People with disabilities who visit the Kruger National Park will from now have a full view of the beauty of fauna and flora. This after SANParks unveiled four vehicles that will cater for people with disabilities at the Kruger National Park.

The game drive vehicles, fitted with equipment to allow people with disabilities to view game like any other visitor, came at a cost of R750 000 each.

Nature lovers visiting the Kruger National Park are always anxious to have a glimpse of the Big Five: Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino. But, it is rare that you will, in such a short time, be able to see them all. However, for a better view of game you need to book any of the offered game drives.

In the past, some of the visitors with disabilities were deprived that opportunity. Most of the game drive vehicles were not accommodative.  From now on, they will enjoy the game drives like any other visitors in the park.

Launching the vehicles at Skukuza camp, near the Kruger Gate, south west of the park, Marula Region manager, Lucy Nhlapho says the park saw a need to introduce such facilities.

“We felt that it is not a good thing, we are not being sensitive enough and that we need also to be sensitive to people who are mobility challenged so that they can actual come and view game just like any other ordinary people of South Africa. Usually a vehicle of this type will accommodate 22 people on it, but this vehicle will only accommodate 14 plus two people sitting on the wheelchairs if they wish to sit on their wheelchairs.”

The park has also added another tourist offering. The first of its kind facility in the park is a Muslim prayer area. One is situated at the Skukuza camp and the other at Lower Sabie camp on the southern part of Kruger National Park.

Park general manager Glenn Phillips says many years of negotiations and planning with their stakeholders have finally yielded good results.

“We were approached firstly in 2009 about looking into a facility for Muslim believers who needed a specific area to utilise in a manner that was not embarrassing to other tourist. Currently part of the culture is that they need to wash their feet, faces and the hands. That has been done in normal ablution facilities offered to all tourists and some tourists complained about that so we thought, you know, listen to what being said Listening to the Muslim community who are visiting us more and more it has growth in that market. Let’s provide these facilities.”

As the festive season is upon us, many people planning to get out of the city and refresh. Tourist destinations like the Kruger National Park is one of the iconic parks that will offer every member of the society the peace and tranquility they need during this time.