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Media Release: SANParks gears up for week of free entry in September

Date: 28th August 2012

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the official opening of the 2012 South African National Parks Week will be launched on Monday, 10th September 2012 at Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site in Limpopo.

This, according to SANParks Acting Head of Communications: Paul Daphne, who announced the week-long campaign, will be giving free access to the national parks from 10th to 14th September 2012. This will be applicable to all the national parks managed by SANParks, with the exception of Boulders Beach Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway in Table Mountain National Park and the Namaqua National Park. Table Mountain National Park (excluding Boulders) is extending SANParks Week until Saturday 15 September 2012 whilst Tankwa National Park and Bontebok National Park are extending the week to Sunday 16 September 2012.

He further noted that the objective of SANParks Week is to cultivate a sense of understanding and pride in South Africans, of their natural, cultural and historical heritage; which is the basis for the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’. SANParks Week is in its seventh year and has proven to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues. 

Danny Zandamela; FNB Public Sector Banking CEO says “The annual SANParks Week has been made possible with support from First National Bank (FNB) since its inception.  Through this partnership we are able to raise awareness on the importance of environmental education. We believe in responsible actions by individuals and communities, as an imperative factor in protecting and managing the environment and we are proud to be enablers of this initiative. “

The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents. Young persons under the age of 16 will be allowed free access without the requirement of proof of identity. It must be noted that the free access to the parks will not include any commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc. 

“Environmental education and protection is the responsibility of everyone, not just a privileged few. 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,” said Daphne. “We especially want our young people to take advantage of this opportunity because this heritage will be under their protection in the near future.” 

Cape Region: National Parks free access

The five (5) Cape Region national parks launched the promotions for the annual SANParks Week festivities on Tuesday 21 August 2012, in partnership with Metrorail who, together with HGTS Tours, will be offering specialized train trips to Cape of Good Hope in Table Mountain National Park, each day of SANParks Week. 

Noting at the launch of the promotions at Cape Town Station on Tuesday morning, Wanika Rusthoi, Regional PR Officer for SANParks Cape Region said, “it is concerning to see just how many people don’t know about the 19 national parks in the country; where they are and what they offer – and this proves that a week of free entry with a key emphasis on environmental education during this week, is exactly what we need to be offering the local communities surrounding the parks.” 

Recognizing that many Capetonians don’t have easy access to private transport to take them to the national parks often, SANParks Cape Region partnered with Metrorail and HGTS Tours, who have arranged specialized return train-trips from Cape Town Station, to Simons Town together with a luxury coach from Simons Town to Cape Point in Table Mountain National Park. At R75.00 per person for the round trip, the value on offer for the broader Cape Town community increases ten-fold, offering not only free entry, but also affordable transport packages. Email promotions@metrorial.co.za for details of ticket prices and bookings. 

Various events will be taking place for the local communities in each park including soccer tournaments, educational tours and game drives. Anyone wanting to visit any of the participating South African National Parks during SANParks Week should remember to take along their South African green-barcoded ID document for presentation at the entry gate. 

For more information on SANParks Week visit our social media updates leading up to and during the celebration – follow us on Facebook:

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Issued by:
Public Relations, Cape Region
SANParks

Media Queries:
Wanika Rusthoi
Regional Public Relations Officer: Cape Region
SANParks
Tel: 021 712 2337 / 072 060 8188
email: wanika.rusthoi@sanparks.org

 

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