This week, South Africans and visitors to South Africa have the chance to explore the country’s exquisite natural environment for free. This is thanks to South African National Parks Week, an initiative started in 2006 to connect SA’s national parks system to the global national movement and to showcase the best of South Africa’s national parks.
18 of our 21 national parks will be open to the public, and those in the Western Cape can look forward to a variety of stunning vistas. Of course, when we think of Cape Town,Table Mountain National Park springs to mind. And rightly so, given its vast expanse and the array of activities it offers. Those invigorated by the view of Cape Town’s city bowl from the plateau of Table Mountain can take the aerial cableway up and spend an hour or so taking pictures, saying ‘hi’ to the dassies, and grabbing a drink at any one of the site’s numerous watering holes.
Alternatively, one can visit the park’s southernmost end and catch an awe-inspiring glimpse of the wide ocean from the Old Lighthouse at Cape Point. One way to make this adventure particularly memorable is to download the Cape Point Audio Tour and not only relish in the natural beauty of the area, but also be educated about its history and some of its flora and fauna.
But there’s no need to stop there. The Western Cape is also home to the West Coast National Park, only a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town’s City Centre and featuring a colourful display of flora at this time of year. Then there is the Garden Route which will take you out of Cape Town and into the Knysna and Tsitsikamma areas. And lastly, there is the Agulhas National Park, where visitors will find themselves at the southernmost tip of Africa. Do note, however, that access to the lighthouse here will not be free.
For more information on what to expect at these various parks, click here. Take advantage of what the Western Cape has to offer.
Photography courtesy SANParks – Table Mountain National Park and Joshua Craig White