Mapungubwe National Park 2012


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Mapungubwe National Park 2012

  1. 1. i
  2. 2. AcknowledgementsThe authors would like to thank the following people and institutions:1. Staff at Tourism Research in Economic Environs and Society (TREES) at the North- West University for their assistance.2. Staff at South African National Parks, especially Glenn Phillips and Bheki Zwane, for financial assistance and support during the survey.3. Special thanks to the Park wardens for their cooperation and friendliness.4. All students involved in capturing the data.5. All visitors for completing the questionnaires.6. Mrs. Cecile van Zyl for the language editing. ii
  5. 5. LIST OF FIGURESFigure 4.1: Gender 4Figure 4.2: Home language 5Figure 4.3: Marital status 6Figure 4.4: Country of residence 7Figure 4.5: Level of education 8Figure 4.6: Income 9Figure 4.7: Transport 13Figure 4.8: Accompanying children 14Figure 4.9: Wild Card holder 14Figure 4.10: Decision to visit 16Figure 4.11: Trip initiator 17Figure 4.12: Conservation organisation member 20Figure 4.13: Animal popularity 21Figure 4.14: Animal economic value 21 LIST OF TABLESTable 3.1: Total number of questionnaires completed for 2007-2012 3Table 4.1: Language comparison (2007/08/09/12) 5Table 4.2: Age comparison (2007/08/09/12) 5Table 4.3: Province comparison (2007/08/09/12) 7Table 4.4: Level of education (Comparison of surveys 2007/08/09/12) 8Table 4.5: Number of people in group 10Table 4.6: Number of people paid for 10Table 4.7: Expenditure for 2007/08/09/12 11Table 4.8: First exposure 12Table 4.9: Transport comparison (2007/08/09/12) 13Table 4.10: Number of visits (day- and overnight visitors) over 3 years 15Table 4.11: Length of stay (2007/08/09/12) 15Table 4.12: Heard about the Park (2007/08/09/12) 18Table 4.13: Reasons for visiting the Park 19Table 4.14: Factors for game viewing experience 22Table 4.14: Level of service delivery 24Table 5.1: Profile of overnight visitors to Mapungubwe National Park 2007/08/09/12 26 v
  6. 6. MAPSMap 1: Mapungubwe National Park within a regional context 1 vi
  7. 7. 1. IntroductionOne thousand years ago, Mapungubwe in the Limpopo Province was the centre of thelargest kingdom on the African subcontinent, where a highly sophisticated people tradedgold and ivory with China, India and Egypt. The Iron Age site, discovered in 1932, buthidden from public attention until only recently, has been declared a World Heritage Siteby the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).Internationally, there are 812 World Heritage sites in 137 countries. Africa has 65 sites, andSouth Africa has seven – three cultural, three natural and one mixed. Mapungubwe wasadded to the World Heritage List in September 2003. Following months of preparationsand construction, South African National Parks (SANParks) officially opened South Africasnewest Park to the public on Heritage Day, 24 September 2004. Previously known asVhembe Dongola National Park, Mapungubwe National Park is situated near Musina(Messina), northeast of Polokwane (Pietersburg), the capital of the Limpopo Province. It islocated at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. The new Park comprisesboth the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site inan area covering well over 28 000 hectares. The Park recently opened a new interpretivecentre.Plant life and scenery consist of sandstone formations, Mopani woodlands and uniqueriverine forests and baobab trees. A rich variety of animal life, such as elephant, giraffe,white rhinoceros, eland, gemsbok and numerous other antelope species occur herenaturally. Map 1: Mapungubwe National Park within regional context 1
  8. 8. 2. Aims of the researchThis research undertaking had the following three primary aims:ℵ To determine the profile of overnight and day tourists visiting the Mapungubwe National Park;ℵ To determine the spending patterns of overnight tourists; andℵ To analyse trends and to make recommendations with regard to market segments. 3. Method of researchIn order to achieve the above-mentioned aims, the following approach was followed: Aquestionnaire for overnight visitors was developed focusing on the aspects below:ℵ Demographic data;ℵ Expenditure patterns;ℵ Reasons for visiting the Park;ℵ Consumer behaviour; andℵ Level of service.For the overnight visitors, the following approach was implemented:Based on convenience sampling, all tourists to the Park during the period of the surveyformed part of the survey. Camps were selected based on the size of the camps, thenumber of visitors, the number of days the team stayed in the Park, and the season. Thequestionnaires were distributed among the tourists staying in either the chalets or thecampsites. The survey was conducted between 27 April and 1 May 2012, and 42questionnaires were completed, which is the highest number to date. Only tourists (perdefinition) completed the questionnaire. For the purpose of this document, a tourist is aperson who makes an economic input with regard to any other area than that in whichhe/she generally lives and works or a tourist is a person who voluntarily visits a place, awayfrom his normal abode, for a period of at least 24 hours. Furthermore, in this report, anyreference to visitors or respondents implies tourists. 2
  9. 9. Table 3.1: Total number of questionnaires completed from 2007-2012 Overnight visitors Day visitors 2007 31 questionnaires formed part of this survey. 24 questionnaires formed part of this survey. (September) 2008 41 questionnaires formed part of this survey. 23 questionnaires formed part of this survey. (April) 2009 32 questionnaires formed part of this survey. Not part of 2009 survey (April) 2012 42 questionnaires formed part of this survey Not part of 2012 survey (April) 3
  10. 10. 4. Results of survey SECTION A: Socio-demographic4.1 GENDERAccording to Figure 4.1, the majority of respondents (63%) were males, followed by 37%females. This can because the head of the family or group was asked to complete thequestionnaire, which in most cases were male persons. Female 37% Male 63%Figure 4.1: Home language4.2 HOME LANGUAGEFifty-seven percent (57%) of respondents who visited Mapungubwe National Park (MNP)during April 2012 were Afrikaans speaking, while 36% were English speaking and 7% spokeother languages, which included French and Hebrew (see Figure 4.1). When comparingthe results of 2012 with that of the previous years, one can see a steady increase in thenumber of Afrikaans-speaking visitors and a decline in the number of English-speakingvisitors (Table 4.1). The researchers could find no particular reason for this. 4
  11. 11. 57% 36% 7% English Afrikaans OtherFigure 4.2: Home languageTable 4.1: Language comparison (2007/08/09/12)Language 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)English 40% 48% 44% 36%Afrikaans 30% 47% 50% 57%Other 30% 5% 6% 7%4.3 AGEThe largest percentage of respondents was between 50 and 64 years of age (45%). Thesecond highest age category was the category 35 to 49 years of age (41%), followed byrespondents who were older than 65 years of age (12%) (see Table 4.2). The average ageof visitors to Mapungubwe National Park in April 2012 was 52 years of age, which is higherthan that of the 2009 survey, but correlates well with 2007 and 2008’s average age. Thelower average age in 2009 is attributed to the fact that a student research group alsovisited the park during the time of the research.Table 4.2: Age comparison (2007/08/09/12)Age 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)<19 years - - - 2%20-24 years - 5% 22% - 5
  12. 12. 25-34 years 14% 15% 13% -35-49 years 44% 26% 37% 41%50-64 years 32% 36% 28% 45%65+ years 10% 18% - 12% Average age 46 years 49 years 39 years 52 years4.4 MARITAL STATUSThe majority of respondents (89%) were married (Figure 4.3), followed by 5% who weresingle and 2% who were respectively living together, divorced or widowed. 89% 5% 2% 2% 2% Single Married Living together Divorced Widow/erFigure 4.3: Marital status4.5 COUNTRY OF RESIDENCEThe majority of respondents (94%) were from South Africa (Figure 4.4), followed by 2% whowere respectively from Australia, France and Switzerland. 6
  13. 13. Australia 2% France 2% Switzerland 2% RSA 94%Figure 4.4: Country of residence4.6 PROVINCE OF RESIDENCESixty-nine percent (69%) of domestic tourists were from Gauteng and 10% from theWestern Cape. Eight percent (8%) were respectively from Limpopo and the North WestProvince and 5% were from Mpumalanga (see Table 4.3). Gauteng, therefore, remainsthe primary market for Mapungubwe National Park, as is the case at most other NationalParks in South Africa. The location of this park (close to Alldays and Muzina in the LimpopoProvince) must also be taken into consideration and therefore contributes to the fact thatmost of the visitors would likely be from the northern provinces of South Africa.Table 4.3: Province: comparison (2007/08/09/12)Province 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)Gauteng 67% 80% 50% 69%KwaZulu-Natal - - 8% -Eastern Cape - 3% - -Western Cape 6% 9% - 10%Northern Cape - - - -Limpopo 22% 6% 15% 8%Mpumalanga 5% - 12% 5%Free State - - - -North West - 2% 15% 8% 7
  14. 14. 4.7 LEVEL OF EDUCATIONFigure 4.5 indicates that all the visitors (100%) to the MNP were well educated, with 30%respectively holding a diploma/degree or a professional qualification, followed by 25%who have a post-graduate qualification. Post-graduate Professional 25% 30% No school 0% Matric 15% Diploma, degree 30%Figure 4.5: Level of educationAs shown in Table 4.4, from the 2007 survey onwards, most visitors had a diploma/degree,followed by visitors with a post-graduate and professional qualification. It is thereforeapparent that people with secondary and tertiary qualifications realise the value ofvisiting the Park. When comparing 2012’s results to that of 2009, one can once againascribe the difference in the number of diplomas or degrees and the number ofrespondents that hold a professional qualification to the fact that students were staying inthe Park in 2009.Table 4.4: Level of education (Comparison of surveys 2007/08/09/12)Level of education 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)No school - - - -Matric 23% 8% 13% 15%Diploma/Degree 37% 42% 40% 30%Post-graduate 13% 21% 28% 25%Professional 32% 29% 19% 30%Other - - - - 8
  15. 15. 4.8 Annual gross incomeFifty-six percent (56%) of respondents earn more than R552 001 annually, followed by 18%who earn between R221 001 and R305 000, 12% between R140 001 and R221 000 and 9%between R431 001 and R552 000. Twelve percent (12%) earn between R140 001 and R221000, while only 2% earn less than R20 000 per annum. 56% 18% 12% 9% 2% 0% 3% < R20 000 R20 001- R140 001- R221 001- R305 001- R431 001- R552 001> R140 000 R221 000 R305 000 R431 000 R552 000Figure 4.6: Income 9
  16. 16. SECTION B: Economic impact4.9 Number of people in groupAccording to Table 4.5, 44% of respondents travelled in groups consisting of two persons,followed by groups of four (18%), three (15%) and groups of five (9%). The average size ofgroups to MNP was three persons (Table 4.5).Table 4.5: Number of people in travelling groupLevel of education 2012 (April)1 person 6%2 persons 44%3 people 15%4 people 18%5 people 9%6 people 6%7 people 3%Average 3 persons4.10 Number of people paid forTable 4.6: Number of people paid forLevel of education 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)0 people - 3% - 3%1 person 5% 8% 22% 5%2 persons 43% 64% 26% 51%3 people 5% 5% 11% 18%4 people 26% 17% 26% 13%5 people 5% - 4% 10%6 people 11% 3% 4% -7 people 5% - -Average 2.7 2.3 2.2 2.6 10
  17. 17. Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents were financially responsible for two persons whilevisiting MNP, while 18% were financially responsible for three people, 13% for four peopleand 10% for five persons. The average number of people who respondents werefinancially responsible for was 2.6 persons. The results correspond well with that of 2007.4.11 ExpenditureAs shown in Table 4.7, the average spending per group in April 2012 was R4 485.69, whichis much higher than the spending found in previous years’ surveys. Items with the highestspending included accommodation (R1 961.25), transport (R1 355.56), food (R553.33) aswell as entrance and conservation fees (R198.83). The higher spending per group can beattributed to the overall rising cost of living. A sharp increase in spending onaccommodation was experienced. The reason why is not clear, as the amount of timespent at the Park remained more or less similar to that of 2007/08/09.Table 4.7: Expenditure for 2007/08/09/12Items 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)Entrance & conservation R104.17 R131.83 R99.09 R198.83 ↑feeAccommodation R923.50 R1 568.34 R805.48 R1 961.25 ↑Restaurants R31.25 R17.07 R15.63 R58.61 ↑Food R225.83 R427.07 R355.64 R553.33 ↑Beverages R102.08 R241.95 R295 R266.17 ↓Tobacco products R12.50 R31.22 R9.67 -Clothing and footwear - R15.24 R9.38 R54.17 ↑Total transport R718.75 R762.80 R1293.74Transport to the Park R607.08 R681.22 R704.84 R1 355.56 ↑Transport at the Park R111.67 R81.59 R588.63Activities R106.67 R106.59 R209.22 -Medicine R39.58 R58.85 R33.13 -Toiletries R12.50 R32.93 R14.06 -Souvenirs and jewellery - R2.20 R3.13 R7.78 ↑Telephone, fax, Internet R0.42 - R2.20 - 11
  18. 18. Other: R76.09 R48.76 R108.50 R50.00 ↓Average spending per trip R2 353.34 R3 444.85 R3253.58 R4 485.69 ↑ SECTION C: Consumer profile4.12 Age of first exposure to a National ParkThe majority of respondents (46%) were 10 years or younger when they were exposed to anational park for the first time, followed by 27% who were between 11 and 20 years of ageand 16% who were between 21 and 30 years of age. The average age when respondentswere exposed to a National Park for the first time was 15 years (Table 4.8).Table 4.8: First exposureAge 2012 (April)0-10 years 46%11-20 years 27%21-30 years 16%31-40 years 11%Average age 15 Years4.13 Mode of transportFifty-six percent (56%) of respondents travelled to MNP in a 4x4, followed by 15% who useda 2x4 bakkie (pick-up) and 12% who respectively travelled in a leisure vehicle or a sedan.Only 5% of respondents travelled in a kombi. The results correlate well the previous years’studies where 4x4s were also the most commonly used mode of transport (Table 4.9).Parks such as Mapungubwe, Marakele, Kruger, Mountain Zebra and Addo Elephant andKgalagadi TFNP must be marketed as 4x4 destinations. 12
  19. 19. 56% 15% 12% 12% 5% 4x4 Kombi Leisure vehicle Sedan 2x4/bakkieFigure 4.7: TransportTable 4.9: Transport comparison (2007/08/09/12)Type of transport 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)4x4 66% 58% 56% 56%Kombi 4% 5% 6% 5%Leisure vehicle 4% 5% 3% 12%Sedan 26% 25% 9% 12%Other 0% 7% 13% 15%4.14 Accompanying childrenFifty-eight percent (58%) of respondents indicated that they did not have their childrenaccompany them to the Park, while 42% did. 13
  20. 20. No 58% Yes 42%Figure 4.8: Accompanying children4.15 Wild Card informationThe majority of respondents (68%) indicated that they were Wild Card holders, while 32%did not own a Wild Card (Figure 4.9). No 32% Yes 68%Figure 4.9: Wild Card holder 14
  21. 21. 4.16 Travel behaviour 4.16.1 Number of visits over three yearsHalf of the respondents (50%) did not visit MNP as day visitors during the preceding threeyears, followed by 38% who paid one visit and 6% who respectively visited the Park twiceand three times as day visitors. During this same period, 71% of the respondents visited thePark once as overnight visitors, 14% twice and 10% three times. The average number oftimes respondents visited the Park as day and overnight visitors over a three-year periodwas respectively once and twice (Table 4.10).Table 4.10: Number of visits (day- and overnight visitors) over 3 yearsNumber of visits Day visitors Overnight visitorsNone 50% -1 visit 38% 71%2 visits 6% 14%3 visits 6% 10%5 visits - 5%Average 0.7 visits 1.5 visits 4.16.2 Length of stayTable 4.11: Length of stay (2007/08/09/12)Length of stay 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)1 night 4% 10% 3% 3%2 nights 44% 18% 6% 11%3 nights 22% 39% 28% 24%4 nights 17% 10% 19% 37%5 nights 9% 20% 6% 16%6 nights - 3% - -7 nights 4% - 6% - 15
  22. 22. 8 nights - - - 3%<10 nights - - 31% 6%Average 3 Nights 3 Nights 5 Nights 4 NightsAccording to Table 4.11, 37% of respondents to MNP in April 2012 stayed for four nights,followed by respondents who stayed for three nights (24%), five nights (16%) and twonights (11%). The average length of stay in the Park was four nights. The length of stay is abit shorter than the 2009 survey. The fact that the survey was conducted over a longweekend, which was five days long, can influence this result. It is recommended thatfuture research must be conducted during the June holiday season to determine whetherthere will be any changes in this regard. 4.16.3 Decision to travel to ParkThe majority of respondents (67%) made the decision to visit MNP more than a month inadvance, followed by respondents who decided a month in advance (14%) and 7% whomade a spontaneous decision to visit the Park. Twelve percent (12%) of respondentsmade the decision to visit the Park at another point in time, which included a year or morethan a year in advance. 67% 14% 12% 7% Spontanious decision A month ago More than a month ago OtherFigure 4.10: Decision to visit 16
  23. 23. 4.16.4 Initiator of Park visitForty-three percent (43%) of respondents decided by themselves to visit the Park, followedby 29% of trips that were initiated by the respondents’ friends, 14% by their spouses and10% by their families. 43% 29% 14% 10% Self Friends Spouse FamilyFigure 4.11: Trip initiator4.17 Favourite animalIn this question, res pondents were asked to indicate whi ch animal is theirfavourite animal (r eferring to animals in any South African Nati onal Parks ).The following animals were the mos t p opular: ℵ Elephant (31%); ℵ Leopard (21%); ℵ Kori Bus tard (5%); ℵ Giraffe (5%); and ℵ Lion (5%). 17
  24. 24. 4.18 Heard about the ParkOver the years (with 2009 as exception), word-of-mouth has remained the most importantform of marketing for the Park, even in April 2012 (45%). This is followed by the steadygrowth in the importance of magazines to 33% in 2012. Websites (19%), SANParks’ website(14%), previous visits (12%) and television (10%) were less important sources of information.Internet blogs (7%), shows (5%), radio, Facebook and Twitter (0% respectively) were theleast successful forms of marketing for the Park. Other sources of information (7%) includedthe archaeological value of the Park as well as some respondents who knew about thePark, seeing as they live in close proximity to it.Table 4.12: Heard about the Park (2007/08/09/12)Source of information 2007 (September) 2008 (April) 2009 (April) 2012 (April)Website 16% 12% 28% 19%Friends (word-of-mouth) 21% 47% 25% 45%Television - - 3% 10%Magazines 13% 12% 25% 33%SANParks 21% 12% 56% 14%Shows 4% - 6 5%Radio - - - -Previous visits - 12% 16% 12%Facebook - - - -Twitter - - - -Internet blogs - - - 7%Other 25% 5% 13% 7%4.19 Reasons for visiting this ParkThis question sought the main motives for visiting Mapungubwe National Park. Theinformation gained can be used when developing marketing strategies for specificmarkets. The following reasons for staying at Mapungubwe National Park (Table 4.13) maybe considered as “important” to “extremely important”: ℵ To explore a new destination (91%) (This park’s accommodation opened in 2006); ℵ To relax (88%); ℵ The unique location of the Park (83%); ℵ To get away from my routine (83%); and 18
  25. 25. ℵ The Park has cultural and historical value (73%).One aspect was considered “less important” to “not important at all”: ℵ For the benefit of my children (51%).Table 4.13: Reasons for visiting the Park Not at all Slightly Very ExtremelyReasons important Important important Important importantTo get away from my 12% 5% 27% 22% 34%routineTo relax 5% 7% 22% 33% 33%To explore a new 7% 2% 7% 38% 46%destinationTo spend time with my 28% 12% 12% 24% 24%friendsFor the benefit of my 46% 5% 6% 17% 26%childrenPrimarily for educationalreasons (to learn things, 15% 25% 35% 15% 10%increase my knowledge)To photograph animals 13% 15% 33% 18% 21%and plantsIt is a spiritual experience 24% 13% 34% 11% 18%The Park has great 10% 18% 33% 21% 18%accommodation facilitiesThe Park has a variety ofaccommodation to 17% 30% 23% 18% 12%choose fromIt is value for money 7% 21% 41% 18% 13%The Park has cultural and 10% 17% 23% 30% 20%historical valueTo see the Big 5 28% 20% 25% 10% 17%The unique location of the 10% 7% 20% 35% 28%Park 19
  26. 26. 4.20 Member of conservation organisationThe majority of respondents (78%) indicated that they are not members of anyconservation organisation and they do not donate money to such organisations (Figure4.12). Only 22% do support conservation organisations, which included Birdlife, the CapeBird Club, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), the Flamingo Bird Club, and the Water andEarth Science Association (WESA). No 78% Yes 22%Figure 4.12: Conservation organisation member4.21 Animal popularity and economic valueRespondents were asked to rate five animals in the Park according to howpopular they feel these animals are and they were furthermore asked toprovide a Rand value in order to indicate how much they were willing topay in order to see these animals. Ac cording to Figures 4.13 and 4.14, thefollowing a nimals were the mos t p opular:1) Leopard (58%) worth R333.75;1) Lion (58%) wor th R271.25;2) Rhino (45%) worth R161.25;3) Elephant (44%) worth R81.00; and4) Buffalo (39%) worth R95.00. 20
  27. 27. Even though the leopard and lion had the same popularity rating (58%), theleopard still obtained the highest economic value (R333.75). The fact thattourists have a slighter possibility to s ee leopards might add to the fact tha tit was rated the highest. 58% 58% 44% 45% 39% Lion Elephant Buffalo Leopard RhinoFigure 4.13: Animal popularity R 333.75 R 271.25 R 161.25 R 81.00 R 95.00 Lion Elephant Buffalo Leopard RhinoFigure 4.14: Animal economic value.4.22 Factors contributing to game viewing experienceRespondents were asked to rate a variety of factors in order to determine to howimportant they are for a memorable game viewing experience (Table 4.14). Respondentsrated the following aspects as very important to extremely important: 21
  28. 28. ℵ The quietness and stillness that nature offers 86% ℵ Being able to see a specific animal that I 86% have never seen before ℵ The ambience 86% ℵ Surprises or things out of the ordinary 83% ℵ To spot scares species 80% ℵ Interaction between animals 79% ℵ To be able to spot animals without them 78% being aware of your presence ℵ Being able to clearly see the animal 78% ℵ Seeing things that you least expect 76%No factors were rated as slightly important to not at all important.Table 4.14: Factors for game viewing experienceFactors contributing to Not at all Slightly Very Extremely important Importantexperience important Important importantFirst-time sightings 2% 12% 20% 22% 44%Large numbers of 5% 7% 29% 29% 30%wildlifeVariety of species 5% 2% 22% 34% 37%Large numbers of a 5% 15% 39% 12% 29%speciesSurprises or things out of 2% 5% 10% 29% 54%the ordinarySeeing things that you 0% 7% 17% 24% 52%least expectExpectations that youare going to see 2% 15% 32% 27% 24%specific speciesThe drama unfolding innature, for example a 9% 7% 15% 27% 42%killThe close proximity to 5% 5% 24% 20% 46% 22
  29. 29. an animal (The closerthe better)Getting close todangerous animals, e.g. 7% 15% 30% 24% 24%buffaloTo have an eye-to-eyeexperience with 7% 10% 32% 24% 27%animalsThe quietness andstillness that nature 5% 2% 7% 22% 64%offersTo be able to spotanimals without them 0% 10% 12% 27% 51%being aware of yourpresenceTo be able to spendenough time at a 0% 6% 22% 29% 43%sighting to take it all inTo spot scarce species 0% 10% 10% 23% 57%To spot the Big Five, 7% 20% 22% 17% 34%where applicableTo be able to share theexperience with 2% 12% 13% 25% 48%someone specialBeing able to clearly 0% 7% 15% 34% 44%see the animalBeing able to see aspecific animal that I 2% 7% 5% 28% 58%have never seen beforeTo have enough time to 7% 9% 15% 32% 37%photograph wildlifeIt is a combination of 0% 5% 24% 39% 32%what a park has to offerThe mysterysurroundings and 2% 7% 30% 28% 33%animals contribute tomemorable experienceType of specie 0% 12% 37% 24% 27%Interaction between 0% 7% 14% 42% 37% 23
  30. 30. animals The ambience 2% 2% 10% 39% 47% 4.23 Level of service delivery In this question, respondents were asked to indicate level of service delivery pertaining to various aspects in the Park. Services considered as good to excellent were: ℵ Braai facilities at chalet/tent (70%); ℵ Friendliness and service of Park personnel (66%); and ℵ General maintenance of accommodation units (65%). No services were rated as poor to very poor. Many respondents did not make use of many of the services and therefore could not rate them. Service delivery in the Park is predominantly rated as fair, meaning that the Park’s services are average. It was interesting to note that the restaurant, which has only been operational for a couple of months, did not received very high ratings. This might be because not all were aware that it was operational, as 57% indicated “not applicable”. Table 4.15: Level of service delivery Very NotFACILITY Poor Fair Good Excellent poor applicableRestaurants 12% 7% 12% 5% 7% 57%Shops 23% 7% 10% 10% 2% 48%Directions 10% 12% 22% 22% 20% 14%Pamphlets/ 17% 4% 24% 14% 5% 36%Brochures (purchased)Free pamphlets/ 17% 17% 24% 15% 7% 20%brochures4x4 routes 2% 5% 22% 17% 10% 44%Laundry service 20% 2% 8% 10% 0% 60%Picnic sites 10% 4% 17% 17% 26% 26%Braai facilities at chalet/tent 2% 2% 14% 21% 49% 12%Friendliness and service of Park 2% 0% 15% 17% 49% 17% 24
  31. 31. personnelGeneral maintenance of 2% 2% 14% 19% 46% 17%accommodation unitsGeneral maintenance of facilities 4% 12% 10% 19% 43% 12%Adequate interpretation in the 7% 10% 17% 26% 14% 26%ParkAdequate activities in the Park 7% 7% 27% 19% 21% 19%Check-in process 12% 7% 17% 17% 37% 10%Sufficient information regardingcontact persons in case of 22% 12% 17% 15% 27% 7%emergencyInformation regarding attractions 10% 19% 27% 21% 21% 2%and activities in the ParkFriendliness and service at 4% 7% 17% 19% 41% 12%reception 25
  32. 32. 5. Conclusions and recommendations5.1 CONCLUSIONS: PROFILE OF THE VISITORSThe following table (Table 5.1) provides an overview of the profile of overnight visitors resulting from the surveys completed from 2007-2009 and 2012. Appropriate market segmentation will aid in the effectiveness of marketing strategies and effective use of financial andhuman resources.Table 5.1: Profile of overnight visitors to Mapungubwe National Park 2007/08/09/12CATEGORY OVERNIGHT: 2007 OVERNIGHT: 2008 OVERNIGHT: 2009 OVERNIGHT: 2012GENDER (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Male (63%)HOME LANGUAGE English and Afrikaans English and Afrikaans English and Afrikaans Afrikaans (57%)AGE 35-49 years of age 50-64 years of age 35-49 years of age 50-64 years of age (Average: 46) (Average:49) (Average:39) (Average:52)MARITAL STATUS Married Married Married Married (89%)PROVINCE OF RESIDENCE Gauteng Gauteng Gauteng GautengCOUNTRY OF RESIDENCE (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) South African (94%)LEVEL OF EDUCATION Well educated (72%) Well educated (92%) Well educated (87%) Well educated (100%)NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN TRAVELLING (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) 3 personsGROUPNUMBER OF PEOPLE PAID FOR 2 persons 2 persons 2 persons 3 personsANNUAL GROSS INCOME (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) R552 001> (56%) 26
  33. 33. MODE OF TRANSPORT 4x4 (66%) 4x4 (58%) 4x4 (56%) 4x4 (56%)AGE OF FIRST EXPOSURE TO A (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) 15 years averageNATIONAL PARKACCOMPANYING CHILDREN (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Yes (58%)WILD CARD INFO (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Yes (68%)NUMBER OF VISITS TO NATIONAL 7 times 4 times 3, 5 and 6 times, 1 visit as day visitors; 2PARKS OVER 3 YEARS respectively (13%) visits as overnight visitorsLENGTH OF STAY (average) 2 nights 3 nights 5 nights 4 nightsDECISION TO TRAVEL TO PARK (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Decided more than a month in advanceINITIATOR (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Self (43%)FAVOURITE ANIMAL (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Elephant (31%); Leopard (21%)REASONS FOR VISITING To explore a new To relax (90%) To explore a new To explore a new destination (76%) destination (93%) destination (91%); To relax (88%)MEMBER OF CONSERVATION (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) No (78%)ORGANISATIONANIMAL POPULARITY AND (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) 1) Leopard (R333.75);ECONOMIC VALUE 1) Lion (R271.25); 2) Rhino (R161.25)EXPENDITURE R2 353.34 per trip R3 444.85 per trip R3253.58 per trip R4485.69 per tripHEARD ABOUT THE PARK Friends and family (word- Friends and family (word- SANParks (58%) Friends (Word-of-mouth) of-mouth) (21%) of-mouth) (47%) Website (28%) (45%); Magazines (33%)FACTORS INFLUENCING GAME (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) The quietness and stillness 27
  34. 34. VIEWING EXPERIENCE that nature offers (86%); Being able to see a specific animal that I have never seen before (86%); The ambience (86%)LEVEL OF SERVICE DELIVERY (not measured) (not measured) (not measured) Braai facilities at chalet/tent (70%); Friendliness and service of Park personnel (66%); General maintenance of accommodation facilities (65%) 28
  35. 35. 5.2 CONCLUSIONS REGARDING OVERNIGHT VISITORS TO MAPUNGUBWE NATIONAL PARKThe following conclusions were drawn with regard to overnight visitors to MapungubweNational Park in April 2012: ℵ Respondents were mainly Afrikaans-speaking, married, well-educated persons from Gauteng in their early 50s. ℵ They earn an annual gross income of over R552 001 enabling them to be financially responsible for three persons visiting the Park, which is also the average group size (spending R4485.69 per group) to the Park. ℵ Respondents make use of 4x4s as their mode of transport and they have their children accompanying them to the Park. ℵ Respondents visited the Park once as day visitors and twice as overnight visitors in the preceding three years. ℵ Respondents stay an average of four nights in the Park, more than half of them are Wild Card holders and the majority are not part of a conservation organisation. ℵ Respondents’ favourite animals were elephants and leopards, but when referring to the popularity rating and willingness to pay in order to see animals, the leopard (R333.75) and the lion (R271.25) were the most popular. ℵ The average age respondents were first exposed to a National Park was 15 years. ℵ To explore a new destination and to relax were the main motivators for respondents to the Park. ℵ Respondents indicated that the quietness and stillness that nature offers as well as being able to see a specific animal that they have never seen before and an area’s ambience are some of the most influential factors when creating a memorable game viewing experience. ℵ Services in the Park were average in general, with braai facilities at the chalets and tents, the friendliness and service of Park personnel as well as the general maintenance of accommodation standing out as the better services.5.3 RECOMMENDATIONSThe following recommendations can be made with regard to the information obtained inthe surveys:5.3.1 Management proposals ℵ Improve maintenance with regard to fenced out areas for elephants at Tree top walk and Limpopo Forest tents as they are not operational (poles are pushed over). 29
  36. 36. The elephants are also severely damaging forest areas around the Limpopo tented camp and area next to Treetop hide. ℵ The new shop is a great improvement, but needs to improve its variety of products they sell. ℵ Apparently, the tuckshop at the confluence will be closed soon; this is, however, a disappointment as this shop was well situated for people who stop at the picnic site. ℵ Provide more information on the activities that are available in the Park and upgrade the current brochure that is received by tourists at the reception. This is of a dreadful standard. ℵ Enforce strict rules in the Park such as no loud music. ℵ The old border fence is in poor condition; rather remove the fence as some animals get stuck in the fence, which upsets tourists. A number of tourists complained about this issue. ℵ Make more braai wood available to visitors, as this is a problem. ℵ Water and energy saving measures should be implemented to make the Park more eco-friendly.5.3.2 Development proposals ℵ SANParks seriously needs to work towards joining the campsite and Limpopo Forest Tented section with the main section of the Park, as this is problematic for tourists staying at the latter. With the current system, tourists need to check-in at the main gate and then have to drive all the way back. It also causes problems for tourists who want to visit the main section, as they need to drive back and forth between the two sections. For example, when the surveys were conducted, the research team had to drive several times between the two sections. In the end, a distance of 600km was covered in four days. As there is no place in the Park to refuel one’s vehicle, it becomes problematic for tourists to travel between the two sections. ℵ Improve the Park map by adding more important information. ℵ Restore the facilities on the rhino route. ℵ Improve road signage throughout the Park with clear indications of distances. ℵ Put shelves in tents for clothing. ℵ Bigger tables are recommended for the outsides of the chalets and safari tents. ℵ Expansion of the ablution blocks at the campsite is a high priority. ℵ Develop guided hiking safaris for tourists visiting the Park. ℵ Provide activities such as stargazing, sunrise breakfasts and sundowners. 30
  37. 37. 5.3.3 Marketing proposals ℵ From the research it was clear that Gauteng is an important market for Mapungubwe National Park and therefore more marketing can be directed to this province. ℵ Marketing should also focus on the following aspects: o The unique atmosphere of the Park; o The landscape and scenery; o A relaxing experience; and o Value for money ℵ The newly completed Mapungubwe Interpretative Centre is a great addition to the Park and should be marketed more prominently in the marketing material. ℵ Tourists should also be made aware of the new restaurant and services provided at the Park. 31