Kruger gets ready for SANParks Week

Monday, August 26, 2013

By Siphiwe Nyathi

Skukuza - For one week in September, South Africans will once again be allowed to enjoy their natural heritage free of charge.

The eighth annual South African National Parks (SANParks) Week will run from September 9 - 13.

"A number of events have been lined up to encourage South African citizens to visit the park and experience the beauty," said Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa.

Mabasa said the aim was to encourage all citizens to take care of the country's conservation areas.

As part of the week, Kruger management will engage with neighbouring communities in both Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

“We will be visiting sick children at Maphutha L. Malatji Hospital in Phalaborwa and hosting a group of individuals with visual disabilities, affording them an opportunity to touch and feel the bush," said Mabasa.

He said nature conservation should not be out of anyone’s reach as it formed part their culture and heritage.

Only South African day visitors, who present their green bar-coded identity document, will be allowed free entry that week. Children under the age of 16 will not need to provide proof of identity.

Commercial activities like guided tours and walks will not, however, be free, and daily quotas will still apply.

"As much as we encourage people to make use of this opportunity to visit the park, they must be aware that daily quotas will still apply, therefore people will be served on a first come, first served basis," said Mabasa.

SANParks Week was launched in 2006 to address concerns that the majority of South African citizens are unable to access national parks. This year, the official launch will take place at the Mokala National Park in Kimberley. – SAnews.gov.za

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