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Information on conservation parks for kids in South Africa
A conservation park is an area of land set aside for protection of important or significant natural phenomena, buildings, wildlife or ecosystems.
The remaining rainforests are for example of immeasurable value because of its amazing biodiversity.
Conservation parks differ from national parks in that mining and mineral and petroleum exploration are sometimes allowed in conservation areas but not in national parks. South Africa is home to hundreds of conservation parks!
Together with National Parks, they represent one of the largest protection reserves in the world. There are many South African conservation areas located throughout the country, but the state maintains the majority of parks, helping South Africans understand the importance of protecting their land.
Is a trip to a conservation park the right idea for your kid(s) and your family?
Visiting a conservation park is a great outdoor adventure activity for your children and a chance for the entire family to learn about South African plants, wildlife and other nature resources from a firsthand perspective. Conservation parks are best for nature-loving children who enjoy being outdoors and the kids' activities on offer vary between parks.
Enjoy a weekend camping in a conservation park! Many conservation parks provide camping facilities. Others have more luxurious accommodation and can be popular eco tourism destinations so whether you are looking for an experience to last a few hours or a full length family holiday, visiting a conservation park could be the perfect solution.
Depending on what the conservation park is preserving the activities on offer may include nature walks, wildlife observation and tours of buildings or interesting landscape features. Conservation parks are great for any age and often have smooth boardwalks and pram friendly facilities.
Most parks have souvenir shops, toilets, picnic benches and barbecue facilities.
How to organise a trip to a conservation area with your kids
Most conservation areas are open all year round, weather permitting. Depending on location, some may be prone to flooding in extreme wet weather so check conditions before you leave. It is recommended to visit the safari during the winter months because many trees and shrubs lose their leaves, increasing visibility. Conservation parks are located in low populated areas, both coastal and inland and usually there is a small fee for entry. Excursions and camping will cost extra (the rate varies per campsite).
You will need a car for most conservation areas and some areas may be inaccessible unless you have a 4 wheel drive. The parks are usually patrolled by rangers.
There are certain precautions you need to take when visiting a conservation area, particularly if the location is remote:
- Open fires are not generally permitted in conservation areas. If you are camping, you will need to take a fuel-powered camping stove
- Pack extra water and emergency food supplies in case you get stranded
- Make sure you take a first aid kit
- Apply sunscreen and insect repellent before you leave
- No pets are allowed in conservation areas
Always follow the guidance of park rangers and staff when visiting a conservation area. Although it can be a memorable family experience, it is important to take care and keep safety in mind at all times. We hope you have a great time exploring nature with your family!