New Kruger Park Hotel: I can just imagine the road kill

2013-10-07 14:00
News24 Reader Gerhard Smit shares his opinion on the contentious hotels proposed the Malelane and Skukuza Rest Camp. Have  story to share? email us on info@news24travels.com and you could be published on News24 Travel.

"It has been reported that SANParks intend building hotels in the KNP, one 10 kms from the Malelane Gate and another in the Skukuza Rest Camp.

The hotel at Malelane (Malelane Safari Resort) will have 24/7 access, can anyone imagine the increased road kills while shuttling guest to and fro the parking area at Malelane and the hotel at the Timfenhene site on the banks of the Crocodile River.

The hotel site is directly opposite the only nesting site of the endangered Pel’s fish owl along the Crocodile River.

The planned site is also on an area where the critically endangered Swazi Impala lilies occur; there are also sodic pans on the site where game have for centuries supplemented their mineral intake.

The southern of the area of the KNP is already congested by traffic during peak periods.

Hotels are not part of what one would expect in a Conservation area, they would rather vorm part of a holiday resort.

If there is a requirement for hotels which SANParks could up to now not prove, there is ample space just outside the KNP close to the Malelane access gate which could provide the same facilities and job opportunities mentioned by Mr. Phillips.

There already are seven concession areas in the KNP who offer the facilities mentioned, these facilities have an occupation rate of 40%, there is also ample accommodation available in the KNP rest camps which could possibly be upgraded to the requirement of the guests who require additional facilities and comfort, the restaurants and cafeterias in the existing rest camps could also improve their service and offerings to satisfy these requirements.

SANParks have indicated that they expect to earn about R800 000 per annum from the hotel, this is a pittance compared to the sacrifice made from a nature/bio-diversity point of view.

No financial justification could up to now be made available from either the developer or SANParks that this venture would be financially viable, who will be responsible for the rehabilitation of the site if the planned hotel shuts down after a while.

NO to Hotels in the KNP, the KNP is a Conservation Area not jus another holiday resort."

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