The first upgrades in a million rand improvement project in the Garden Route National Park’s (GRNP) is set to start early in 2016. The upgrades will be done in an eco-friendly manner and will make ample provision for universal access.
Although the summer season (December to February) is one of the most popular visitor times for the area, SANParks assured prospective visitors they “will not be affected by the upgrading process at all, as they plan to vacate the existing office building before December,” Lesley-Ann Meyer, Area Manager, explained.
“We’ve planned for all activities within the park, including the restaurant to operate fully throughout,” Meyer said.
The first upgrades will be done to the entrance gate and administration building.
During the upgrades, visitors will be able to access the park through a newly developed temporary access route just behind the new office building. These upgrades are the first improvements in a more than R17 million upgrade program for the GRNP.
The Garden Route National Park has seen a significant increase in visitors over the past two years, SANParks said in a statement.
General Manager of the GRNP, Jill Bunding-Venter, speaking at the 2015 Garden Route National Park Awards said “overall guests to the Park showed an impressive increase by a staggering 19% since 2013.
“Day visitors also increased by 19, 5%,” he said, while “overnight visitors increased by 17, 75% in 2014 as compared to 2013”.
The Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park appear to be the most popular in the park, as it scooped the Best Camp of the Year at the aforementioned awards.
The Tsitsikamma region was praised for exceeding its targets set for 2014/2015. Figures illustrate a significant improvement in terms of finance, tourism, People & conservation and conservation management.
Interested in going to the Garden Route National Park? Here are a few must-dos:
The Park attracts all kinds of adventurers with its multiple activities. Most of the activities are water-related (think snorkelling, kayaking, swimming, black water tubing and stand-up paddling, for example), which is why it’s so popular during the summer season.
12 of the park’s hiking trails have Green Flag status, and it is the only National Park in South Africa with as many concentrated day and overnight nature walks that meet International standards.
The iconic 1000- year old Outeniqua Yelloowwood is a must-see. The tree is open to members of the public and can be accessed via segways that go up around it.