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Media Release: Camdeboo National Park to offer free entry for SA National Parks Week

Date: 2010-09-07

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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 Camdeboo National Park free of charge for the day to enjoy the scenic views over the Valley of Desolation and wildlife viewing in the Game Viewing Area. Scholars and young persons under 16 years of age will be allowed entry without the requirement for proof of identity.

As part of SA National Parks Week, Park rangers will take an anti-poaching roadshow to the communities to highlight the problems caused by illegal poaching and the value of conserving our biodiversity.

Participate in a snare hunt

Those who want hands-on involvement in conservation can participate in a snare hunt in the Park on Saturday 18 September. Meet at the Petrus De Klerk Building in Bourke Street at 07:00. The snare hunt will end at about 12:00.

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.

Explore the Park

SA National Parks Week is the ideal opportunity for Graaff-Reinet people to visit and get to know the natural heritage which surrounds their town. A drive through the Game Viewing Area on roads suitable for all motor vehicles will offer the opportunity of spotting buffalo, eland, gemsbok, springbok, black wildebeest and other wildlife species, not to mention over 220 species of birds. Six picnic sites are available to provide a tranquil break in the day’s activities.

With a 4x4 vehicle, you can explore the popular Koedoeskloof 4x4 trail which can be accessed via the Valley of Desolation gate. The 7km long trail – which is graded between two and five on the steeper sections - is a treat with its scenic views.

Those looking for an energetic outing can walk the 1.5 km Crag Lizard Trail at the Valley of Desolation or the Eerstefontein Day Walk which has 5 to 14 km options. There is also the Gideon Scheepers Trail to explore.

Entry tariffs to Camdeboo 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 R18 to R20. Visitors from SADC countries will be paying an extra four Rands (R40) whilst visitors from all other foreign countries may expect to pay R60. 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

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

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