#LiveYourWild: Get planning for the country-wide SANParks Week for free entry in September

2018-07-02 08:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Start getting your car serviced and your binoculars ready for South African National Parks Week where South Africans can visit our beautiful parks for free.

From 10 to 14 September, visitors to most of South Africa's 21 national parks will be able to get in touch with nature with free entry, part of a global campaign to get people, especially local communities, excited about these conservation areas.

Some parks, like Garden Route National Park, will be making an effort to bus in communities who would not otherwise be able to go the park.

SEE: Show off nature’s best side with SANParks Photo Competition 2018

This does not include accommodation and other tourist activities however, and to be eligible for free entry you need to bring your South African ID with.

“The week in partnership with Total South Africa and FNB is meant to cultivate a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks systems,” says SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni.

Some parks will be extending the week to include the weekends, like Garden Route National Park which will include 15 September and Mountain Zebra National Park will allow the first 100 visitors free on the Saturday and Sunday for that weekend. Camdeboo National Park will be free for every South African the whole weekend. For more on these dates check your local park's social media page or here. 

The parks not included in the SANParks Week are Namaqua National Park and the Boulders Beach section in Table Mountain National Park.

SEE: New Addo hiking trail your latest reason to plan an Eastern Cape adventure

The campaign is more than just about boosting numbers - it's also an educational and awareness drive to get people interested in the country's conservation efforts, especially the youth who will become the future custodians of our natural heritage.

“The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa. Environmental education and protection is the responsibility of everyone,” concludes Mketeni. 

SANParks week will also include the Mandela Centenary travelling exhibition that has been traversing the country to various national parks. So far it’s been to Groenkloof National Park, Addo Elephant National Park and Table Mountain National Park. The exhibit features newspaper covers relating to Nelson Mandela and the efforts he made in uniting the country.

During the SANParks Week you will be able to view these covers at Phalaborwa Gate in the Kruger National Park.

ALSO SEE: Entries open for SANParks Kudu Awards 2018: Who do you think are SA’s conservation heroes? 

For more inspiration on which parks to visit, here's a few showcased by SANParks: 

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