South African National Parks (SANParks) in partnership with First National Bank (FNB) and Total South Africa has opened the 13th official South African National Parks Week.
The week, opened by the Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr Seaparo Sekoati, on behalf of Environmental Affairs Minister, Dr Edna Molewa, begins today and will end on Friday, September 14.
Under the established theme “Know Your National Parks,” the week-long campaign encourages citizens through the #LiveYourWild campaign to visit a national park and be part of a world-wide campaign. The official opening was held at the Phalaborwa Gate in the northern part of the Kruger National Park (KNP).
This year is a significant milestone for KNP given it marks its 120th year of conservation management. KNP was first proclaimed in 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve. The almost 2 million hectares is home to 254 known cultural heritage sites including nearly 130 recorded rock art sites. The Park’s history is rich and exciting and cultural artefacts of Stone Age man have been found dating from 100 000 to 30 000 years ago.
There are more than 300 archaeological sites of Stone Age man and evidence of Bushman Folk (San) and Iron Age people from about 1 500 years ago. The park also has many historical tales of the presence of Nguni people and European explorers and settlers in the Kruger area.