South African National Parks (SANParks) will launch its 17th annual National Parks Week from September 11 to 16.
The week grants free access to most of the 22 national parks for day visitors. It should be noted that free access to parks does not include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include the weekend. For individual park dates and participating parks please go to: http://www.sanparks.org/about/events/parks_week/default.php
This initiative is conducted in partnership with Total SA and First National Bank, and is aligned with SANParks’ vision statement – ‘A Sustainable National Park System Connecting Society’.
SANParks Acting CEO, Hapiloe Sello, says the idea of a national parks focus week is a world-wide one. “The week was established in a bid to cultivate a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks system.”
SA National Parks Week has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues. “The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa. Environmental education and protection are the responsibility of everyone, not just a privileged few,” said Sello.
“This initiative aims to give the public an understanding of the role that SANParks plays as custodian of the country’s natural heritage. If we are to create a sense of ownership of the natural heritage of South Africa in all South Africans, then all South Africans must be able to have access to such. We especially want our young people to take advantage of this opportunity because this heritage will be under their protection in the near future,” concluded Sello.
Started in 2006, National Parks Week, with its theme ‘Know Your National Parks’, has seen an influx of over 619 252 day visitors in all participating parks.