Media Release: Marakele National Park safe following fire
South African National Parks (SANParks) said in a statement today that tourists planning to visit the Marakele National Park in Thabazimbi this week are free to book and make use of the park following a fire blaze in the mountainous area of the park.
According to the Marakele National Park spokesperson, Reynold Thakhuli a preliminary report indicates that only 20% of the 67 000 hectares of land has been destroyed by the fire that started on Sunday, 23 September 2012. “All we know is that the fire originated from the eastern side of the park, closer to a power cable supplying electricity to the communication mast, however at this stage we are not sure what sparked the fire on that cable as lighting only occurred earlier in the week not on Sunday.”
Thakhuli said a helicopter has been dispatched to assist the ground team of about 80 people (including park staff and two teams from the Working on Fire – an Expanded Public Works Programme stationed in Marakele National Park).
“We are thankful that no deaths or damage to property occurred up to this far as most of the animals and tourism infrastructure are in the plains of the area and not in the mountains.”
He said the park is applying adequate measures to protect the infrastructure in the area with the help from the Working for Fire personnel stationed at the park. “Hence we would like to inform members of the public and visitors to the park that it is safe to book accommodation in Marakele National Park as the fire was only in the mountainous area of the park.”
Bookings at the Park camps (Tlopi tented and Bontle Camps) are still open and visitors can still make use of the facilities, concludes Thakhuli.
For information on SANParks bookings call central reservation on 012 428 9111 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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