Every year, South Africans get the opportunity to visit our national parks for mahala! This year Parks Week is happening in September.
South Africa (02 August 2022) – This year, Parks Week, also commonly known as “Free Week”, is happening from the 11th to the 16th of September 2022. This will be the 17th annual SA National Parks Week.
Since its inception in 2006, National Parks Week, under the theme ‘Know Your National Parks’, has seen an influx of over 619,252 day visitors in all participating parks. SANParks Acting 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.”
The week grants free access to most of the 22 national parks for day visitors, especially people from the local communities. It should be noted that free access to parks does not include free access to accommodation facilities and other tourist activities. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include the weekend.
SA National Parks Week has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues.
“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, not just a privileged few,” said Sello.
“This initiative aims to give the public an understanding of the role that SANParks plays as 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. We especially want our young people to take advantage of this opportunity because this heritage will be under their protection in the near future,” concluded Sello.
You can find out which parks will be open to the public for parks week here. Which park would you like to visit most?