Free access to national parks

THERE will be free entry to most of the 21 South African National Parks from Monday, September 10 until Friday, September 14.

As in previous years, the campaign will again be run under the established theme, “Know Your National Parks”.

Fayroush Ludick, regional communications manager for South African National Parks (SANParks), said, “The free access is meant to cultivate a sense of pride in local residents in South Africa’s natural, cultural and historical heritage.

“They can do this by experiencing and enjoying all that the parks have to offer.

“It should be noted that the free access does not include accommodation or paid-for activities.”

Ludick further said, “There are lots to keep day visitors to Addo Elephant National Park busy – with its closest entrance gate at Colchester only 30 minutes outside Port Elizabeth. A self-drive game drive allows guests to explore the main game viewing area of the park at their leisure.

“A pit stop at Jack’s picnic site is a must.

“This fenced-in area is the perfect spot for a picnic or braai, about halfway towards main camp.

“While elephant sightings are practically guaranteed, be sure to also keep a look out for the rest of the Big 5 as well as the more elusive animals like hyena and jackal.”

Other parks in the region which are also participating in the campaign include Garden Route National Park, Mountain Zebra (near Cradock) and Camdeboo National Parks (outside Graaff-Reinet).

Addo Elephant will not be extending their free entry outside of September 10 to 14, while Mountain Zebra will allow the first 100 day visitors through their gate free access on both Saturday, September 15 and Sunday September 16, and free entry is extended in Camdeboo throughout the weekend after SANParks Week.