Visitors flock to Eastern Cape national parks in December: SANParks

JANUARY 14, 2016

The four South African National Parks (SANParks) in the Frontier Region, the Addo Elephant, Camdeboo, Karoo and Mountain Zebra national parks, recorded good increases in popularity over December.

Cumulatively, the four recorded an increase in visitors of 6.4%, up from 42 414 in December 2014 to last month.  The number of activities sold also grew substantially, from 3 465 to 4 126 or 19.1%.

The largest of the parks, Addo Elephant National Park outside Port Elizabeth, noted a 4.4% increase in visitors – from 27 601 in December 2014 to 28 815 last year.  The park also registered an 18.6% increase in the number of activities sold, up from 3 061 to 3 629. 

The Park’s entrance gate along the N2 just outside Colchester, Camp Matyholweni, continues to attract more visitors due to its accessibility from PE.  Gate entry figures increased by 13% over the corresponding months.

Camdeboo National Park, which surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet, welcomed 6 643 visitors over December – 19.1% more than the previous year.  The park’s camp site is also increasing in popularity, registering a nearly 10% increase in camp site occupancy.

Activities at Mountain Zebra National Park continues to perform excellently.  A total of 312 activities were sold over December, 35.7% more than the 230 in 2014.  Bed nights also showed a significant increase – 18.6% on the previous year’s figure.

Over the same period Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West recorded an 8.5% growth in visitor numbers, up from 5 759 to 6 246.  The number of activities sold also showed an increase of 6.3%.

Regional General Manager, Dries Engelbrecht, said, “I need to thank all the staff who worked tirelessly over the festive season, while the majority of us were spending time with family and friends. 

"Thanks to them, our parks continued to deliver the good quality service which is synonymous with SANParks.  We are also thankful to all the visitors who chose our parks as a destination of choice.  We trust they made good memories while enjoying their natural heritage.”