South African National Parks marked with stamps. Five special items introduced by SA Post Office

September 4th, 2017 is excited to share the latest philatelic news with our readers. In this article we will tell you about a new stamp set that celebrates five of South Africa’s National Parks.

The National Parks featured in the set display South Africa’s diverse landscapes ranging from deserts, grasslands, mountain ranges, and forests to a spectacular coastline. The stamps were designed by Thea Clemons of the SA Post Office.

The five stamps on the series depict the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Tsitsikamma at the Garden Route National Park, Camdeboo National Park, Table Mountain National Park and Bontebok National Park.

The outstanding feature of Golden Gate is the rocks whose formation started as far back as 200 million years ago. The glowing golden colour of the sandstone cliffs facing each other on either side of the road at sunset led to the name ‘Golden Gate’. Golden Gate is South Africa’s only grassland national park, but it does have some woodland and forest. It contains a huge variety of antelope and is home to the bearded vulture.  It is also rich in cultural artefacts.

Tsitsikamma was proclaimed as Africa’s first protected marine reserve in 1964. Today it forms part of the stunning Garden Route National Park. The appeal of the park is its dramatic landscapes made up of a pristine rocky coastline, an evergreen forest, herbal pockets and steep cliffs. Its rivers, lagoons, lakes and the Indian Ocean are home to marine life and offer opportunities for exploration and adventure. The area is also rich in animal life.

Camdeboo National Park might appear dry and unexciting at first sight, but stark landscape offers the almost mystical beauty of the Karoo. The animals of the Camdeboo National Park are as resilient as the vegetation. The springbok, the national animal of South Africa, is one of the best adapted to the area as it requires minimal quantities of water.  There is also an abundance of lizard, tortoise, toad and snake species.  The ostrich is among the nearly 250 bird species found at Camdeboo.

Table Mountain National Park is part of the Cape Floral World Heritage Site. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and one of the most beautiful spots on the African continent. It covers an area of about 60km from across the Cape Peninsula right up to Cape Point with the Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope as its crown jewels. Table Mountain National Park is home to an astonishing array of rare plant life, fynbos and different variants of protea. Antelope, baboon, and Cape clawless otter are found in the Park.

Bontebok National Park, like the Table Mountain National Park, forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.The Bontebok is an Antelope species that is endemic to the Cape Fynbos area. The Bontebok is unique in that it is an antelope species that cannot jump; it was hunted to the very edge of extinction until the park was proclaimed in 1931, where the last 30 Bontebok found refuge. Thanks to conservation efforts, there are now 3500 in existence.