Date: 08 September 2018 By: Tracy Ngobeni
South African citizens can visit a national park free of charge next week.
It follows an invite by the South African National Parks (SANParks), in partnership with Total South Africa and FNB, to all South Africans.
According to a statement by SANParks, the campaign encourages citizens through the #LiveYourWild campaign to visit a national park “and be part of a world-wide campaign that was conceived in South Africa in 2006.” The majority of South Africans have either never visited a national park or are not aware that there are 19 different national parks, SANParks stated.
According to SANParks’ head of communications, Ms Janine Raftopoulos, the objective of the week is to cultivate a culture of pride in all South Africans in their relationship with the country’s natural landscapes, as well as the rich cultural and historical heritage that parks have to offer. “When people visit our national parks, they inevitably come away with a renewed sense of pride and greater understanding of the importance of conservation and a sense of ownership”.
The feature element of this campaign is the free access granted to all South African day visitors carrying their official identity documents. Young persons under the age of 16 will be allowed free access without proof of identity. The free access will not include accommodation and any commercial activities in the park, such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc. For individual park dates visit: https://www.sanparks.org/about/events/parks_week/
Tracy Ngobeni is a 20-year-old intern who is doing her final year in journalism at Tshwane University of Technology. She was born and bred in Olifantshoek. She started her journalism career in 2017, after submitting her articles to the Record Noweto Newspaper in Pretoria. Her heart beats for print media because she believes that writing can heal reader's souls.