Wilderness Rest Camp (Ebb & Flow). The park stretches to Sedgefield, forest areas such as Goudveld, Beervlei, Farleigh and part of the Wilderness beach. Picture: Supplied

The Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) has scooped the most coveted award of Park of the Year at the South African National Parks Awards (Kudu Awards) in Gallagher Estate, Johannesburg.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dr Sandra Taljaard, park manager of the Wilderness section of the GRNP said "We are excited to receive the award. 

"To us it means our national peers appreciate and recognize that despite the many challenges faced by the Park during the 2018/2019 Financial year, the team found innovative ways to achieving set targets for the year."

The Award for Park of the year is won by a park that has come up with the most innovative measures in meeting the financial and human resource constraints.

The park’s marine ranger Jonathan Britton also won the shield awards at the same national awards. He won for continued acts of placing himself in harm’s way to save others. 

Efforts include the Garden Route fires, representing SANParks in various rescue operations with stakeholders including the Kingfisher trail, Brown hooded incidents, 2018 Festive season criminal incidents.

Speaking about his achievement, Britton said he cannot claim this award only for himself and thus attributes his award to the rest of the ranger teams in Wilderness. 

Speaking about Britton, park manager for Wilderness, Sandra Taljaard, added "Jonathan is always at the forefront of the team leading and has done so in various rescue operations during the 2018/2019 financial year."