Picture: for illustration purposes

Free Access to National Parks Granted to South Africans

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In celebration of the upcoming Heritage Day and the commencement of SA National Parks Week, South Africans are set to briefly experience the country's conservation efforts nudge-free. Following an announcement by the Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment, Barbara Creecy, entrance fees to national parks will be waived until Sunday.

The initiative, named National Parks Week, began on 16 September and will proceed till 24 September. South Africans are encouraged to explore the country's most pristine environments during this period, contributing to the government's effort of connecting communities to nature, especially those who rarely get this opportunity.

Barbara Creecy, during her announcement last week, stated that the initiative is aimed at presenting the country's unique biological diversity, cultural heritage, and areas of conservation to the residents of South Africa.

To partake in this experience, South Africans are only required to present their identification documents. However, minors under the age of 16 will not be required to provide identification. It should be noted that activities requiring commercial transactions, such as guided walks and safaris, will not be covered by this free access arrangement.

The initiative, which first came into existence in 2006, is expected to benefit over 600,000 South Africans who may have missed out on visiting national parks due to financial limitations. It is, however, noteworthy that some parks like the Boulders Penguin Colony, the Table Mountain National Park Cableway, and the Namaqua National Park in the Northern Cape, have not been included in this free access programme.

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