South African National Park (SANParks) is again opening its doors for free from Monday, 18 September until Friday, 22 September 2017 as part of the annual South African National Parks Week. This campaign under the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ will allow locals with valid identity documents an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice free of charge.

The week-long campaign will be applicable to all the national parks managed by SANParks, with the exception of Boulders in Table Mountain National Park and Namaqua National Park. Some of the parks will be extending the week to include the weekend. For individual park dates please visit: https://www.sanparks.org/about/events/parks_week/ 

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.

The idea of a national parks focus week is a world-wide campaign and was conceived in South Africa in 2006, after realising that a vast majority of South Africans were not accessing the national parks.

The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents. Young persons under the age of 16 will be allowed free access without proof of identity. It should be noted that the free access to the parks will not include accommodation and any commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc.

This year’s SA National Parks Week will include exhibitions around the country at various key national parks which will represent the different geographical regions of SANParks. The expo will include cultural, conservation, nursery and tourism aspects from the community, rangers and various conservation entities in order to highlight the broader South African biodiversity landscape.

The annual SA National Parks Week has been made possible with support from First National Bank (FNB) and Total SA.

The spin-off of this initiative is that it boosts the local communities of the areas around the parks while creating awareness of the need to preserve our natural heritage.

SANParks encourages all South Africans and especially educators and school groups to diarise these dates and plan a visit to a national park nearby. The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa.

Share your visit to a National Park with us during SA National Parks Week using #SANationalParksWeek and tag @SANParks and @FNBSA