South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that it has extended the eight days of its annual SA National Parks Week to include weekends due to requests from South Africans who could not attend during the week.
According to SANParks, this year’s 14th annual SA National Parks Week takes place from Sunday, September 8 to Sunday, September 15.
During the week, people will get free day access to one of the country’s 21 national parks.
SANParks chief executive officer Fundisile Mketeni said in a statement: “It’s important for South Africans to visit and know the importance of national parks. They act as spaces to practice sustainable conservation, as spaces that preserve and celebrate our culture and heritage, and we now see national parks playing the critical role of empowering communities living adjacent to parks through job creation and we continue to explore ways of creating business opportunities particularly for small business owners.”
The programme has afforded 438,361 South Africans a chance the opportunity to enter national parks since its inception in 2006.
Free access to parks, however, does not include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities, added SANParks.
Below is a list of the 19 national parks that will offer free entry in September:
Addo Elephant National Park
Agulhas National Park
Augrabies Falls National Park
Bontebok National Park
Camdeboo National Park
Garden Route National Park
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Karoo National Park
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kruger National Park
Mapungubwe National Park
Marakele National Park
Mokala National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park
Namaqua National Park
Table Mountain National Park
Tankwa Karoo National Park
West Coast National Park
|Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
SANParks advised South Africans to get to Addo Elephant National Park early to avoid disappointment due to its proximity to Port Elizabeth and gate quotas of 700 people per day per gate over weekends.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)