Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister, Barbara Creecy says hunting, self-drive visits to private or public game reserves and national parks, as well as recreational fishing is now permitted under lockdown level 3.
A guide directing marine and freshwater fisheries, forestry and biodiversity sectors, have been gazetted in terms of the Disaster Management Regulations published on 29 April.
SANParks, the body responsible for managing South Africa’s national parks, is expected to publish a list of access-controlled parks that will be opened to visitors in the coming days.
Visitors to the national parks are advised to book and pay online before going on a game drive.
Minister Creecy says, “Besides staff returning to work, deep cleaning of the offices and public facilities have started. Additional work will be done by rangers and conservationists, including cutting back of trees and removing logs from roads.”
She said the public will be given seven days’ notice of its reopening for self-drive excursions once compliance requirements are met and parks are declared safe for visitors.
“All the usual protocols concerning social distancing, hand-sanitising and wearing of masks will apply at all times,” Creecy stressed.
“While we understand that many nature lovers are keen to get back to our national parks and game reserves, it would be prudent to wait until the relevant authorities are comfortable with their state of preparedness to welcome visitors.”