KNP Birding Weekend 2007
Next years KNP Birding Weekend is expected to attract up to 650 participants and mobilize an estimated 2000 people as birders converge on Kruger for the annual event.
The West Rand Region of the Honorary Rangers of South African National Parks will next year on the 26th January be hosting the 9th Annual Kruger Park Birding Weekend, in conjunction with Birdlife SA, and the generous sponsorship of SASOL.
From a meager beginning of 150 people the event now attracts an expected record number of 650 participants. There are 16 camps partcipating next year, another record, and in total 2000 people will be mobilised, incuding staff and VIPS.
At a cost of R990 per person which includes 2 nights accommodation, up to 10 hours of game drives, other events (which vary from camp to camp), and 2 grandoise bush-style meals, the event has in previous years been fully subscribed within weeks of bookings opening up in August.
Each year sees about half of the participants being regulars, of which dozens have attended every year since 1999. The birding weekend remains ever popular due not only to the fact that the Kruger National Park is one of the best birding sites in Southern Africa, but also due to the success of the event in terms of excellent and renowned service levels and organisation offered by the experienced Honorary Rangers in attendance at all of the camps.
Sponsored prizes and giveaways to the value of hundreds of thousands of rands are on offer to expert birders and novices alike, not to mention the sharing and intermingling of people in this unique experience. Of value to nature conservation is the contribution made by each participant.
Every year, profits from the event are ploughed back into our national parks in various forms, ranging from donations of specialized equipment for counter poaching operations, to the building of hides and the erection of other conveniences for the enjoyment of the public, too numerous to mention.
Earlier this year the West Rand Region of the Honorary Rangers made funds available for the full purchase of a specialized small aircraft to be used in the Kruger National Park counter poaching operations. In an initiative of the Ranger Support Services, a subdivision and national project of the Honorary Rangers, the Kruger Park birding weekend will again this year consist of a second follow-up weekend in order to accommodate an overflow of bookings at popular camps.
This move was undertaken as a trial at this years event, and proved successful enough to add Bateleur camp for the first time, and this extended event will now take place at Punda Maria, Shingwedzi, Sirheni, Bateleur and also Satara, on the 2nd to 4th February 2007, one week later than the main event. Another new feature will be the ability for participants to book one night earlier, on either weekend, (the Thursday), and should there be sufficient demand and numbers, a pre-event activity will be organized at specific camps. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. for more information.
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