South African National Parks (SANParks), in partnership with Total South Africa and First National Bank, will host the 18th annual SA National Parks Week from 16 to 24 September 2023.
This year SANParks is once again extending SA National Parks Week to include weekends at some of the national parks. Since its inception in 2006, National Parks Week, under the theme 'Know Your National Parks', has seen an influx of over 691 418 day visitors in all participating parks.
SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Hapiloe Sello says that the idea of a national parks focus week is a worldwide campaign.
"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. It is also in line with the SANParks vision statement of 'A Sustainable National Park System Connecting Society',” she said
The week grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors, especially for people from the local communities. Free access to the parks does not include access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities.
To see participating parks and their dates, please visit: https://www.sanparks.org/about/events/parks_week/default.php
SA National Parks Week has over the years proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues.
"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. 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," says Sello.
This initiative aims to give the public an understanding of the role that SANParks plays as the 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. Visit a national park this year for free during SA National Parks Week to see what it has to offer and do your part by getting to know your national parks, celebrate your rich heritage offering and experience first-hand the iconic beauty and plethora of natural flora and fauna," concluded Sello. “Don't miss out on this annual event to experience South Africa's beautiful natural heritage.”
Did you know?
SANParks is looking for aspiring youth entering their first year of undergraduate studies in the tourism sector in the 2024 academic year to join their external bursary programme.
For more information visit: www.sanparks.org/about/jobs/default.php?id=58891
The closing date of the bursary programme is the 17th of September.
For more information, visit www.sanparks.org or call 012 428 9111 for reservations.