South African National Parks (SANParks) saw 39 841 visitors to the parks during National Parks Week from 16 November to 22 November 2020.
This campaign under the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ allowed locals with valid identity documents an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice free of charge.
According to SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni the objective of the week is to give all South Africans a chance to enjoy and experience the beauty and majesty of our breath-taking National Parks. “We had just under 40 000 people visit the parks during the focus week this year. National Parks Week aims to create a culture of pride in all South Africans in their relationship with the country’s natural, cultural and historical heritage.
When people start to take pride in the national parks, then we believe that they will start to understand the importance of conservation”.
The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents.
Since its inception in 2006, National Parks Week has seen an influx of 591 234 day visitors in all participating parks. “These numbers are encouraging and tell us that more people are taking advantage of this free week at our national parks,” said Mketeni.
The annual SA National Parks Week has been made possible with support from First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa. “Without our sponsors this week would not have materialised and South Africans would not be able to visit our parks free of charge,” said Mketeni.
SANParks has thanked all South Africans who took part in this week, especially educators and school groups.
“The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa and we are focused on involving young people and communities, to cultivate knowledge of the importance of conservation and an appreciation for the country’s natural heritage,” concludes Mketeni.