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National Parks Week - Know your Park

Next week sees the 12th annual event of its kind, yet again aiming to instill a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks system.



Between 18 and 22 September the annual SA National Parks Week (SANPW) campaign will kick off in most of the country’s national parks. In the 12th annual event of its kind, free day access will be granted to all South African citizens.


The inaugural SANPW took place in 2006 and was aimed at linking the South African national parks system to a similar global movement and showcasing the best of South Africa’s national parks. Now, partnering with Total SA and FNB, it is in line with SANParks’ vision statement of “A sustainable National Park System Connecting Society”.

If you're in the Park this weekend what are you hoping to see? Great photo from @_iscio_

A post shared by Kruger Park (@krugernationalpark) on




The theme for this focus week is the same as it has been in previous years, “Know Your National Parks”, aimed at cultivating a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks system.

Throughout the week the public, especially those from local communities adjacent to the Parks, will have free access to visit. It should be noted that this does not include accommodation or any commercial activities such as guided game drives, horse trails, etc.

Each Park’s People and Conservation Department will host various groups from around their Parks to informative sessions about the Park, its history, conservation ethics and initiatives and much more. Some groups will be treated to a guided game drive, which for some of the visitors will be their first time, even though they’ve lived within close proximity all their lives.

Goodmorning world? Form the beautiful #tsitsikamma in #gardenroutenationalpark

A post shared by South African National Parks (@sanparks) on



“September is both Tourism and National Heritage month. We would like to encourage South Africans; in particular those coming from the local communities that are bordering the Parks and have never had an opportunity to visit the Park to come in numbers. It is against this background that the SA National Parks Week offers free access to its National Parks to all the citizens of South Africa, said the GM: Communications and Marketing, William Mabasa. 

In celebration of this special week, KNP will have activities lined-up in order to engage with various stakeholders to bring in representation from around the Park as follows.

Day 1 - 5: Visitors will be exposed to an exhibition of services and products rendered by the various tourism private entities, government departments as well as community based organizations from around the Park – the venue will be Phalaborwa Gate from 18 -22 September. 

Running concurrently will be the fireside stories which will comprise traditional dance, drumming and choral music. This will take place in Skukuza from 18 – 22 September in the evenings.




Day 4: There will be a launch of the “Skukuza Science Leadership Centre” which is going to be a hub for research and science education on 21 September. The centre is aimed at enhancing exchange programmes between local and international science students, scientists and researchers; as well as experiential learning opportunities involving local communities bordering the National Parks.

Day 5: Management will visit children who are ill at Mapulaneng Hospital in the Bushbuckridge area on 22 September. The idea is to ensure that we reach out to these groups of children because they cannot make use of the opportunity as offered due to their condition; whilst also getting lessons from them about life’s challenges.

Conditions applicable to the free entry are that access will only be granted to day visitors upon presentation of an identity document; only children below the age of 16 years gain entry without proof of identity. Groups regarded as commercial ventures: private open safari vehicles operators, tourists who come to the park on tour buses and overnight visitors are not included in this free access arrangement. 



“The normal daily quota at the gates will still apply during that week and preference will be given based on first come first served basis. Know your Parks and act in their best interest by conserving nature”, concluded Mabasa. 

In the Frontier Region of SANParks this includes Addo Elephant, Garden Route, Camdeboo (Graaff-Reinet), Mountain Zebra (Cradock) and Karoo (Beaufort West) National Parks.


For more information visit the www.sanparks.org website.



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