Dinokeng Game Reserve set to become a major tourist attraction
We are delighted that it has finally opened its doors in spite of challenges. We believe that this project will have significant benefits for the local economy and will quickly become an iconic tourism destination in Gauteng. - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane
After a long wait, the Dinokeng Game Reserve was officially opened earlier today. The reserve promises to become popular attraction for visitors to the Gauteng province.
The official opening by Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane coincided with the introduction of lions to the Dinokeng Game Reserve. Premier Mokonyane said that there is no doubt that this Gauteng wildlife attraction will provide benefits for the local economy and visitors to the region: 'We are delighted that it has finally opened its doors in spite of challenges. We believe that this project will have significant benefits for the local economy and will quickly become an iconic tourism destination in Gauteng.’
The Dinokeng Game Reserve is an initiative led by the Department of Economic Development and the Dinokeng Game Reserve Management Association. The reserve covers 18 500 hectares and is easily accessible from both Pretoria and Johannesburg. Plans are that one day this stretch of land will boast the Big 5.
This game reserve has a wealth of wildlife and game including rhino, leopard, hippo, crocodile, giraffe and a range of antelope species, as well as over 300 bird species. Lions are the 3rd species of the Big 5 to be introduced. White rhinoceros and leopard were introduced in 2009 and elephants will be introduced into the reserve in November this year. There are also plans to introduce buffalo into the Dinokeng Game Reserve at a later stage.
It is hoped that the reserve will have a major impact on tourism to the region. There are currently over 50 establishments in the Dinokeng area. These include 5-star game lodges, B&Bs, guest houses and a number of restaurants.
‘The opening of the Dinokeng Game Reserve will stimulate economic growth and create much needed job opportunities in the area,’ said Premier Mokonyane.
The Dinokeng Game Reserve is open to the public from 24 September 2011. Gates are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It must be noted that the reserve is not a self-drive game reserve and the public is expected to book through private tourism providers.