South African National Parks has welcomed the approval of a new 240-bed Kruger National park hotel. The proposed Radisson Blu Safari Resort will be a full-service facility constructed on the border of the park at the Malelane Gate Precinct.
The 240-bed facility is said to break the mould of the general perception of a hotel, featuring all the “bells and whistles” of a city hotel, but with the development characteristics falling in line with the hallmark SANParks environmental ambiance that will form a complementary adjunction with its surroundings.
The lodge aims to serve above the traditional self-catering market in order to appeal to international visitors that are usually accustomed to resort-style accommodation in national parks around the world.
There is a growing demand for a product that provides a full service in addition to the safari experience of the park. Kruger currently offers self-catering facilities throughout the park, which are hugely popular but fall short in meeting the needs of the emerging market.
Development is in line with the peripheral development policy, which allows for development on the outskirts of the park rather than within the park, where there is greater risk of ecological impact. This allows for 24 hour access and eliminates the undesirable prospect associated with late arrivals.
SANParks says that all applicable environmental scrutiny has been applied independently and all EIA’s are reflecting the ecological feasibility of the development. In fact, it should be noted that the total development footprint in the Kruger National Park is still less than 4% making it a national park with the lowest development footprint in the world.