Visit SA’s stunning national parks, FREE

SA National Parks Week is coming, and that means free access for SA citizens to some incredible parks

Golden Gate National Park in Clarens.
Image: clarens.co.za

Spring is just around the corner, and that means it’s almost time for South Africans to head outdoors and soak in the splendour of our wide open spaces.

For a little extra incentive, South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced the dates for this year’s 14th annual SA National Parks Week, September 8 to 15, when SA citizens will be able to enter the *majority of the country’s 19 national parks free.

The even better news is that this year, the free days will include weekends, out of consideration for those who don’t have time to visit during the week.

Every year, SANParks aims to increase the number of citizens who get to enjoy the parks during this time. Since the programme started in 2006, 438,361 South Africans have taken advantage of the free access, and SANParks says it wants to see these numbers grow.

“It’s important for South Africans to visit and know the importance of national parks,” said SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni.

“They act as spaces to practise sustainable conservation, and as spaces that preserve and celebrate our culture and heritage.”

Waterbuck in the Kruger National Park.
Image: Bruce Gorton

Mketeni highlights the growing need for national parks to be relevant, particularly to young people and communities living adjacent to them.

“Parks play the critical role of empowering communities living adjacent to parks through job creation,” he said. “We work closely with these communities … so we can tackle issues of wildlife crime with their help, afford them more access to parks for cultural use and inform young people about the different career options that parks have to offer.”

The current cost for SA citizens to enter the parks ranges between R43 and R93 per adult and R22 and R47 per child aged two to 11. The fees are payable at the entrance gates and offices.

So visit a national park this year free during SA National Parks Week to see what it has to offer, celebrate your rich heritage and experience first-hand the iconic beauty of our natural flora and fauna.

*Check out sanparks.org to see a list of all the national parks you’ll be able to visit free during SA National Parks Week. Note: Free entry excludes Namaqua National Park, Boulders Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Cableway in Table Mountain National Park. 

BY: ELIZABETH SLEITH

SOURCE: TMG DIGITAL

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