Kruger National Park hopes for competitive edge with R370m facilities upgrade

John Maytham talks to managing executive of the Kruger National Park, Gareth Coleman, about the park's R370 million renovation it will undergo over the next three years.

The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced on Monday that the Kruger National Park will receive a R370 million upgrade to its facilities over the next three years.

Managing executive of the Kruger National Park, Gareth Coleman, chats to John Maytham about the planned renovations. Scroll up to listen to the interview.

The refurbishment project will be allocated for the revamping of accommodation facilities and amenities that have suffered infrastructure damage due to termites and fires.

This includes rebuilding the Leteba shop which was set ablaze in September 2020 as well as fixing the Lower Sabie petrol station which also recently burnt down.

Coleman says the renovations are a long-awaited project that the Kruger National Park needs in order to compete successfully in the tourism market.

Certainly, in terms of some of the infrastructure managed by SANParks, there's a need to look and update it to be able to compete more effectively with some of our private sector partners.

Gareth Coleman, Managing executive of the Kruger National Park

Coleman adds that the Kruger National Park is still struggling to return to full business capacity prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but says in comparison to their private partners located in the cities, the park has performed really well.

He adds that occupancy has remained around 65% to 70% which has outperformed a lot of other competitors.

We're not back to those 2019 occupancy rates of 80% to 90%, well certainly the peak seasons, but we have been incredibly fortunate, in terms of the tourism operation, compared to a lot of our private partners who might have been in the cities.

Gareth Coleman, Managing executive of the Kruger National Park

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