National Parks Week a success with SANParks recording over 94 000 day visitors

Elephants drinking water at the Kruger National Park. Picture: Unsplash

Elephants drinking water at the Kruger National Park. Picture: Unsplash

Published Oct 5, 2023


SA National Parks (SANParks) revealed that its annual Parks Week, which was held from September 16 to 25, was a success and that parks saw an increase in visitors.

According to SANParks, a total of 94 203 visitors made their way to national parks and participated in the visit-for-free campaign, compared with last year’s 72 166 visitors.

SANParks’ Parks Week under the established theme “Know Your National Parks” gave South Africans an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice free of charge.

The annual SA National Parks Week was made possible with support from TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa and FNB.

SANParks CEO Hapiloe Sello said the objective of the week is to give all South Africans a chance to enjoy and experience the beauty and majesty of the breathtaking national parks.

“We had just over 94 000 people visit the parks during the focus week this year, which is 30% higher than 2022’s numbers. National Parks Week aims to create a culture of pride in all South Africans in their relationship with the country’s natural, cultural and historical heritage.

“When people start to take pride in the national parks, then we believe that they will start to understand the importance of conservation,” said Sello.

SANParks revealed that since its inception in 2006, National Parks Week has seen an influx of 785 621 day visitors in all participating parks.

They also thanked all South Africans, especially educators and school groups, who took the time to visit South Africa’s national parks in the week commemorated during Heritage Month and Tourism Month.

“Without our partners, this week would not have materialised and South Africans would not be able to visit our parks free of charge.

“The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa, and we are focused on involving young people and communities, to cultivate knowledge of the importance of conservation and an appreciation for the country’s natural heritage,” said Sello.