Buses take Kruger to

8 February 2005

The Executive Director of the Kruger National Park (KNP), Dr Bandile Mkhize took delivery of two donated buses for its "Take Kruger to Kasie Project" on 4 February 2005. The two specially equipped Mercedes Benz Sprinter training buses have been donated by Shell South Africa via the voluntary organisation, the Honorary Rangers.

The KNP's People and Conservation Department will use the two buses to spread the message of conservation and environmental education to the communities living along the boundaries of the KNP.

With slide shows and videos of what the KNP has to offer shown on specially fitted screens and television sets, these buses will assist the KNP's People and Conservation Department in its vital task of "taking the park to the people".

The buses will not only provide the local communities with direct access to information on what the KNP has to offer, but will also promote tourism. The KNP's environmental education and cultural heritage programmes will also be communicated as well as the possible economic empowerment opportunities to the communities involved.

"Thanks to the sterling efforts of the Honorary Rangers from the Johannesburg region and the generosity of companies like Shell, we will be able to deliver on our mission of making the Kruger National Park accessible to all South Africans," Dr Mkhize said.

The "Take Kruger to Kasie Project" is an innovative awareness campaign targeting the communities adjacent to the KNP in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces for the first two years, after which the effort will be extended into other provinces.

"Shell South Africa is very pleased to be such an integral part of this project," says Mr Linda Ntombela of Shell's External Affairs Department, "because we consider this kind of outreach education essential for developing a culture of caring for the environment." Shell Retail's Mr Vernon Johnson, who was instrumental in arranging the donation, said that the buses have been specially refurbished for this project. "Our hope is that they will be reliable and safe training vehicles for many years to come," he said.

The buses will visit community centres, shopping malls and other areas in the kasies (townships) where members of the community gather.

Kruger National ParkRaymond Travers

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