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Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park
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Of the 9 188 368 international tourists who arrived in SA in 2012, an estimated 558, 014 headed to the Western Cape during peak seasons (Quarter 1 and 4). Popular tourist destinations are Cape Town, the Garden Route and the Winelands, according to the 2012 Western Cape Tourism Trends report (WESGRO).
A report on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the States paints a picture of a disengaged youth, disinterested in the heritage and biodiversity of their country (Gatlinburg, August 2013, the economist). Managers of that Park and every other National Park in the world including Wilderness are finding means through research to reach out to youngsters in a more techno-savvy manner.
Scientists (Knysna Basin Project and Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) have found no evidence of toxicity of the red tide in Knysna. Of the three types of organisms that could have potentially caused the red tide in Knysna, the dinoflagellate group was identified as dominant.
The Garden Route National Park had a 23, 9% increase in the number of guests during 2013 compared to the previous year (2012). Day visitors to the Park also increased by a significant 34%, from 126, 048 day visitors in 2012 to about 169, 367 in 2013.
Authorities (SANParks, Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Basin Project) are still cautioning against the collection of shellfish from the Knysna estuary following evidence of a red tide. Local expert, Professor Brian Allanson of the Knysna Basin Project is in touch with the Department of Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to further analyse water samples.
Possible evidence of a red tide was observed in the Knysna Heads on Sunday afternoon (19 January 2014). Authorities (SANParks, Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Basin Project) are cautioning against the collection of shellfish from the Knysna estuary until further notice.
An update on the possible red tide that was warned against in Knysna.
An elephant was recently photographed by a trap camera, placed in the Knysna forest, by the Landmark Foundation, set-up for leopard research. The Foundation’s exciting leopard research involves determining the leopard population status in the Garden Route.
There is a lot to do in the Garden Route National Park this summer! New activities are proving to be quiet popular such as Stand -Up Paddling (SUP), which was initiated a few weeks ago.
Storms River Mouth, in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park has introduced a new activity - Stand Up Paddlingboard.
Nothing beats the beautiful Garden Route National Park with all its rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, thick forests and fynbos in full bloom. Visitors head to the Garden Route National Park to enjoy its picture perfect landscapes and seascapes, its sea wildlife and multiple activities. Four areas enjoy Blue Flag Beach status and a Blue Flag Marina from Wilderness to Tsitsikamma.
SANParks and Knysna Municipality are cooperating in assessing the supply of and demand for ecosystem services generated by the Knysna river catchment and the Knysna estuary basin (including the small rivers draining directly into the estuary). There is a growing realisation that the estuary, catchment and town constitute a single socio-ecological system with many critical interconnections.
A call to all adrenalin junkies! The Merrell Eden Duo will take place on the 26th to the 27th of October 2013, at Ebb & Flow, in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park. It is a 24 hour multi-sport event combining all forms of racing, mountain biking, kloofing, paddling, trekking and easy navigation.
The Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA), managed by the SANParks, is part of the Garden Route National Park. Declared in 1964, it is the oldest MPA in Africa and one of the largest. It is split into the De Vasselot Section Controlled Zone and the Tsitsikamma MPA (No-Take Zone).
The Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park congratulated Ricky Lightfoot, from Great Britain, for winning the Otter Trail Run this past weekend. The event organisers, Magnetic South, pulled off yet another successful event this year.
SANParks and partners who formed the Joint Operating Committee (JOC) agree precautionary measures undertaken to prevent oil from entering the estuary were successful. SANParks has begun the process of removing the sandbags from the Swartvlei Estuary. The sandbags were used to stabilise the sand berm constructed. Removal of all the sandbags is an incredibly challenging task, as some are buried very deep and will likely only surface with time. However, a concerted effort will be made to ensure that as many of the sandbags as possible are removed.
This month, the Garden Route National Park has the pleasure to host the Otter Trail Run which is organised annually by Magnetic South. This year marks the fifth year since the inception of the race in the Garden Route, yet it still attracts more than 150 athletes every year. The average age of participating athletes ranges from 38 to about 40 years old.
A fire that threatened to wipe out one of the most scenic spots in Tsitsikamma, the Soetkraal, was successfully controlled. The fire started on Friday evening, the 30th of August 2013.
From the N2 the forests look thick and dense from Wilderness right through to Tsitsikamma. Take time to pull over and explore the accessible part of the Southern Cape’s moist, high forests. There are boardwalks under the big trees providing easy access.
World champion trail runner to contest Otter African Trail Run.
Saturday, 17 August 2013 - The Kiani Satu lifted off the Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area today at 11.30am and is currently heading out to sea. The Buffalo Bay/Goukamma Joint Operations Centre (JOC) awaits word from SAMSA regarding its position.
The Buffalo Bay/Goukamma Joint Operations Centre (JOC) prepares to receive 600 kg spoiled food from the Kiana Satu. The food, which is expected to be airlifted from the vessel later today, is no longer fit for human consumption and most of it will be disposed under controlled waste removal procedures.
Joint Operation Centre (JOC), Goukamma Nature Reserve - While efforts are ongoing to tug the cargo ship out to sea, the Joint Operations Centre at Buffalo Bay/Goukamma continues to protect the estuaries and prepare for major clean-up operations, once the ship has been removed.
South African National Parks (SANParks) is offering a special 50% discount to short notice online reservations for accommodation and camping at Nature’s Valley Rest Camp in the Garden Route National Park.
Due to the stranding of the 165m bulk cargo ship (Kiani Satu), west of Goukamma estuary, carrying 330 tons of heavy fuel oil and 15, 000 tons of rice, the Garden Route National Park team had to go on high alert to prevent oil from entering the Swartvlei and Knysna estuaries.
The Garden Route National Park is one of the National Parks managed by the South African National Parks (SANParks). A study conducted on the future state of National Parks identified ‘activity development’ as a priority for the Garden Route National Park. The study included various other tourism attractions relevant for other Parks such as ‘tourism development projects, accommodation’ and others.
A day in the life of a ranger working to secure the picture-perfect Garden Route National Park.
SANParks employees in the Garden Route National Park are rolling up their sleeves to give back to communities in and around the Park. Themed ‘take action, inspire change and make every day a Mandela Day’, the campaign is built around the values of former President Nelson Mandela which SANParks commemorates because it values transforming lives.