Over 4,900 people visited the Garden Route National Park during this year’s SA National Parks Week. This is in excess of 1,500 more people than the previous year (2015).SA National Parks Week campaign in the Garden Route progressed for 7 days to allow neighbouring communities to have free access into the Garden Route National Park. The week long campaign which is financed by FNB and Total SA kicked off with a launch of a cycling route suitable for the whole family (a 7,5 km long route) in the middle of the forest in Goudveld, a few kilometers from the town on Knysna.
The gold nugget cycling route was launched on Sunday, 11 September 2016 in Goudveld, Millwood. The Park Manager for the Garden Route National Park, Paddy Gordon says "we are finding creative ways to make people feel more welcome in the Park during SA National Parks Week. If cycling is the new golf, then we have found ways to upgrade existing trails to suit the entire family."
<p class="leading">Research conducted by South African Tourism in 2007 indicated some 5 million citizens had the means and the desire to travel. This led to a campaign to encourage locals to visit their country more often. There is a desire from global travellers to venture more into "untouched and unique places" according to a popular global blog (treksoft.com). Travellers are on the lookout for unique and original experiences.</p>
<p class="leading">South African National Parks (SANParks) in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) dispatched resources to help fight a fire that broke out from neighbouring private property on Saturday, 27 August 2016. Park Manager of the GRNP, Paddy Gordon says "the fire started on private property and has spread through a wide landscape. Our teams are deployed on three flanks to assist the fight in the Knysna area to protect the fire from spreading to Buffelsnek and in Tsitsikamma areas."</p>
<p class="leading">This year’s South African National Parks Week in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) begins on Sunday, the 11th September until Saturday, the 17th September 2016. The campaign encourages all South Africans to visit National Parks around the country. The Garden Route will open the campaign week with the launch of the Gold nugget cycling route in the Goudveld area on Sunday, the 11th September 2016 from 10:30am.</p>
Media Release: Joint Statement by George Municipality, Eden District Muncipality, SANParks, Southern Cape Fire Protection Association
<p>A raging fire propelled by berg winds of up to 48km/hr lef t a trail of destruction in Wilderness on the 11th August with four homes lost. At a meeting held on 23rd August in Wilderness with the affected homeowners - George Municipality, Eden District Municipality, SANParks and the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association (SCFPA) again extended their sympathies to those who lost homes and possessions.</p>
The planned ecological block burning postponed from last year for the Harkerville area is set to kick off tomorrow (16th August 2016). So says Area Manager for Knysna, Johan de Klerk, "fynbos is a vegetation type which is adapted to fire and more so, dependent on fire. Many species only recruit after a fire as fire stimulates seed release and germination. Without fire, there would be no fynbos."
The Garden Route National Park honoured staff on Friday, 12 August 2016. The event was held at the Cattle Baron Restaurant's deck in Tsitsikamma where 140 people attended including the Chief Operating Officer of SANParks-Ms Lize McCourt, Senior General Manager-Jill Bunding-Venter, GRNP Park Manager- Paddy Gordon and other guests. 68 rangers qualified as Environmental Management Inspectors according to NEMA's Section 31 B and C of 2008.
This year's World Ranger Day campaign celebrated in Harkerville, Knysna was attended by Park Manager of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), Paddy Gordon who welcomed and introduced the day as significant in the lives of rangers throughout the world. 'Our work is significant and you are doing good work even against the face of opposition at times' he encouraged rangers.
#SaluteOurRangers is a national campaign encouraging citizens to send messages to rangers during International Rangers Day on the 31st of July 2016.
SANParks rangers are currently monitoring Swartvlei for evidence of more injured flamingos subsequent to a horrific accident this morning. The birds were badly injured when they flew into a nearby power line parallel to the N2. Thus far; two dead flamingos were collected; one badly injured had to be euthanized yesterday, 18 July 2016. Four seriously injured flamingos were collected this morning and rushed to Tenikwa Wildlife’s Rehabilitation Centre for treatment.
The Knysna forests managed by the South African National Parks as part of its Garden Route National Park (GRNP) make up around 42,000 hectares of land across the coastal stretch from George to Tsitsikamma in the East. The forests which were formerly managed by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry include Farleigh, Diepwalle and Tsitsikamma are now managed under the GRNP for conservation. The forests were exploited prior to 1939 when the Government decided to close them to the woodcutters’ system. Between 1940 and 1964 the Government focused largely on plantations.
The People and Conservation (P&C) department of the Knysna Section of the Garden Route National Park ran a creative writing competition for all grade six learners from all the schools in the Knysna area for Environment Month. Our People & Conservation intern for Knysna, Nondumiso Myataza managed this project for the Park. Written essays were in three languages (English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans). Nondumiso says "learners were required to write an answer to the question: Why should we Conserve Our Oceans."
With global calls to tackle litter and poaching as major threats to the environment, more locals are encouraged to pool resources to protect and conserve the environment. The call to citizens to help conservation authorities comes a day after the world commemorated World Environment Day (05 June 2016).
By halting biodiversity loss, we are investing in people, their lives and their well-being.
Planned upgrades for the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park to the tune of +R17 million begin in 2 weeks in the Storms River Rest Camp, Tsitsikamma. The upgrades are scheduled to start with the entrance gate and administration building. The renovation of the gate aims to introduce a far simpler structure and system for visitors entering the Park’s main gate.
SANParks will release a more detailed statement soon.
KADA was informed thrice that the land in question was transferred by the Municipality to the curatorship of SANParks.
The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) team has complied fully with the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METTs). An audit conducted last quarter through an Internationally recognised tool to measure management effectiveness of protected areas (METTSs) prove SANParks is managing the GRNP effectively.
A SANParks ranger, Siviwe Nondobo was out collecting dung boli measurements for our scientists working on terrestrial mammals including the Knysna elephant, Lizette Moolman van der Vyver. On his way there, he first saw a caracal and then later Oupoot herself. Yesterday, field workers from MTO saw the elephant and took pictures of her.
Test results conducted by the Eden District Municipality in all water bodies in Wilderness and surrounds last week came back negative for Vibro vulnificus in water bodies in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP).
There is always room for further consultation in a public participation process as not everyone will be happy with the end result.
Wayne Bolton who plans to cycle 6,000 kilometers to 19 National Parks around the country began his expedition on the 28th November 2015. His expedition "One land, love it" has promised to strengthen ranger corps efforts against the plight of rhino poaching. So says Bolton "we will contribute much needed anti-poaching equipment to the men and women on the ground - rangers who risk their lives to protect our wildlife".
09 January 2016 - The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) can confirm that the DEA, South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Tsitsikamma Angling Forum (representatives of the Tsitsikamma fishing community) have reached a settlement agreement with the Friends of the Tsitsikamma Association, to stop the pilot recreational angling project in the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Two water samples collected from where the Indian Ocean meets the Knysna estuary (Knysna Heads) and also in the ocean on both Friday and Saturday morning tested positive. There is a definite presence of dinoflagellates in both water samples. Both Professor Brian Allanson of the Knysna Basin Project and Professor Bornman of the NRF/ SEAON agree there is a red tide. Bornman’s tests were conducted in the Algoa coastline (Port Elizabeth).
It is exactly five days to the start of the pilot phase to allow fishing in 4 controlled zones in the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area. The pilot is an action from an agreement signed between SANParks and representatives of the Tsitsikamma community (Tsitsikamma Angling Forum and Koukamma Municipality).
On 19 December 2015 Sedgefield will not only see the Slow Town Fun Run hosted at Myoli Beach at 9am but will once again welcome last year’s highly successful amateur Sand Castle Building competition hosted by Knysna Tourism.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SANParks, Fundisile Mketeni signed an agreement with representatives of the Tsitsikamma community to pilot fishing in the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA).
Media Release: Minister Molewa publishes regulations on the rezoning of Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area
23 November 2015 - The Minister of Environmental Affairs has published draft regulations for the re-zonation of the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area, for public comments.
A one of a kind carnival launched for the first time in Tsitsikamma by SANParks in partnership with private companies in the area. Speaking at the event, Mayor of Koukamma, Sam Vuso, said "the event was a platform to unite the small town to strive towards working together".