How to plan your free SANParks trip
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SA National Parks (SANParks) will once again allow South African citizens to enter most of their parks from Monday.
Travellers can visit select parks for free between November 22 to 28, 2021. South African National Parks Week is in its 16th year.
What you need to know
Among the parks South African travellers can visit for free include Agulhas National Park, Augrabies Falls National Park, Bontebok National Park, Camdeboo National Park, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, and Karoo National Park, to name a few.
Free access for those visiting Addo, Kgalagadi, Kruger and the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park will only be valid until Friday, November 26.
The free access to parks does not include the Boulders section at Table Mountain National Park, free accommodation or access to other tourist activities.
Planning your trip
Depending on the national park you choose, travellers may have to fly to the destination, rent a car and self-drive to the selected park.
If you self drive, please purchase a map at the gate to plan your route accordingly. It's advisable to drive with a 4x4 in select parks.
Some travellers may decide to drive to the park and book a ranger for the game drive for a day. When doing this, ensure that you park your vehicle in a safe spot.
Travellers have the option to explore parks for the day or they can book accommodation for a few nights. SANParks offers a range of accommodation options to suit all kinds of travellers.
The more high-end properties may be pricey but offer a host of amenities and activities that make for an experience of a lifetime (choose this option if you don't mind forking out a few extra hands).
Some travellers book accommodation outside the park.
Again, depending on whether you self drive, travel with a ranger or stay at a property within the park, food is an essential part of game viewing.
Pack a few snacks that you can munch on while you spot game like lion, elephant and eland. There are plenty of designated picnic spots that you can stop for a light lunch before heading back out of the reserve.
Lodges offer sunrise and sunset stops where guests indulge in beverages and snacks with a view. Fully inclusive resorts also offer guests three meals and afternoon high tea within the package.
Explore a few parks
Visit more than one park if you have time this week. While it will take plenty of planning, this allows you to explore different parks and it's amenities. Not all parks are the same and offer something unique to guests visiting.
Don't disturb the animals
If you are a first time visitor to a national park, try not to disturb the animals. While it's thrilling to see a wild animal like a leopard or rhino, disturbing it may cause them to get agitated.
Park at a safe distance to view them and never leave the car.
Relish in every moment
This event happens once a year and is a great way to get South African travellers to explore. Enjoy every moment and soak in all the views.