As lockdown rules are eased, Mandy Latimore encourages South Africans to support their national parks by booking a holiday
With the latest announcement that leisure and interprovincial travel will be allowed, I decided to do a quick survey of Rolling Inspiration readers to see if anyone is currently or plans to travel over the December holidays.
The results were a little disappointing; however, it looks like there are one or two brave souls who are travelling currently and are making plans for December. Most agreed that if they travel, they will stay in either self-catering units or a bed-and-breakfast as this is a safer option when compared to group travel. Another response was that they will stay in wheelchair-friendly accommodation that they already know and is within their budget.
I am desperate to visit the bush and can’t wait to get out of Gauteng for a good bush getaway! For this reason, I have looked at the good value-for-money options with the national parks.
So, why not think about booking a weekend away, or even a day trip to your nearest park so that you can refresh your soul?
Here’s some info from the directive with regards to leisure travel: “Accommodation facilities will be allowed to open for leisure purposes. However, no more than two people may share a room, with the exceptions of a ‘nuclear family’.” While there was initially confusion around what a “nuclear family” includes, the directive now explicitly states that this includes family members or caregivers living in the same household.
The South African National Parks are in desperate need of visitors to be financially viable. For those who want to support the national parks, here’s the list so you can choose one and have a great getaway:
- Ai-Ais Richtersveld Trans Frontier Park
- Agulus National Park
- Addo Elephant
- Bontebok National Park
- Camdeboo National Park
- Golden Gate
- Garden Route National Park
- Karoo National Park
- Mountain Zebra National Park
- Tankwa Karoo National Park
- Table Mountain National Park
- West Coast National Park
Please visit the following website to look at what the various parks have to offer with regards to nature and facilities for persons with disabilities when you make your reservation: www.sanparks.org. For accessibility info, go to the “Where to Stay” tab and select the “Electronic Brochures” option. Select and download the “People with Disabilities Brochure”.
The directive also confirms that “guided tours are permitted as part of the opening up of the tourism industry. The regulations state that a person conducting a tour must keep a record of the full names, identity number or passport number, and cell phone numbers of the people taking part in the guided tour.” The person giving the guided tour must also:
- Not allow a person to the tour if that person is not wearing a cloth mask or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth;
- Ensure that every person involved in the tour wears a mask at all times except when eating or drinking;
- Sanitise persons involved in the tour before they enter a tour vehicle, rail, or boat;
- Ensure that during guided activities that require walking, a social distance of one and a half metres is maintained at all times among persons involved in the tour;
- Ensure that the loading capacity of guided tour vehicles and other modes of public transport complies with the directions issued by the minister of transport.
So, be brave and plan a safe outing or trip! I’m definitely going to find a new bush retreat that I haven’t experienced as yet and use the next long weekend to recharge my souls’ batteries in the bush. We cannot stay cooped up forever! Safe travels!
Mandy Latimore is a consultant in the disability sector in the fields of travel and access. email: firstname.lastname@example.org