Free entry to Addo game park next week

Visitors to Addo Elephant Park, 30 minutes outside Port Elizabeth, will have free entranc next next week  from 9-12 September 2014.

This is an annual campaign under the  theme ‘Know Your National Parks’ allowing South Africans, with valid identity documents an opportunity to spend a day at a national park of their choice free of charge.  This free access does not include accommodation and any commercial activities such as guided game drives, horse trails, etc.

Next week will be a great opportunity for South Africans to  enjoy the sights and sounds of this Big Five park – the third largest national park in the country.  Visitors will be able to go on a self-drive through the Park, enjoying the more than 600 tusked residents, hundreds of bird species, while those lucky enough may even catch a glimpse of some of Addo’s latest inhabitants – three lion cubs and much more. 

Jack’s picnic site is situated in the middle of the park and is an ideal stop-off for a quick picnic or even a good old South African braai.  Visits to the interpretive centre, underground viewing hide and bird hide at the Main Camp are also a must. 

There is also the PPC Discovery Trail on the way out of Main Camp into the main game viewing area.  It is a short walk through the valley thicket where visitors can learn more about the plants and animals of the region.  The first loop is suitable for visually-impaired and wheelchair-bound visitors.  There are also a number of more serious walking trails in the park’s Zuurberg and Woody Cape sections.

As part of SA National Parks Week, the park’s People and Conservation Department will facilitate visits to the Park for a number of surrounding community and school groups, offering them a chance to experience what they usually would not have been able to. 

The objective of the campaign is to cultivate a culture of pride in all South Africans in their relationship with the country’s natural, cultural and historical heritage and will help them understand the importance of conservation.

The idea of a national parks focus week is a world-wide campaign and was conceived in South Africa in 2006, after realising that a vast majority of South Africans were not accessing the national parks.  The annual South African National Parks Week has been made possible with support from First National Bank (FNB), who’s been on board since inception eight years ago. They were joined as a sponsor this year by Total South Africa.

SANParks encourages all South Africans and especially educators and school groups to diarise these dates and plan a visit to Addo Elephant National Park. The survival of the South African national parks system and our natural and cultural heritage lies in the people of South Africa.

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