Africa is known for its rich and diverse wildlife and South Africa in particular boasts a large array of flora and fauna. Thousands of tourists each year flock to our sunny shores to witness and experience our beautiful animals in their natural habitats. South Africa offers nature enthusiasts a real treat with its wide variety of national parks and game reserves to be explored and enjoyed with family and friends or even as a solo retreat. There is something for everyone and guaranteed fun memories to be made, so book a tour with us at CK Travel and Tours today and get documenting your wildlife adventure!
With over 250 animal species and 20 000 plant species on offer, you will see endless wildlife accompanied by beautiful scenery. Get up close and personal with South Africa’s beautiful flora and of course some of our largest and most notorious animals at the following locations:
1. Tsitsikamma National Park
Located along the garden route between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, Tsitsikamma is a coastal nature reserve which is known for its dramatic coastline and as the name suggests, clear water. The park offers twelve hiking trails which lead you into a captivating forest which is home to Ironwood, Stinkwood and Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. The most well-known and renowned trail is the otter trail. This 48km walk takes a few days to complete however there is accommodation along the route. Immerse yourself in the astonishing landscapes of rocky shores, beaches and mountainous planes where rivers run far and in between. Capture those amazing pictures of plateaus covered by Proteas, Ericas and many other flowers. The trail begins at the mouth of the Storms River and then heads west towards Natures Valley. With so much to see and take in, it is without a doubt the finest coastal walk in Southern Africa. If hiking isn’t your thing, then spend a day exploring the Storms River. Day activities offered include horse trails, kayaking, zip lining and canopy tours all of which will ensure a fun filled day.
2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch can be considered one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. Spread over 1300 acres, it is difficult to match the magnificence of natural fynbos and forest which is offered to us. Located at the eastern foot of Table Mountain, this garden focuses on the cultivation and growth of indigenous plants. Walk the beautiful path and spot more than 100 species of birds which include Sugarbirds, Sunbirds and the Spotted eagle owl to name but a few. Kirstenbosch is also home to a few animals that generally make their appearance at dusk. If you’re fortunate enough, you may catch a glimpse of the Cape fox, Caracal and a Grysbok or two. Around the streams keep an eye out for mongoose and striped mice however you are almost certainly bound to see grey squirrels scurrying around. Follow any one of the five trails and explore the garden with companions. The trails vary in difficulty and offer takers the opportunity to visit parts of the garden which appeal to their individual interests.
3. Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Nestled north of Durban in KwaZulu- Natal, treat yourself to the oldest nature reserve in Africa. The reserve is well known for its numerous conservation efforts and once had the highest population of white rhino in the world due to such efforts. Although rich and diverse in flora and fauna, the star attraction of the park is the Big Five of Africa and Hluhluwe is only park in KZN to home all five of these majestic animals in one place. If you’re lucky enough to sight all five including the aloof leopard, then keep an eye out for any of the other 81 special species found in the reserve. Bird species are far from few in this prime location with approximately 340 species for bird watchers to observe.
4. St Lucia
Situated close to Hluhluwe, why not stop over at St Lucia and experience the amazing wetlands and wildlife. St Lucia is South Africa’s first world heritage site and is home to over 1000 Nile crocodiles and 800 hippopotamus’, the latter of which is known to roam the streets after sunset and bask in the strong African sun in the estuary during the day. Enjoy a pleasant boat safari and view these animals up close against a beautiful sunrise or sunset backdrop, a truly unique South African experience indeed.
5. Kruger National Park
Certainly the most well-known national park in South Africa, the Kruger definitely lives up to its reputation. Spanning almost 2 million hectares of land and situated in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the park is one of the largest in South Africa and offers wildlife experiences which are amongst the best in Africa. The park offers 147 species of large mammals including the Big Five, over 500 bird species, ± 200 invertebrates and around 110 vertebrate species, thus giving you an abundance of wildlife to be seen on the many guided tours and safari’s. With various accommodations situated in and around the park, The Kruger National Park is best experienced rather than read about.