Free Access to Table Mountain National park, and others in September
The people of greater Cape Town have often complained about the prohibitive pricing of the recreation spots in the Table Mountain National Park , as well as other national parks that makes it difficult for those who live in our beautiful city to appreciate its natural resources. One of the most beautiful picnic, braai and swimming spots is situated at Buffels Bay in the Cape Point nature reserve. Here are rolling lawns, barbecue
pits, and a beautiful white sand beach along with an expansive tidal pool; but at almost any time of the year it is all but deserted because tourists do not usually visit Cape Point for the beach, but for the spectacular views and the lighthouse. It is sad that this ideal family recreation spot is beyond the reach of many of the local people owing to the entrance cost of R85 per adult to the reserve.
Some good news is that South African National Parks has announced the 2012 South African National Parks Week with free access to all South African citizens will be launched on Monday, 10th September 2012. SAN Parks Acting Head of Communications: Paul Daphne, who announced the week long campaign will be giving free access to the national parks from 10th to 14th September 2012. This will be applicable to all the national parks managed by SAN Parks, with the exception of Boulders Beach in Table Mountain National Park and the Namaqua National Park. Table Mountain National Park (excluding Boulders) is extending SA National Parks week until Saturday 15 September 2012 .
According to Mr Daphne this focus week on national parks was first promoted in 2006 after the SAN Parks Chief Executive Officer, Dr David Mabunda, recognised that the vast majority of South Africans were not accessing the national parks. He then embarked on a campaign to encourage all South Africans, especially those from the communities around the parks, to share in what SAN Parks envisions as ‘connecting to society’. He further noted that the objective of SA National Parks Week is to cultivate a sense of understanding and pride in South Africans, of their natural, cultural and historical heritage; which is the basis for the established theme ‘Know Your National Parks’, and has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of education and awareness of conservation issues.
This free access is granted to all South African day visitors on presentation of their official Identity Documents. Young persons under the age of 16 will be allowed free access without the requirement of proof of identity. It must be noted that the free access to the parks will not include any commercial activities in the park such as guided safaris in vehicles or guided walks, etc.
“Environmental education and protection is the responsibility of everyone, not just a privileged few. If we are to create a sense of ownership of the natural heritage of South Africa in all South Africans, then all South Africans must be able to have access to such,” said Daphne.
For more information see the website : http://www.sanparks.org/