Explore the beauty and diversity of the Western Cape

Photo credit: SANParks

South African National Parks (SANParks) manages a system of national parks that represent the indigenous biodiversity and associated cultural heritage of South Africa. These 21 parks are located throughout the country in coastal, arid, mountain and bushveld settings, presenting a wide range accommodation and nature-based activities.

SANParks have a variety of places to stay such as lodges chalets, cottages, rondavels, forest cabins, furnished safari tents, caravans and camping sites that offer peace and quiet with their natural surroundings, plus they’re in great locations with plenty to do and see. They range in price and there’s something for every wallet.

SANParks offer the outdoor enthusiast many nature-based activities that include hiking trails, bird watching, horse riding, swimming, night drives, game drives, flower trails, mountain biking, 4×4 trails, boat rides, guided walks, canoeing, picnic facilities that will transform the visitor’s trip into a memorable experience. SANParks does not only cater for the holiday-maker and tourist, but also for business people seeking out-of-town conference facilities in a tranquil environment. There is a selection of venues to choose from and the service is tailor made according to the client’s choice of conference style, location, seating capacity and budget.

Free Access Week Dates For 2018

SANParks will host the 13th annual SA National Parks Week from 10-14 September 2018. National parks focus week is a world-wide campaign which gives people free access to National Parks.

This initiative in partnership with Total South Africa and FNB is in line with SANParks vision statement of ‘A sustainable National Park System Connecting Society’. The inaugural South African National Parks Week took place in 2006 and was aimed at linking the South African national parks system to the global national movement, and to also showcase the best of South Africa’s national parks.

SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni says, “The week in partnership with Total South Africa and FNB is meant to cultivate a sense of pride in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, protected by the national parks system.”
The week gives day visitors free access to most of the 21 national parks, with special emphasis on ensuring that people from local communities close to parks get to know and experience a national park. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include weekends.

SA National Parks Week has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues and the various park offerings.
“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 is the responsibility of everyone,” concludes Mketeni.

SA National Parks Week dates & activities in the Western Cape

It should be noted that free access to parks does not in include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include the weekend, as indicated below:

Agulhas National Park (10 – 16 September 2018. The Park is an open access park with no pay points); Bontebok National Park (10 – 14 September 2018); Garden Route National Park (10 – 14 September 2018); Karoo National Park (First 100 visitors per day on Saturday, 15 September and Sunday, 16 September gain free access); Table Mountain National Park (10 – 14 September 2018, Free entry excludes Boulders Penguin Colony); Tankwa Karoo National Park (10 – 14 September 2018); and West Coast National Park (10 – 14 September 2018).

SANParks is currently responsible for the management of the national parks. The strategic direction of SANParks in the next five years will focus on the following key objectives: enhancing the organisational reputation by bringing trust, confidence and transparency to stakeholders and positioning the organisation as an ultimate brand to be associated with, growing community support and providing access and benefit-sharing, promoting tourism that works to protect the environment and benefit local cultures and communities, and to improve the state of the conservation estate through informed park planning, development and effective biodiversity monitoring.

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