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Cacadu
Tourism News
Get back to nature – for free
09 September 2010
 

If you've been meaning to check out of the rat race and head back to nature for a day or two - here's your chance.
From Monday, 13 September until Friday, 17 September entry to all South African National Parks in the Eastern Cape and elsewhere in the country is absolutely free.
This forms part of SAN Parks' annual Parks Week, an initiative which will be formally launched at AddocE1ephant Park outside of Port Elizabeth on Moday.
"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," said SAN Parks' general manager Rey Thakhuli.
"SA National Parks Week is in its fifth year and has proved to be a successful campaign in terms of environmental education and awareness of conservation issues."
Parks Week was born in 2006, after SAN Parks Chief Executive Dr David Mabunda realised that a vast majority of South Africans were not accessing the country's national parks.
Mabunda embarked on a campaign to encourage all South Africans, especially those from the communities around the parks, to share in what SAN Parks envisions to be the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world.
"Environmental education and protection is the responsibility of everyone, not just a priviledged few," he said.
"If we are to create a sense of ownership of the natural heritage, then all South Africans must be able to have access to such. "We especially want our young people to take advantage of this opportunity because this heritage will be under their protection in the near future."
The Eastern Cape national parks offering free access next week include the Camdeboo National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and the Addo Elephant National Park.
The Camdeboo National Park provides visitors with insights into the unique landscape and ecosystem of the Karoo. A unique feature of the 19 405-hectare park is its location, practically surrounding the town of Graaff-Reinet.
The craggy heights of the Mountain Zebra National Park's Bankberg embrace rolling plains and deep valleys. The proclamation of the park in 1937 saved the Mountain Zebras from extinction and currently their population stands at 300 where they roam 28412 hectares of land.
The Addo Elephant National Park lies deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region.
The original Elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area -today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.
Potential visitors to these parks can gain free entry by simply presenting their South African ID or passport at the main entrance.

 
 
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