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Media Release: Karoo National Park to offer free entry during SA National Parks Week

Date: 7th September 2010

To celebrate Heritage Month, South African National Parks (SANParks) is offering you the chance to experience your natural heritage for free during SA National Parks Week.

Date: 2010-09-07

To celebrate Heritage Month, South African National Parks (SANParks) is offering you the chance to experience your natural heritage for free during SA National Parks Week.

From Monday 13 September until Friday 17 September, locals with a South African identity document can enter Karoo National Park free of charge for the day to enjoy the scenic views over the karoo plains and wildlife viewing. School learners and young persons less than 16 years of age will be allowed entry without the requirement for proof of identity.

As part of SA National Parks Week, Park staff will host various community and school groups in the Park to expose them to all the Karoo National Park has to offer. There will also be a week long exhibition, open to all visitors, showcasing SANParks and all the Karoo National Park has to offer in the Park’s Conference Centre at Reception.

SA National Parks Week was launched in 2006 to encourage all South Africans to visit National Parks, out of the realisation that the majority of this country’s citizens were not accessing parks.

The objective of the week is to cultivate a culture of pride in all South Africans in their relationship with the country’s natural, cultural and historical heritage, under the established theme “Know Your National Parks”.

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, will officially launch the 2010 SA National Parks Week in Addo Elephant National Park on Monday, 13 September. SABC’s Morning Live will cover the event.

SANParks Chief Executive, Dr David Mabunda, said SA National Parks Week offers an opportunity for all South Africans to experience their national parks.

“Environmental education and protection is the responsibility of everyone, not just a privileged few. 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,” said Dr Mabunda.

“We especially want our young people to take advantage of this opportunity because this heritage will be under their protection in the near future,” added Dr Mabunda.

SA National Parks Week offers the people of Beaufort West the ideal opportunity to visit and get to know the national park which lies a few kilometres from the town. Visitors can make use of facilities such as the Bulkraal picnic site and swimming pool, view ancient bones on the Fossil Trail or learn about the history and cultural heritage of the Great Karoo at the Interpretive Centre.

Explore the Park

For those who enjoy walking, the Pointer Hiking Trail offers two routes through the Park and eagle-like views over the plains. Visitors can learn more about the medicinal uses of karoo plants on the Bossie Trail. A drive around the Potlekkertjie Loop, Lammertjiesleegte Loop or up the Klipspringer Pass will give visitors the chance of spotting the endangered black rhino and Cape mountain zebra, buffalo, eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest and springbok as well as over 230 species of birds.

Visitors with 4x4 vehicles can explore the new Afsaal and Nuweveld 4x4 Eco-Trails and enjoy the Doornhoek picnic and braai site.

Entry tariffs to Karoo National Park are scheduled for an increase with effect from the 1st of November 2010, with the daily conservation fees for SA Citizens set to increase from R22 to R25. Visitors from SADC countries will be paying an extra six Rands (R50) whilst visitors from all other foreign countries may expect to pay R100.00. Accommodation tariffs will also increase. Conservation fees are discounted for SA Citizens in view of the financially disadvantaged status of the majority of our people.

Issued by:
South African National Parks

Enquiries:
Megan Taplin, Regional Communications Manager, Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra National Parks, tel: (042) 233-8609

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