KNYSNA NEWS - South African visitors are invited to the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) for free from Monday to Saturday 10 to 15 September. All gates including visits to the Big Tree will waive entrance fees to all citizens who present a South African ID for identification at all gates in Wilderness (Ebb & Flow rest camp, Goudveld, Farleigh and Woodville), Knysna (includes forest areas such as Diepwalle and Harkerville) and Tsitsikamma (includes Nature's Valley, Storms River rest camp and the Big Tree).
The park 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 park.
According to the IUCN (2001) categories that were used to evaluate the threat status of SA mammals (Friedmann & Daly 2004), the park protects populations of 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).
10 species to look out for
GRNP regional ecologist Jessica Hayes recommends looking out for these 10 species:
- 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 www.sanparks.org for planned events for the SA National Parks Week campaign, hosted in partnership with Total SA and FNB.
Did you know?
The famous Otter hiking trail turns 50 this year, and the Tsitsikamma section of the park (previously Tsitsikamma National Park) is 54 years old.
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