulations for Alert Level 3 lockdown as it relates to the tourism industry. 

“All accommodation facilities that will open include the concessions at the Manyeleti and Songimvelo nature reserves. The various nature reserves will continue to provide self-drives, hiking, fishing and hunting activities. At the moment, the nature reserves that are used as quarantine sites are not available for accommodation bookings but are open for self-drives and OSVs. No picnic or swimming sites will be open except for the use of the ablution facilities. We encourage all game drives to be booked and prepaid for through our central reservations office”, said Mr. Johannes Nobunga, CEO of MTPA. 

We would like to remind all our visitors that as per the announcement made by the Minister of Tourism, overnight accommodation will only be allowed for intra-provincial travel only, that is only the residents of the province will be allowed to make bookings and access the nature reserves. Overnight guests as well as day visitors will be required to provide proof of residence when making a booking as well as during check in. No more than two people will be allowed per accommodation facility except for parents and children. 

“We, the MTPA management and the concessionaires at our reserves have been working tirelessly to ensure that we prepare thoroughly for the expected arrivals of guests to these nature reserves. It is our responsibility to ensure that as we open our nature reserves for overnight stays, self-drives, hiking, fishing as well as hunting, we continue to follow strict health protocols to safeguard both our staff and guests”, explained Nobunga. 

It is important to note that we are still on Lockdown, Alert Level 3. As such, we are still required to comply fully with the set regulations, which states that group activities are prohibited. While visiting the nature reserves, guests will be required to wear their face masks at all times, maintain social distance and follow the necessary directives relating to transport capacity. The regulations set by the Department of Transport in terms of 70% vehicle capacity for self-drives will still apply. We appeal to our visitors to adhere to these guidelines to avoid disappointment upon arrival at the gate. 

We would like to encourage those intending to visit our nature reserves to make the necessary bookings prior through our central reservations office on or +27 13 759 5432 and verify the gate entry times. 

“We look forward to welcoming back those nature lovers who have been eager to return and explore the natural wonders that Mpumalanga has to offer. We appeal to our guests to always be safe and comply with the health and safety protocols that have been put in place. The safety of our guests and staff is important to us”, said Nobunga. 


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