Media Release: Orpen Entrance Gate moves to new site
The acting Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Mr Abe Sibiya officially opened the new R2,2-million Orpen Entrance Gate facility on Thursday December 4, 2008. Officiating at his first public event, Mr Sibiya stressed that the new facility, which includes new boom-style entrance gates and a day visitors’ centre, was a huge investment into the local tourism industry.
“This new entrance gate is a significant investment into the area. It is a fact that the Kruger National Park is a major player in the local tourism industry and we believe that investments like this will certainly play a major role in the tourism industry in this area, which includes areas like Klaserie, Acornhoek and Hoedspruit,” he said.
The R2,2-million upgrade includes a R688 000 day visitors’ centre and the R1,4-million entrance gate complex, which includes extensive work to the approach road, a filling station, the entrance gate reception building and a new “boom”-style entrance gate. The boom-style entrance gate makes it easier for guests who are in possession of Wild Cards to gain access into the park without having to leave their vehicles. Orpen is the second KNP gate to receive these revolutionary boom gates after Phalaborwa Entrance Gate received its boom gates during 2007.
Mr Sibiya further explained that the new complex has already succeeded in its goal of benefiting the local communities in a number of ways.
“Firstly, an emerging contractor called LSW Civils & Projects was involved in the construction of this facility and I am told this company employed up to 48 local workers in order to build this facility. Secondly, the new entrance gate with its boomgates has dictated to us that we needed to increase our staff complement at this facility. Thus an additional nine positions were created for permanent employment. Thirdly, we have decided to locate the filling station outside the actual gate, which will mean that people from the local areas can actually make use of this facility. And finally, the other benefit for the local communities is that you now have a place on your doorstep that you can also use for relaxation,” Mr Sibiya explained.
The new Orpen Entrance Gate is situated about a kilometre to the west of Orpen Rest Camp in the Nyakeni Region of the KNP and offers access to large portions of the central area of the park, including the game-rich areas around Satara Rest Camp and Talamati Bush Camp. Other tourist facilities in the area include Tamboti Tented Camp, Maroela Camp and Caravan Site and Orpen Rest Camp itself, which has also been upgraded over the last few years and now includes a swimming pool and upgraded accommodation units.
Orpen Entrance Gate also provides access to various private camps in the area, including the SANParks-managed Roodewal Private Camp and various private concession camps, including Imbali and Singita.
In closing, Mr Sibiya urged the members of the local communities to use the new facilitities: “You may utilise this day visitors’ site for your family outings and you may also use Orpen Entrance Gate to gain access into your natural heritage, which is called the Kruger National Park,” he concluded.
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com
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