BEFORE causing damage to the stunning landscape, visitors must become familiar with the norms and regulations of the national parks.
This is in response to a recent event that occurred at Sossusvlei in the Namib Naukluft Park, where tire marks were discovered in one of the smaller pans instead of Deadvlei, as may have been believed.
Ministry of Environment spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said that they have come across disturbing trends where visitors to their national parks drive recklessly in restricted areas.
Muyunda said the marks clearly indicate that the culprits were spinning, and the ministry suspects they were on motorbikes.
“In recent months, we have also observed vandalism of infrastructure, where some visitors to the park removed poles demarcating restricted areas,” he said.
He added that the ministry strongly condemns these actions in their national park.
Muyunda indicated that off-road driving or driving in restricted areas is not allowed in all the national parks. Sossusvlei and the Namib Naukluft Park are no exceptions to this, especially considering the fact that Sossusvlei is a World Heritage site.
Muyunda stressed that consistent and regular patrols are done at Sossusvlei, but that the size of the area makes it impossible to be everywhere at all times.
Muyunda urged visitors to the national parks to always adhere to park rules and regulations, which are mainly meant to assist in the preservation of the country’s pristine landscape and other natural resources.
He stressed that the rules are also to ensure the safety of visitors and minimise the risks associated with restricted activities.
He indicated that the ministry will try to rehabilitate the affected area.
Muyunda then appealed to members of the public to bring information that may assist in identifying the culprits or have them come forward.