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Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park

Archived News

Go on a virtual canoe trip in Wilderness in the Garden Route National Park

Date: 2014-12-17

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.

SANParks responds to drowning incident in Knysna

Date: 2014-12-15

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. 

Responsible Summer Fun: Explore the Garden Route National Park

Date: 2014-12-12

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 officially a place of Hope for marine life

Date: 2014-12-11

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. 

Garden Route National Park (GRNP): Registration of commercial operators

Date: 2014-12-11

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. 

Estuary water quality: Public urged not to panic

Date: 2014-11-25

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). 

Experience the wonder of nature through canoeing

Date: 2014-11-21

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.

Results of water samples: Swartvlei (thumbs up)

Date: 2014-11-13

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):

SANParks says more about commercial tour operators (Knysna forest)

Date: 2014-11-12

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. 

Response to the incident of an injured tourist in Drupkelders (Knysna forest)

Date: 2014-11-11

A response to the incident in which a tourist was injured in Drupkelders in the Knysna forest, Garden Route National Park (GRNP).

Carcass of a whale stranded in Knoetzie (Knysna)

Date: 2014-11-04

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.

Treating the cause and not the symptom: Swartvlei

Date: 2014-10-31

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. 

SANParks' slight increase in the GRNP's recreational activities

Date: 2014-10-28

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. 

Balancing the conservation of nature with development

Date: 2014-10-28

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. 

Merrell Eden Duo comes to Wilderness, Garden Route National Park

Date: 2014-10-21

Only four days to go before the start of this year’s Merrel Eden Duo. 

Mass clean up of the Khayalethu and Bongane rivers for Knysna estuary

Date: 2014-10-10

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

Date: 2014-10-07

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.

Marine Week in the Garden Route National Park

Date: 2014-10-07

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.

How to eat an elephant

Date: 2014-10-02

The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is not losing the fight against invasive alien species, according to Biodiversity Social Programmes Cluster Manager for the GRNP, Walter Mzimba. Invasive alien species (AIS) are the Southern Cape’s biggest challenge to conservation, as they are a fire hazard and suck up chunks of water. 

Breaching of the Swartvlei and Touw River

Date: 2014-08-29

SANParks and the local authority concerned are monitoring  the level of water for both Swartvlei and Touw River. 

Free entry into the Garden Route National Park

Date: 2014-08-18

Over 1, 500 people last year responded to the call to visit the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) for free. This year, SANParks invites all members of the public to visit various sections of the picturesque Garden Route National Park(GRNP) during SA National Parks Week (8 – 12 September 2014). The nine-year old campaign held every September encourages all members of the public, young and old to visit National Parks.

Media Release: Tsitsikamma wins the most coveted regional awards

Date: 2014-08-11

The Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) won two of the region’s most coveted awards at a ceremony held on Friday, 8 August 2014 at the Wilderness Hotel. The Park won the Camp of the Year and the Best Performing Division of the Year. 

Trail buffet

Date: 2014-08-05

The AFB Southern Cross Trail Run takes place in one of South Africa’s hotspots for holiday destinations and serene outdoor vistas. Where towering mountains and thick indigenous forest meet azure blue oceans teaming with sea life and rolling breakers. This is the Garden Route of South Africa and surely one of the premium locations for this trail running extravaganza. 

Committed to conservation

Date: 2014-07-31

As rangers gather around the globe to commemorate International Rangers Day, their counterparts who work in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) want to spend the day rekindling their love for nature. ‘It is nature that underpins tourism in the Park’ says Regional coordinator for the campaign, Owen Govender, who is also the Senior Section Ranger for the Knysna section of the Park.

Media Release: Wilderness section of the GRNP changes booking system to allocation method

Date: 2014-07-28

The Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park has officially changed the old booking system to an allocation system for camp sites for the Park. This is ahead of the upcoming Spring and Summer seasons which are popular in the Park.  Guests and clients to the Park will be granted a site as per their reservation, but will be afforded an opportunity to choose their own site in the particular category on the day of arrival. 

Hope Spot comes to Knysna

Date: 2014-07-07

Partners in Knysna (SANParks, the Eden District Municipality, Knysna Municipality, Cape Nature, Knysna Basin Project, Biowise, Lakes Bird Club) are pulling efforts and resources to put Knysna on the map as the next Hope Spot.  

Media Release: Water in Knysna estuary meets set criteria

Date: 2014-07-02

The recreational site allocated for swimming and other related sporting activities during the upcoming Knysna Oyster Festival meets set standards.  This was confirmed by at least seven samples collected from the deep water channel at the turn of the tide last week. 

Response to letter in the Knysna Plett-Herald

Date: 2014-06-26

Subsequent to the letter published in the Knysna-Plett Herald (dated 26 June 2014) citing incorrect facts, SANParks would like to assure citizens that none of its employees who were provided with houses are facing evictions.  

Rich, diverse sea wildlife

Date: 2014-06-26

There are at least three places where sea wildlife can be spotted in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP).  Dolphins and whales are often seen diving in and out of the water from the Storms River Rest Camp which overlooks the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA), Kranshoek (Knysna forest, also part of the Park) and the Heads in Knysna (part of the protected Lakes Area).

Media Release: Tsitsikamma volunteers scoop Honorary Ranger of the Year

Date: 2014-06-09

The Honorary Rangers in Tsitsikamma scooped the 2013 Award at a recent ceremony. Chairman of the National Executive Committee, Louis Lemmer, says the team in Tsitsikamma has displayed a high level of passion for conservation. 


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