Sanparks Prepare For Total Lunar Eclipse In March
According to the Sanparks website, the organisation is planning many activities to celebrate the total lunar eclipse that will occur on the 3/4 of March 2007. Golden Gate Highlands, Mapungubwe and Marakele national parks will be hosting astrology evenings with complete interpretation on offer from experts from Astronomy Africa and an unsurpassed viewing of the lunar eclipse as it occurs.
Invitation to participate is open to the public but bookings for accommodation should be done as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The star-gazing activity is free. There will be a cash bar available but essentially this is envisaged as a “bring and braai” evening under the stars. For more info rmation contact the parks directly or Priya Mudramuthoo on 012 426 5041 / 0824329922.
Did You Know – Colour Changing Animals
Animals that have the ability to change colour have special pigment-containing cells in their skin, known as chromatophores. Chromatophores are not restricted to chameleons, but are found in octopuses, squid, cuttlefish, crustaceans, insects, fish, frogs and toads, lizards and other species.
There are three main types of chromatophore, and what colour the animal is may be controlled by nerves or hormones or a combination of the two. The action of the nerves and hormones allows different pigments in the chromatophores to come to the surface, changing the animal’s colour.
(Source: Encyclopaedia Brittanica)
New Restaurant Concession Holder Announced
South African National Parks (Sanparks) announced a multi-million rand contract for the provision of restaurant services at the Kruger National Park (KNP), to the Compass Group on January 31, 2007. The announcement was made at the organisation’s headquarters in Pretoria following weeks of adjudication, which began with a tender process in April 2006.
This follows after Compass Group was appointed interim caretaker operators during the period November 2005 to date, replacing Nature’s Group as a temporary restaurant operator in the KNP after the liquidation of Vilayet (Pty) Ltd. its holding company, in November 2005.
A Sanparks team and a panel of experts from the tourism and related industries conducted the adjudication process and much focus was placed on the technical ability of the bidders as well as their empowerment and financial capabilities in accordance with the selection criteria. Five companies initially took part in the bidding process and after careful evaluation the Compass Group was short-listed for further negotiations and they were finally awarded the tender.
Congratulating the Compass Group, Sanparks chief executive Dr David Mabunda said the organisation was satisfied that the group complied with the requirements of the Sanparks supply chain management policy as well as the BEE tourism scorecard; and that the bid committee did not compromise any procedures in the sourcing process.
Dr Mabunda added that Sanparks was also satisfied with the Compass Group’s performance during its time as the interim caretaker operators. “We were really very impressed with Compass’ professionalism and conduct throughout this period. “We officially welcome you as our partners for the next 10 years and we are fully committed to making this partnership work,” said Dr Mabunda.
The chief executive officer of Compass South Africa and Compass SADC Andre Du Chenne said apart from this being the biggest food service contract ever awarded in terms of volume; the Park was a national treasure and it was a privilege for the group to do business with Sanparks, world renowned conservation giant.
“The KNP is a jewel in the crown of not only the country, but the planet. It is a great privilege that Sanparks has chosen us to help showcase it to all visitors to our country,” said Du Chenne. Dr Mabunda added that since the Kruger is the largest of the 22 national parks and the most popular holiday destination for nature lovers, this appointment will also streamline Sanparks’ broader preparation plans for the country’s 2010 hosting of the Soccer World Cup.