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Media Release: Dates for annual week of free access to SANParks confirmed

06 August 2010

Date: 2010-08-06

South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced that the official opening of the 2010 South African National Parks Week will take place on Monday, 13 September 2010 at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape.

The week-long campaign giving free access to the national parks will take place from 13-17 September 2010 and will be applicable to all the national parks managed by SANParks, with the exception of Boulders in Table Mountain National Park, Tankwa and Namaqua National Parks.

In 2006, Dr David Mabunda, Chief Executive of SANParks, recognised that a vast majority of South Africans were not accessing the national parks. He embarked upon this campaign to encourage all South Africans, especially those from the communities around the parks, to share in what SANParks envisions to be “the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world”.

The objective of SA National Parks Week is to cultivate a sense of understanding and pride in South Africans, of their natural, cultural and historical heritage which is the basis for the established theme “Know Your National Parks”. SA National Parks Week is in its fifth year and has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of environmental education and awareness of conservation issues.

The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents. It must be noted that the free access to the parks will not include any commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, as well as accommodation.

“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.

SANParks encourages all South Africans and especially educators and school groups to diarise these dates and plan a visit to a national park nearby!

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Issued by:

SANParks Corporate Communications

Media Enquiries:

Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli – GM: PR, Media & Stakeholder Relations, tel: (012) 426 5203, cell: 073 373 4999, e-mail: