Know Your National Parks – Spend a Day for FREE in a National Park this Week
All locals can get into national parks around the country free of charge for the week of Monday 10 September until Friday 14 September 2012.
The free access doesn’t apply to overnight visitors (sad luck) but it does give anyone in the country the chance to experience a national park without any of the entry fees attached to the visit. That’s rather a benefit, from where I stand.
The exceptions: The only parks to which this free access does not apply are Boulders in Table Mountain National Park (understandable as the penguins would not cope with the influx of people), Mokala National Park and the Namaqua National Park.
Right into the weekend: Table Mountain National Park (Cape Point, Silvermine, Table Mountain) will extend their week to include Saturday 15 September, and the Tankwa National Park and Bontebok National Park extend their week right up to, and including, Sunday 16 September 2012. Bonus.
Each of the national parks has geared for the week with a series of events such as career guidance exhibits, hiking trails, photography competitions, various exhibitions, game drives, evening boma braais, storytelling sessions, giveaways and wild walks for school children.
The idea of a free week’s access started in 2006. Know your National Parks is this week’s theme and forms part of the campaign to get communities that live close to parks to share in what is usually unavailable to them. Schools are encouraged to try and organise outings.
What you need: a valid South African ID document (those under 16 will not need proof of identity), comfortable shoes, a sun hat, a picnic and water
Take advantage of: the flowers, hiking routes, picnic areas and wild game
Doesn’t include: commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris or guided walks
National Parks include:
Addo Elephant National Park
Camdeboo National Park
Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness)
Karoo National Park
Kruger National Park
Marakele National Park
West Coast National Park
For more information, visit www.sanparks.org.