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Media Release: South African National Parks to introduce a WILD Card for international visitors

Date: 14th August 2003

The South African National Parks (SANParks) is to launch a new WILD Card for international visitors beginning October 1, 2003. 

This follows the introduction in June of the WILD card for South African residents and nationals of the Southern African Development Community. The WILD Card evolved as a means to reward loyal patrons of national parks, after park entrance fees were replaced with a conservation fee based on daily park utility. 

A daily conservation fee – while in keeping with international practices and in effect creating a commercial value for conservation from the impact each individual has on a park during their stay there – has a restraining influence on long staying international visitors, particularly those who camp. Unlike South Africans, they were unable to receive a loyalty reward for their patronage. 

At the moment, foreign visitors to all national parks have to pay a daily conservation fee varying between R25 and R120 depending on the park visited. 

With the introduction of the international WILD card, individual visitors, couples and families will have the opportunity to purchase a 10-day WILD card, which will allow them free access to any national park for that time period. Visitors staying longer than 10 days can renew their cards as many times as their length of stay requires. 

The international WILD card will be programmed such that a card holder can use the 10 free days or nights within a 15-day window period (which commences the day this card is first used). The card can be renewed every time a guest visits South Africa. Like the domestic WILD Card, cardholders can gain cash-back rewards for using companies partnering the scheme. 

Unlike the domestic version, which can be bought through SANParks reservations offices and other satellite offices, the international WILD cards can only be purchased at the entrance gates and camps of South African National Parks. 

SANParks Director of Tourism Glenn Phillips said the WILD card for international guests will be launched in September at the World Parks Congress in Durban. 

“When we established the WILD card for South African residents and SADC nationals we acknowledged that we were in the process of developing a similar product for our international visitors. The 10-day benefit will be attractive to any individual visiting one of the larger national parks for more than 5 days, while for couples and families, more than 4 days. 

“Now that our systems are well established and mechanisms to deal with a WILD card for international visitors have been put in place, we are in a position to take care of this valuable segment of our clientele,” said Phillips. 

The WILD card for international guests was also established to reward loyal international guests enabling them to continue to visit the national parks, added Philips. 

INDIVIDUALSCOUPLES (Any persons)FAMILIES (A maximum of 2 adults with maximum of four children – under 12 years old)
10-Day card (valid for a maximum of 10 days or nights for all SA National Parks within a period of 15 days from date of first use). R600 R1000 R1500


Issued by:

South African National Parks 

Enquiries: 
Wanda Mkutshulwa 
Head: Communications 
Tel: (012) 426-5201; Fax: (012) 343-0153; Cell: 082-908-2692 
Email: wandam@parks-sa.co.za

 

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