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The dates for the 2023 Parks Week, which allows South Africans to visit the national parks for mahala, have been announced. September, here we come!


South Africa (20 August 2023) – South African National Parks (SANParks) will be presenting its 18th annual SA National Parks Week from 16 to 24 September 2023. That means citizens will be able to visit their local national parks for mahala, for a whole week!

Over 72,000 people visited the parks during “free week” in 2022. Many of the parks even hosted free access on the weekend, thus allowing people who were at work, to take part in the offering as well. This year SANParks is once again extending SA National Parks Week to include weekends at some of the national parks.

Since its inception in 2006; National Parks Week, under the theme ‘Know Your National Parks’, has seen an influx of over 691,418-day visitors in all participating parks. SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Hapiloe Sello says that the idea of a national parks focussed 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. It is also in line with the SANParks vision statement of ‘A Sustainable National Park System Connecting Society.”

The week grants free access to most of the 21 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 2 weekends. For individual park dates and participating parks please check the website here.

SA National Parks Week has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues.

“It’s important for South Africans to visit and know the importance of national parks. They act as spaces to practice sustainable conservation, as spaces that preserve and celebrate our culture and heritage, and we now see national parks playing the critical role of empowering communities living adjacent to parks through job creation and we continue to explore ways of creating business opportunities particularly for small business owners,” says 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. Visit a national park this year for free during SA National Parks Week, to see what it has to offer and do your part by getting to know your national parks, celebrate your rich heritage offering and experience first-hand the iconic beauty and plethora of natural flora and fauna.,” concluded Sello.

Don’t miss out on this annual event to experience South Africa’s beautiful natural heritage. Which park is on your list this year?

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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