South African National Park (SANParks) saw 77 340 visitors to the parks during South African National Parks Week from 18 September to 22 September 2017.
This was a 24% increase from last year’s 62 312. The top three Parks with 202%, 138% and 119% increase respectively were Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage site, Karoo National Park and Marakele National Park.
This campaign under the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ allowed locals with valid identity documents an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice free of charge.
According to SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni the objective of the week is to give all South Africans a chance to enjoy and experience the beauty and majesty of our breath-taking National Parks. “We had an increase of just over 24% this year from last year’s 62 312 visitors. It was good to see smaller parks such as Tankwa Karoo and Bontebok National Park had an increase in their numbers compared to previous years.
"SA 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”.
The annual SA National Parks Week has been made possible with support from First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa. “Our partnerships are critical because it enables development outcomes that are not only a social responsibility, but also more socially inclusive and cultivate sustainable relationships. Adopting more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable business operations helps cultivate sustainable relationships that allow us to tackle important national and global issues.”
The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official Identity Documents. Since its inception in 2006, National Parks Week has seen an influx of 364 275 day visitors in all participating parks.