We watched cheetahs stalk an impala, leopards savoring their kill up on a tree limb, lions in a mating dance, painted dogs protecting their den of new babies. And of course we enjoyed every delicious meal and delightful sundowner.
Pat & Charley, Providence, RI
Truly exceptional wildlife viewing, a fascinating history, and a wide variety of travel options make South Africa a prime safari destination for first-timers and return visits. South Africa is one of the most developed and geographically diverse nations in Africa with scenic and wildlife-rich national parks complemented by beautiful beaches, mountains and countryside, a climate characterized by dry winters and rainfall in the summer and a stable infrastructure.
Situated at the southern edge of the African continent, South Africa is bounded by oceans on three sides, with an interior that has a wonderful assortment of habitats, from lush tropical forests to arid deserts, from mountains to the open savannah of the bushveld.
When it comes to wildlife and scenery, South Africa has a wealth of wonderful places to see, including a number of World Heritage Sites and incredible game reserves. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is built amongst an entire, unique Cape Floral Kingdom, one of only six Plant Kingdoms found on the Earth. There are more naturally occurring, different species of flowers just around Cape Town than there are in the whole of North America or the whole of Europe! On the other side of the spectrum are the deserts and arid areas, including the world’s first National Park that traverses the borders of two countries, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
The coastline of South Africa is enormous, offering superb scenery, such as sandy beaches and sheer, fynbos-covered cliffs of the Garden Route, as well as amazing wildlife opportunities, from southern right whales breaching off Cape Town to pristine coral reefs on the KwaZulu-Natal Coast to the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, another fascinating and often-overlooked part of the country.
The pride of South Africa’s natural heritage is the Kruger National Park, the largest and best-known wildlife park in South Africa. At 2 million hectares and over 300km long, this enormous area encompasses a savannah landscape with 147 mammal species, over 400 bird species and numerous reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Much of the best wildlife viewing for a first-time safari is done in private reserves along the western border of the Kruger in the Sabi Sands or Timbavati which are easily accessed from Johannesburg or Cape Town. Add in a few nights in Vic Falls and Cape Town, and you’ve got an itinerary that can exceed anyone’s expectations.
South Africa Camps & Lodges
South Africa Experiences
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