Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) walked away with three major wins at this year’s South African National Parks Frontier Region awards evening in Graaff-Reinet.
The awards take place annually, and give recognition to individuals, teams and parks for outstanding service in the previous financial year. The Frontier Region is made up of the Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra National Parks. The awards bestowed were for excellent performance during the 2015/16 financial year.
AENP’s Matyholweni Rest Camp, situated alongside the N2 near Colchester/Sundays River, won the award in the category: Best Performing Rest Camp of the Year. The small, yet efficient team were behind an outstanding financial year, finishing 21% above budget.
Their conservation/day entry fees revenue was 29% above budget and tourism revenue was 14% above budget, resulting in a net profit of 30% above budget. The team also boasted with a Customer Satisfaction Index of 85.2% – notwithstanding the fact that they were without a Duty Manager and with only six permanent staff members over the period.
The Park’s second win came in the form of the Best Performing Business Unit award, which went to the Game Drives team. This highly efficient and profitable business unit plays a significant role in generating very important net revenue for both the Frontier Region and SANParks as a whole.
A revenue of 6% above budget was achieved during the financial year, with a net profit of 4.6% above budget. Last year they were ranked second among all the national parks in the category “Highest Activities per 100 Overnight Guests”, while they came out tops in the camp category nationally.
The biggest win of the night, though, was the award for Best Performing Park of the Year. Park Manager, Mzwandile Mjadu, accepted the award on behalf of his entire staff. AENP stood out in the region after it showed excellent performance in the three core business areas of SANParks during 2015/16: Conservation – without major incidents and proudly able to call itself home to the Big 7. Tourism – welcoming over 230 000 guests through its gates during the period. People & Conservation – exposing more people to the park on a daily basis.
Five individual awards were bestowed on staff members in the following categories: Excellent Performance in the Workplace – Ayandisa Donkrag (Finance) and Sweetness Sinyongo (Tourism) and Regional Manager’s Awards – Cheryl Momberg (Finance), John Adendorff (Conservation) and John Brudini (Technical).