Kruger National Park to be upgraded

The Kruger National Park is set to undergo some major upgrades. Image: Adobe Stock

SA’s jewel of the wild: Kruger National Park to get R370m makeover

South African National Parks (SANParks) has launched a R370m upgrade programme in the Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park to be upgraded

The Kruger National Park is set to undergo some major upgrades. Image: Adobe Stock

After two tumultuous years with reduced income from lower visitor flows and a devastating fire that resulted in much damage, the Kruger National Park is restoring itself to welcome visitors back.


International travel bans resulted in countries located in Southern Africa being isolated and deemed as high-risk areas for travellers to travel to.

A slump in demand for travel due to the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 resulted in huge financial losses for providers of tourism services across the globe.

Despite being one of the best wildlife parks in the world, the Kruger National Park was not spared.

“The decline in tourist revenues under COVID-19 has impacted our revenue but the need to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure is ever-present. The infrastructure programme will also help provide much-needed employment in the area,” said Kruger National Park managing executive Gareth Coleman in a statement.


SANParks has begun a three-year upgrade and refurbishment programme in the Kruger National Park. Some major projects will be undertaken this year, in an attempt to restore facilities that are in urgent need of restoration.

The projects prioritised for this year, include:

  • Rebuilding the Letaba Shop and Lower Sabie Petrol Station, which were destroyed by fire;
  • Reconstructing the Shingwedzi Main Building roof and viewing decks at Skukuza and Olifants Camp, which were damaged by termites;
  • Constructing a picnic spot, camping site and reception facility at the Shangoni Gate;
  • Upgrading entrance gates at Pafuri, Punda Maria, Orpen, Phabeni and Numbi;
  • Renovating more than 110 accommodation units across the park; and
  • Upgrading Sweni Trails Camp.

 “Contractors will move onsite during May and June and we will start seeing the results of these investments in the second half of 2022,” SANParks says.


Funding for the R370 million upgrade project was obtained predominantly from an Infrastructure Development Programme and allocated to SANParks from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment.

According to Tourism Update, funds have also been allocated for the upgrading of selected staff accommodation, the resurfacing of identified tar roads, and the re-gravelling of selected gravel roads.

ALSO READ: Happy landings at Skukuza: Allure of the ‘Prettiest Airport in the World’