In the spirit of the 15th annual South African National Parks Week from 16 – 20 November 2020, we’ve compiled a list of national parks in the Western Cape. If you’re not able to visit any of the parks during the week, the Cape Region has two bonus days in select parks.
For more info, as well as further details on capacity limits, please visit the SANParks website.
Parks with free entrance from 16 – 20 November 2020
Karoo National Park – Cape Karoo
The Karoo National Park, founded in 1979, is a wildlife reserve in the Great Karoo area of the Western Cape. The Park features a rich and diverse range of mammals and birds, which can be spotted during game drives due the nature of the vegetation in the area. There are 60 km of tourist roads to explore, most of which are accessible to all vehicles, which include 4x4 trails. There are a multitude of experiences available, but a highlight would be the Klipspringer Pass. The Pass offers a scenic 13km drive and features eco-friendly construction, specifically the “Andrew Bain” method of dry-masonry construction.
Garden Route National Park – Cape Garden Route and Klein Karoo
There’s an abundant amount of land and water activities to enjoy, the most notable experience is the Otter Trail. The trail, named for the Cape clawless otter which occurs in this region, spans a total distance of 45km and takes approximately 5 days and 4 nights to complete. It’s the oldest hiking trail in South Africa.
Parks with free entrance from 16 – 22 November 2020
Table Mountain National Park – Cape Town
***Free entry excludes Boulders Penguin Colony and the Table Mountain Cableway in Table Mountain National Park. Some capacity limits apply.
Stretching from the north of Cape Town, down to the Cape Peninsula, and to Africa’s southwestern extremity, the Cape of Good Hope, this vast national park is deservedly named after one of the Western Cape’s most iconic sights. Table Mountain, thought to be around 300-million years old, looms large over the Mother City.
Tankwa Karoo National Park
If you’re a connoisseur of wide open spaces, and could do with some peace and solitude, this park, with its spectacular landscapes might just be what you need.
West Coast National Park – Cape West Coast
While the Cape Flower Season (which takes place from August - September) may be over, but there’s still the opportunity to spot antelope or mountain zebra, or any of the other extensive animal species. The park is especially notable for its rich bird life, with the islands in Saldanha Bay, being identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.
Bontebok National Park – Cape Overberg
Visitor Quotas: Main Entrance Gate - 120 guests per day
Visit the smallest of the 18 national parks in South Africa, which is also species-specific park meant to conserver bontebok antelope. You’ll be able to spot other mammals, as well as a rich birdlife, and you can enjoy a picnic while you taking in the beautiful scenery.
Agulhas National Park – Cape Overberg
Note: The Park is an open access park with no pay points. The Lighthouse museum remains closed during this period.
Shipwrecks dot the rugged coastline, which lead up to the legendary 'Cape of Storms'. The reserve notably features the Southernmost tip of Africa, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions. The historic Cape Agulhas lighthouse was the third lighthouse to be built in South Africa. Stand on the southernmost tip of the African continent. Or explore the hiking trails and discover the shipwrecks.
Visit SANParks for more info.