South African visitors are invited to the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) for free from Monday the 10- Saturday the 15th September 2018.
All gates including visits to the Big tree will waiver entrance fees to all South African citizens. Visitors are reminded to carry a South African ID for identification. All gates in Wilderness (Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, Goudveld, Farleigh, Woodville), Knysna (includes the forest areas such as Diepwalle and Harkerville), Tsitsikamma (includes Natures Valley, Storms River Rest Camp and the Big tree).
The Garden Route National Park (GRNP) is a mosaic of landscapes and seascapes, a haven for birds and animals including seabirds, rare and endangered species. It is approximately 155, 000 hectares of land including indigenous forests, lakes, rivers, wetlands and the sea.
Scientists have recorded over 465 plant species in the forests, over 22 species of amphibians, 24 reptile species, 84 species of water birds, 305 species of birds and about 43% of South Africa’s 290 mammal species in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP).
According to the IUCN (2001) categories that were used to evaluate the threat status of the South African mammals (Friedmann & Daly 2004), the GRNP protects populations of twenty-eight (28) red data book species. In the Threatened categories, 7.1% of the Park’s mammals are listed as Endangered (EN) and 14% as Vulnerable (VU).
Small 10 to look out for whilst visiting the National from Jessica Hayes, Regional Ecologist, GRNP:
- Knysna seahorse
- Blue duiker
- Knysna Turaco or Loerie
- Honey badger
- Cape Clawless Otter
- Knysna dwarf chameleon
- Slender Redfin Minnow
- Velvet Worm
- African Penguin
- African Crowned Eagle
The Park makes an effort to bus in communities who would otherwise not be able to make it to the Park according to priorities set by People & Conservation Officers but the need is great and not everyone can be bussed in. We encourage visitors to follow us on social media @SANParksGRNP or visit the website www.sanparks.org for planned events for the SA National Parks Week campaign. The campaign is hosted in partnership with Total SA and First National Bank (FNB).
Did you know the famous Otter hiking trail turns 50 this year although the Tsitsikamma National Park is 54 years (now the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park)?