The SA National Parks Week offers South Africans a fantastic opportunity to explore our nature reserves.

During this week (September 18-22 and in some cases extended to the long weekend) free day-visitor access is offered to most of the country’s 21 national parks, including the Kruger Park.

This is a wonderful chance to explore the beauty and diversity of our natural heritage.

It is hoped that through the “free” week day visitors, especially those from local communities, can experience the national treasure that is our parks.

Please note that free access does not extend to accommodation and other tourist activities in and around the parks.

This year marks the 12th annual SANParks Week and the focus is on the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which is easily accessible to many in the country, especially visitors from Gauteng.

National Parks Week was launched at Golden Gate at the weekend.

SANParks Week is offered in partnership with Total SA and FNB, and is in line with the SANParks vision statement of “A sustainable National Park System Connecting Society”.

Independent Media readers of this title have the chance to win a great prize: a two-night stay for four people at Golden Gate.

To enter the competition, SMS #SANParks, your name (and surname) to 43637.