Plans for the movement of the Orpen Gate from its present position to a new location several kilometres back along the tar road are proceeding slowly. An Environmental Impact Assessment process was begun late last year, but was temporarily halted while the Kruger National Park (KNP) waited for Roads Agency Limpopo to deproclaim the road. Verbal confirmation of the deproclamation was received in March, but plans were delayed while the notice went to be printed in the government gazette.
Architects have been approached to make a design for the new gate, but the design apparently required some modification. A new version is expected shortly. Once all the necessary legal issues pertaining to the deproclamation of the road have been dealt with, the environmental impact (EI) process will proceed. More than one site for the exact position of the gate will be considered, but all potential sites lie within a few hundred metres of each other. The most practical site should be established by the EI process.
It is envisaged that the final scoping report could be produced within a relatively short period of time after the EI process is resumed. Many potential problems that neighbouring landowners may have had with the new gate have already been addressed by the road deproclamation process. In the meanwhile, upgrading of the Orpen rest camp is well underway.
Despite it being a busy period with many dedicated Orpen visitors coming to stay at the camp, the bungalows are being renovated. Work on the day visitors’ centre and the administration building is proceeding well, with construction on the administration building having risen above window height.