Neelam Rahim | email@example.com
18 September 2023 | 21:37 CAT
This week is National Parks Week, a special occasion that was launched by Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Barbara Creecy. The public can visit a national park for free during SA from Saturday, September 16, to Sunday, September 24.
SANParks General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations, Rey Thakhuli, said they wanted to give all South Africans an equal chance to enjoy the national parks and spend time in nature.
“Every year, SANParks aims to increase the number of citizens that are granted free access to national parks during this time. Since we started the programme in 2006, some 691 418 South Africans have been afforded the opportunity to enter national parks, and we want to see these numbers grow,” she says.
“The week in partnership with TotalEnergies Marketing 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 system which is the basis for the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’. It’s important for South Africans to visit and know the importance of national parks,” Thakuli added.
This year, SANParks opened the week in Kruger National Park. The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents. Young persons under 16 will be allowed free access without proof of identity.
The free access to the parks will not include accommodation and commercial activities in the park, such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc., and Namaqua National Park and Boulders Penguin Colony and the Cableway in Table Mountain National Park are not included in the free access.
SANParks encourages all South Africans, especially the youth of our country, to diarise these dates and plan a visit to a national park nearby. “The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa,” concludes Thakhuli.
Some parks will be extending the week to include the two weekends. Visit the SANParks website for individual park dates and participating parks.
Listen to the full interview with Annisa Essack on Radio Islam’s podcast.