This year's South African National Parks Week in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) begins on Sunday 11 September and continues until Saturday 17 September when the public will be given free access to the entire park.
SOUTHERN CAPE NEWS - This year's South African National Parks Week in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) begins on Sunday 11 September and continues until Saturday 17 September when the public will be given free access to the entire park.
The campaign encourages all South Africans to visit national parks around the country. There will be several events on the Garden Route. A gold nugget cycling route takes place in the Goudveld area on Sunday from 10:30 and is aimed at all cyclists.
The GRNP includes the lakes in Wilderness, and forest areas (including Beervlei, Goudveld, Farleigh). Goudveld and Millwood forests are situated 22km from Knysna in Bibby's Hoek (take the Rheenendal road via the Goudveld Entrance). The Goudveld is in the afromotane forest area which is part of the GRNP. This is the largest continuous indigenous forest in South Africa and located on the lower slopes of the Outeniqua mountains with a magnificent variety of fynbos, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammal species. There are several picnic spots.
GRNP Park Manager Paddy Gordon says, "We've prepared various activities in all three sections of the park to accommodate those who share our passion for protecting nature. The campaign week is a platform to share information, educate various visitors to the park."
On the Thursday, a high tea with stakeholders will shed light on the frontier region's western gateway - the Wilderness section of the GRNP. The high tea starts at 11:00 and will continue until 13:00.
Key ranger in Goudveld, Dominique du Toit, says Goudveld is fascinating for its biodiversity and its rich history. "Back in 1876 gold was discovered by James Hooper along the Karatara River. Later in 1887, more discoveries were made in the nearby Millwood area. Millwood in those days had hotels, a church, shop, surgery, bank, school and post office. The two remaining houses from that era are used as a museum to showcase the area's cultural history as well as a restaurant (Materiolli or Mother Holly). The goldfields are also still visible.
"This area is also where most of the woodcutters lived until they were removed from the forests in 1939. Renowned author, Dalene Matthee's book is centred around the lives of woodcutters and there is a memorial erected in her memory," Du Toit said.
All three parks have free access events planned every day of this eventful week, which include guided hiking as well as bird and seahorse talks.
For more information on the cycling event and the high tea, contact Nandi Mgwadlamba on 044 302 5633 or firstname.lastname@example.org; for Wilderness guided talks and tours contact Muneer Moses on 044 877 0046; for Tsitsikamma guided talks and events contact Richmond Gewers on 042 281 1607; and for Knysna guided talks, tours and events contact Nondumiso Ngewnya on 044 302 5642.
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