A bridge over the dramatic gorges and waterways of the Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape is proposed.
SANParks policy of balancing commercialisation with its vital conservation function has evolved over the years. A SANParks document links the need to investigate partnerships with the private sector with the demands of democratic South Africa.
The theme of “Connecting to Society” is something that SANParks has recently elevated and PPPs can be a method that allows for better connections to society. One of the articulated goals of SANParks is to achieve tourism that maximises the benefits to local communities, minimises negative social or environmental impacts and helps local people conserve fragile cultures, habitats and species.
- Local economic development
The park already offers a variety of accommodation options (camp sites, chalets and family cottages) and it is a very popular destination for anyone venturing along the Orange River.
Spectacular sunsets are very much part of the visitor experience and an array of lights is switched on at 8pm. Night drives can be arranged. The Quiver Tree Shop and Restaurant serves the needs of visitors and campers and there are three swimming pools. Several hikes are available and mountain bikes can be used in the park.
The typically hot weather means that many animals shelter during the day, making game-viewing a night-time activity at Augrabies. Giraffes and antelope in the park like to move about after dark as do several hunters such as the African wild cat, bat-eared fox, free-tailed bat, aardwolf and the small spotted genet. Leopards are present, but a sighting by day or night is rare.
Some animals have adapted to survive extreme high and low temperatures. The yellow mongoose, the slender mongoose and the rock dassie are among the smaller animals that make use of every bit of shade available as well as burrows and rock crevices.
A suspension bridge will create an even more dramatic experience for visitors if they are able to cross from one side of the ravine to the other via a suspension bridge.
South African National Parks (SANParks) runs the park and is interested in working with private investors to create such a facility. A public-private-partnership (PPP) is envisaged.
Potential investors interested in this opportunity, please send an introduction message to SANParks, here: