South Africa is worldwide known for the variety of animals that can be found on its soil, especially the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Sometimes, you can even have the opportunity to see the Big 7 (+ whale and shark). Whether if you are a tourist or a local person, it is always impressive and thrilling to see them free-roaming in their natural environment. Without further delay, discover 5 parks to live an unforgettable Safari in South Africa.
From Cape Town
Inverdoorn Game Reserve
Located in the semi-arid region of the Klein Karoo, in the Western Cape, the Inverdoorn Game Reserve is a 10,000ha-area hosting about 1,200 animals, rescued for the most part of them. Only about 2h30 driving from Cape Town, you can choose to spend 1 or 2 days in this remarkable reserve.
During Games Viewing in an open 4×4, you will probably have the opportunity to see the Big 5 among other species like zebras and hyenas. If your guide allows it, you can even have a walk with impressively tall girafes. It makes unforgettable memories for sure!
The staff of the Inverdoorn Game Reserve really cares about the wildlife and works for the animal preservation. Indeed, they actively fight Rhino poaching thanks to the RhinoProtect project. Moreover, the reserve created the Western Cape Cheetahs Conservation where they take care about these fascinating animals. This place is also an opportunity for you to be closer to them and even stroke them. It is a beautiful and memorable encounter!
Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest National Park in South Africa. Located on the Garden Route, near Port Elizabeth, you will discover various amazing scenaries during a 4 or 5-day road trip before reaching your destination but it is worth it!
On site, you will be welcomed by more than 500 elephants free-roaming whereas they were only 11 at the beginning of the park, in 1931. So, it is almost certain that during the games viewing, in the customized Bus Safari or a 4×4 vehicle, you are going to see some of them.
This protected 18,000ha-area is also one of the rare spots where you can hope to see the Big 7 and other less common species like African Penguins. Indeed, the park has a marine protected area with several islands.
From Port Elizabeth
Sibuya Game Reserve
2-hour driving from Port Elizabeth, the Sibuya Game Reserve is a 3,000ha-area with the highest density of animals in all South Africa, so, you enhance the chances to meet the Big 5. The reserve counts many navigable rivers which attract over 400 different species of birds. Furthermore, it is in a boat that you will join your accommodation of you choose to do a 3-day Safari in the area.
The sceneries at Sibuya Game Reserve are also exceptionally diversified with a costal riverine area, the forest and the savannah. Going into the reserve is like exploring 3 or 4 destinations at the same time.
Pilanesberg National Park
Located in the North West Province, the Pilanesberg National Park is nestled in the crater of a 1,200-million years old extinct volcano. The wealth vegetation attracts about 7,000 animals in this 55,000-ha area. It is wonderful and very fascinating!
The games viewing often take place at early morning, when leopards hunt before go into hiding during the rest of the day until sunset. During the summer (from September to March), you will maybe encounter elephants enjoying a mud-bath in the middle of the park! During a 3-day stay into this unspoiled nature, the wildlife is going to be within easy reach…
Kruger National Park
How could we talk about Safari and fail to mention the Kruger National Park. It is surely the most famous of South Africa and very probably the most beautiful. The park covers 19,485 square kilometeres, hosts 137 different species of animals as well as 500 different species of birds.
From July to September, during the dry season, your ranger guide will lead you to watering places where animals use to round up. On the contrary, from March to May, during the breeding period, you will be able to see spectacular confrontations between males.
Thanks to its large area, the Kruger National Park offers a variety of landscapes. At the North, you will explore the rainforest, whereas at the East, it is the savannah. Finally, at the South, which is the wealthiest region, you will discover hills and the bushfield.
To live an extraordinary adventure, you can choose to spend 3 days at the Hippo Hollow Country Estate on the banks of the Sabie River, where hippos and crocos love to cool down. You can also go to the Mjejane Private Game Reserve during 3 days, next to the Crocodile River and where animal from the Kruger National Park can come freely. Both are located on close to the South of the park and offer unforgettable Safaris with experienced guides.