The Garden Route National Park had a 23, 9% increase in the number of guests during 2013 compared to the previous year (2012). Day visitors to the Park also increased by a significant 34%, from126, 048 day visitors in 2012 to about 169, 367 in 2013.
General Manager of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP), Jill Bunding-Venter says attractions include adventure sporting activities such as nature walks, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and others offered in the Park. Applications to host activities in the Park go through an ecological evaluation process. This scientific process helps simplify the complexity associated with managing a Park in the 21st century. Through ‘zoning’ adventure sports can go ahead with ‘low occupancy’ whilst ‘high biodiversity’ is maintained.
‘Where else in the world do you find such rich biodiversity in birds and plants, indigenous forests, mountainous fynbos areas, the sea, rivers, wetlands and estuaries?’
SANParks National Spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said the Garden Route was the 3rd most visited Park last December 2013. ‘A total of 692, 498 guests visited different national parks’ said Thakhuli in a national statement on Monday (27th January 2014). ‘The most visited Parks were Table Mountain, Kruger, the Garden Route, West Coast, Addo and Augrabies Falls.’
Local Marketing Manager for the GRNP, Clementine Mbatani, says ‘we’ve managed to maintain the market and also improve it. Our clients range from adventure seekers to those who just want to enjoy their peace and quiet time in our diverse product range. Bookings to all National Parks opened last week. We call all adventure seekers (heavy adventurers), softies (canoeing, bird watching, strolls along the Wilderness beach (Blue Flag), Natures Valley (Blue Flag) and Tsitsikamma) to start booking today!’ says Mbatani.
Boilerplate: Africa’s oldest Marine Protected Area (MPA), in Tsitsikamma, also part of the Garden Route National Park turns 50 this year. It is approximately 2 hours from Port Elizabeth, 2,5 hours from George and 6, 5 hours from Cape Town. It is accessible by road and air travel and the nearest airports are Port Elizabeth and George.
Join the fun: Book now for some events in the Park for 2014:
- 21- 23 February 2014- Garden Route 300 (Knysna)
Details of the event: It is an event for mountain biking fanatics! Day 1 of the route goes through Petrus se brand in the Knysna forest, also part of GRNP.
firstname.lastname@example.org, 078 460 3383
- 04- 13 July 2014- Knysna Oyster Festival (Knysna)
Details of the event: The Knysna lagoon (on Day 2) will be held in the Knysna Heads, Thesen Island, parts of the Knysna Lakes Protected Area, also part of the GRNP. A family hike in Harkerville (knsyna forests) is planned for the 09th July 2014.
www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za, 044 382 5510
- 08 August 2014- Southern Cross Run (Wilderness):
Details of the event: 3 Day Stage Race: 25 km Mountain stage, 30 km Forest stage and Coastal stage (some parts of the Wilderness section of the GRNP). Day 2 is a run through the gorgeous indigenous forest.
email@example.com, 082 445 2365
- 08- 14 September 2014- SA National Parks Week
Details of the event: South African citizens are granted free access into the GRNP. Events are organised by the People and Conservation Officers (P&Cs) and Communications in all 3 sections of the Garden Route National Park, Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma.
firstname.lastname@example.org, 044 302 5633
- 21- 24 September 2014- The Otter African trail run (Tsitsikamma)
Details of the event: Dubbed the ‘Grain of all trails’ this phenomenal event targets local and international adrenalin junkies!
This year marks the 6th year since the inception of the event in the Tsitsikamma section of the Park. It draws international athletes to Tsitsikamma every year! It is 42 km in the Tsitsikamma section of the GRNP.
- October 2014- Merrel Eden Duo (Wilderness)
Details of the event: The race starts and finishes at the Ebb & Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness section of the GRNP. It is a multi-sport adventure email@example.com , 082 455 2875
For more events in the Park, visit www. http://www.sanparks.org.za/parks/garden_route/