Under the theme “Know Your National Parks” South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa opened the 12th official South African National Parks Week at Golden Gate Highlands National Park (GGHNP). The week, opened by the SANParks Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni began on the 18th of September and will end tomorrow.
The official launch was held in GGHNP, which is an open system park and currently the only proclaimed National Park within the grassland biome. It was proclaimed on 13 September 1963 at 4 792 ha, and today is 34 000 ha.
"National Parks Week initiative was born out of the realization that the majority of South Africa’s citizens were not visiting parks, and with a plethora of activities and wide variety of accommodation to choose from, the week is an effort to cultivate a culture of awareness and pride of National Parks especially for those communities situated around the parks,’’ said Mketeni.
The week is also an opportunity to showcase all national parks as key and affordable local holiday destinations which offer unique experiences that families and individuals from all backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles and communities can enjoy.
Along with the Basotho Cultural Village and museum located on the eastern side of the amalgamated GGHNP, the Parks boasts a rich history with San rock art and primitive stone tools found at various places throughout Golden Gate. It hosts the oldest dinosaur embryo which was discovered in the area in the early century.