28 January 2014
South Africa’s national parks remain among the country’s most popular family holiday destinations, with visitor numbers up by 2.4% in December compared to the previous year, SA National Parks (SANParks) reported on Monday.
A total number of 692 498 guests passed through the gates of the country’s 21 national parks in December, the conservation authority said in a statement.
At least 73 910 guests spent one night inside a national park, lifting accommodation unit occupancy by 1.2 percentage points to 77.4% and bed occupancy by 0.8 percentage points to 65.3% for the month.
SANParks’ camping facilities also registered growth of 3.2 percentage points to 65.9% site occupancy for December.
Hugely popular and home to one of the world’s natural wonders, the Table Mountain National Park was the most visited park, welcoming 333 090 guests during the month.
The world-famous Kruger National Park hosted 180 328 guests, achieving occupancy figures of 80.2% for accommodation units and 70.7% for campsites.
The Garden Route National Park, which includes popular holiday destinations at Wilderness and Tsitsikamma, hosted 63 414 guests, with accommodation unit occupancy at 86.8% and campsite occupancy of 69.5%.
The West Coast, Addo and Karoo National Parks recorded unit occupancies in excess of 90% for the month.
Visitor volumes picked up noticeably from 15 December, reaching a peak between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, SANParks said.
“Despite the pressures these volumes placed on infrastructure and operational staff, feedback received from guests on their experiences in the various parks has been overwhelmingly positive, proving that the organisation’s 2022 Responsible Tourism Strategy is well on track.”