Due to the open-access nature of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), it is enjoyed by those who love the outdoors and adventure seekers. Outdoor activities for most in the Garden Route may include dog walking.
Subsequent to 113 mm of rain on Saturday (the 04th April), the De Vasselot Rest Camp in Natures Valley was closed and hikers and campers relocated to the main camp in Storms River, Tsitsikamma.
The Area Manager of the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park, Sandra Taljaard says "members of the public may have recently noticed bird mortalities in some of the lakes of the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park. South African National Parks is aware of this situation and is closely monitoring and investigating the matter".
The team in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is prioritizing partnerships in rescue missions in the forestry areas as well as water bodies. A prime example this week was a training session held with the Eden Metro Emergency Services (EMS).
The concerted efforts of the Eden District Municipality to host the upcoming Man and Biosphere (MAB) workshop in Wilderness, resulted in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) declaring its first Open Day for 2015.
Visitors to the Ebb & Flow rest camp (Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park) can now traverse the Kingfisher Trail on a Segway.
The recent increase in activity tariffs in the GRNP was informed by the National Conservation Fee Policy of SANParks (2011). This policy was established to guide the organisation based on recommendations made by McKinsey Business Consultants. The guideline is to implement a system of differential pricing (market-related) for entry into all Parks.
"Between April 2014 and October 2014, 85 people were fined and five arrested for environmental crimes related to the Knysna estuary. There were seven court appearances and 23 warrants of arrests", according to Owen Govender, Senior Section Ranger, Knysna, Garden Route National Park (GRNP).
Next Monday, 2 February 2015, marks World Wetlands Day.
A letter from the General Manager: Garden Route National Park, Jill Bunding Venter:
The first month of every new year is normally a time for resolutions, new hopes, determination and a fresh lease on life. And while this is true for the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), it has also become a time for reflecting over the past year. 2014 was not only the year which marked twenty years in South Africa’s young democracy, it also marked the 50th year of successful management of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Following complaints from citizens that toilet paper was seen floating in the estuary, Professor Brian Allanson (‘Prof’) of the Knysna Basin Project reported on the cause of the evident sea lettuce/ macro-algae to the Knysna Pollution Action Committee (SANParks, Knysna Municipality, Eden District Municipality and the Knysna Basin Project).
Kindly note that maintenance work on the main suspension bridge in the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp will commence on 12 January 2015.
Watch a Youtube video of a group of friends who went canoeing from Ebb & Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park.
Subsequent to a recent drowning incident in the Knysna estuary, SANParks (managers of the Garden Route National Park which includes the Knysna estuary) have requested citizens to exercise caution this summer season.
As South Africa’s top conservation agency, SANParks encourages green and responsible tourism. The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is a mosaic of landscapes and seascapes, a haven for birds and animals including seabirds, rare and endangered species. And while the GRNP invites all kinds of adventure seekers, it also wishes a safe festive season to all its visitors, ensuring that they only leave footprints behind and take away lifelong memories.
Knysna is officially a place of hope for marine life as it was declared a Hope Spot on 7 December 2014, by Dr Sylvia Earle, global marine biologist and diver. Speaking at a launch cocktail function, Earle said the Southern Cape coastline is beautiful and worth conserving.
In accordance with the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 57 of 2003) and the regulations promulgated in terms of that Act, SANParks is authorized under Section 50 to allow commercial activities in a national park.
The Knysna estuary is a natural system where levels of bacteria can fluctuate at any time. Higher than acceptable levels of ecoli were recorded recently from two consecutive samples collected from at least 14 points in the Knysna estuary. SANParks will be putting up signage to warn against full body recreational activities as stipulated by the Department of Water Affairs regulation, by Friday (28 November 2014).
Guests to the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) can now canoe down its meandering picture-perfect lakes and rivers. This trip promises an adventure through the Park’s lush indigenous forests.
6 of the 7 water samples collected from Swartvlei were compliant and lower than the Department of Water Affairs’ permitted 500 mark for recreational sites. The Swartvlei mouth was compliant at 51 per 100 milliliters. SANParks has thus removed signs warning people not to swim at the estuary’s mouth. General Manager of the Garden Route National Park (SANParks), Jill Bunding-Venter, says the rest of the sample readings were (also compliant):
The Garden Route National Park was proclaimed in March 2009, including the then Tsistikamma NP; Wilderness NP; Knysna Lakes and indigenous forest, covering an area of 160 000 km.
A response to the incident in which a tourist was injured in Drupkelders in the Knysna forest, Garden Route National Park (GRNP).
A carcass of a Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) washed up West of the Knoetzie River over the weekend. The team in the Knysna section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) have since contacted the Oceans and Coast division (Department of Environmental Affairs) and also an independent specialist based in Cape Town.
Authorities (SANParks, Eden District Municipality, Knysna Municipality) and the Knysna Basin Project met to discuss the situation in Swartvlei following recent media reports. A unanimous decision undertaken is to find the sources of reported E.coli counts at the mouth of the estuary. ‘It is important to find the source of the problem and treat that’ according to SANParks.
The annual mountain biking permit of R190 per annum was introduced in previous years as an introductory tariff as mountain biking in the newly formed Garden Route National Park (GRNP) was still a fairly new concept. Mountain biking stakeholders were informed that it would be increased in due course.
The Swartvlei system is 35 kilometers from George and about 30 from the town of Knysna. It is unique in the country and the world in that it is also situated in an urban area.
Only four days to go before the start of this year’s Merrel Eden Duo.
South Africa’s number estuary is under the spotlight again this Marine Week. This time stakeholders have gathered citizens from the Khayalethu community to roll up their sleeves and pick up litter from the Bongani and Khayalethu rivers.
Unprecedented WESSA Blue Flag results a triumph for coastal conservation during National Marine Week
WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) has announced a record 82 Blue Flag sites for South Africa at the national launch of this year’s Blue Flag season held at Thesen Islands Marina in Knysna on the Garden Route today. The 2014-2015 South African Blue Flag season opens officially on 1 November.
Did you know that a healthy ocean generates half of the oxygen we breathe?
When visiting a blue flag beach this summer, the expectation is to find a clean, safe and environmentally friendly place. This is the case with beaches and Marinas granted Blue Flag status in and around the Garden Route National Park (GRNP). One is in Wilderness and the other in Nature's Valley and a Blue Flag Marina on Thesen Island in Knysna.