​Northern Cape national parks – on the house

September 20, 2017  — 
(Image: Matt Francey)

With just a week and a half left of Tourism Month, we’re still celebrating in a big way. South African National Parks Week is an annual initiative that sees a number of national parks offer free entrance for a week in an effort to connect ordinary people with the country’s parks. The offer at most parks ends on 22 September, but a few have added an extra day or two, so hurry to catch it!

Augrabies Falls National Park

Augrabies Falls National Park is one of the parks that has added an extra day to the special. Take your family for a free visit until 23 September 2017 – the Augrabies Marathon & Fun Run is also taking place on that day. The park is a favourite in the province and for good reason.

Located about 120km west of Upington, the reserve is home to the mighty Augrabies Falls along the Orange River. Kudu, springbok, leopard, eland and the African wild cat are just some of the animals you can see in the park. Don’t forget to visit Moon Rock, where you can get the best views of the park.

The Quiver Tree.

The Quiver Tree.  (Image: Matt Francey)

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Made up of Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and South Africa’s original Kalahari Gemsbok Park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of largest conservation areas in the world. Its size means you will get to see a large variety of flora and fauna, including the famous Kalahari lion, gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and eland.

Among all that game, you can also spot some of the various reptile, bird and insect species sprawled across the two countries. You don’t have to worry about a passport if you want to venture to the Botswana side, as long as you exit through the same entrance you used to enter. The park offers free entrance until 23 September 2017.

Gemsbok also known as Oryx gazella in the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park.

Gemsbok also known as Oryx gazella in the Kgalagadi Transfontier Park.  (Image: Malapo Country Lodge)

Tankwa Karoo National Park

This one is for the stargazers. The Tankwa Karoo National Park is only a two-hour drive from Sutherland, or four hours if you’re coming from Cape Town. The park is home to many endemic plant species and a varied collection of birdlife, including the black-headed canary, Cape bunting, Cape sparrow and some rare sightings of the black-chested snake eagle, the pale chanting goshawk and white-rumped swift. Entrance to the Tankwa Karoo National Park will be free until 24 September 2017.

Mokala National Park

The Mokala National Park is located to the south-west of Kimberley. The park’s beautiful landscape is home to a number of species, including giraffe, ostrich, steenbok, black wildebeest, gemsbok, reedbuck and black rhino.

The park is also adding an extra day to the South African National Parks Week special – visit for free until 23 September 2017. You can try fly-fishing in the Riet River that runs across the park, if you’re so inclined. Mokala National Park also functions as a breeding centre for buffalo and various antelope that are then moved to other national parks.

For more Tourism Month specials and interesting things to get up to in the Northern Cape, visit http://www.experiencenortherncape.com/visitor/news/tourism-month-special-offers and http://www.experiencenortherncape.com/visitor/news/celebrating-tourism-month-in-the-northern-cape