Tsitsikamma Area of the Garden Route National Park. Picture: Supplied
Tsitsikamma Area of the Garden Route National Park. Picture: Supplied

WWF SA and SANParks call on South Africans to help conserve heritage parks

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Sep 29, 2020

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With September being Tourism and Heritage month, the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF SA) and South African National Parks (SANParks) have teamed up to launched a special campaign that celebrates and calls for the support of SA’s world-class national parks.

The “You are nature – Support it!” campaign by WWF and SANParks is calling on South Africans to help protect our parks as natural treasures in the following ways:

Maintain a hectare of national park land and win a prize

By making a donation of R300, individuals will contribute towards the maintenance of the more than 4-million hectares (comprising 70 percent of the protected areas under state management) overseen by SANParks.

With each donation, individuals stand in line to win one of the following prizes:

  • First prize: An opportunity for two people to accompany the SANParks game capture team for one day as they conduct game capture operations in a South African national park.
  • Second prize: An opportunity for a group of four people to experience a Wilderness Trail in the Kruger National Park.
  • Third prize: Three winners will each receive two nights' accommodation for two people

Visit some of the beautiful SANParks sites

SANParks manages a system of 19 functional national parks in seven of the nine provinces of South Africa. South Africans can enjoy these precious landscapes which hold natural and cultural heritage assets which includes:

Wildflower phenomenon

At the moment for instance, the flower season is in full bloom in the Western Cape. Usually drawing thousands of visitors from around the country, the changing weather patterns mean the wildflowers bloom well into late October.

The West Coast National Park is a good viewing spot and the Postberg section is open from 09h00 until 16h00 with last entry at 15h00.

Archaeological sites

The historical wonders of Mapungubwe can be admired by booking a guided heritage tour. Popular sites in Kruger National Park include Thulamela and Masorini. Most other parks also have a variety of Stone Age and Iron Age sites.

Rock art

Impressive and ancient rock art was left by San and Khoekhoen throughout South Africa. Parks such as the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, Tsitsikamma Area of the Garden Route National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and Kruger National Park offer opportunities to view these rock paintings.

The “You are nature – Support it!” campaign aims to raise between R3 to R5-million and will run until end October 2020.

Commenting on the campaign Justin Smith, head of business development with WWF South Africa says: “The lockdown has reminded many of us the true value of nature, how much we need it, and how much we crave it when we cannot access it.

“Now that restrictions have been relaxed, it’s more important than ever to support our world-class national parks as they are the core of our country’s protected areas, for our wildlife and wild spaces, and the many people who rely on tourism for a living.”

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