All Cape Accommodation - South Africa Travel Guide
Travel & Accommodation Guide to South Africa
Search this website
Browse by Region in South Africa: 
Cape Overberg  -  Cape Point Route  -  Central & Great Karoo  -  Eastern Cape  -  Free State/Karoo Garden Route  -  Gauteng  -
Klein Karoo/R62  -  Kwazulu-Natal  -  Limpopo Province  -  Mpumalanga ProvinceNorthern Cape Province -
North West Province  -  Sun City/Pilanesberg uKahlamba Drakensberg  -  Western Cape  -  Wildcoast
Safari & Game Lodges:
Addo Elephant Park Elephant Coast Game Lodges  -  Hluhluwe Game Lodges  -  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Kruger National Park - Limpopo Province  -  Pilanesberg National Park - North West Province
Browse by  Option:
Car Hire South Africa Wide  -  Tours  -  Contact Us  -  Property Owners - Join Us -
Site Map  -  South Africa Blog  -  South Africa Photo Gallery  - South Africa Travel Guide  -  Home Page
Travel guide

South Africa spoils you for choice in safari destinations

While most people might immediately think of the Kruger National Park when talking safaris in South Africa, the country does have other wonderful locations to choose from, where the most sought after Big Five of Africa's game animals can be spotted, up close and personal.  The Big Five consists of elephant, rhinoceros, lion, buffalo, leopard. 

There are many quality safari options available all over Africa; today we will concentrate on a couple of really great game viewing spots in two different regions of South Africa.  We will also explore an area of the country that does not merely house the Big Five, but actually has the Big Seven on offer.
Addo Elephant National Park

Located in the Eastern Cape, Addo Elephant National Park is rated third in size after Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  Originally set aside in 1931 to protect the endangered elephants in the area, the park is currently home to around 600 elephants and a large number of other mammals.  The park has since been expanded and now includes the Woody Cape Nature Reserve and a marine reserve, which includes St. Croix Island and Bird Island, important breeding habitats for both penguins and gannets and home to many other marine species.

Due to this expansion, Addo Elephant National Park will become the only park in the world offering Africa's "Big Seven" - which includes elephant, rhinoceros, lion, buffalo, leopard, whale and great white shark, all in their natural habitat.

Addo Elephant, creative commons Brian Snelson
Addo Elephant - Photo: CC Brian Snelson
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve

Let's head to KwaZulu-Natal and the lovely Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.  This is one of the oldest proclaimed nature reserves in the country.  It is also the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal where all the Big Five are in evidence.  Of interest is the fact that, due to major conservation efforts, the park has the largest population of white rhino in the world.
Photo creative commons, share alike - Wegmann
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park - Photo: CC-BY-SA Wegmann
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve consists of 960 km² of hilly topography, offering beautiful scenery, as can be seen to the left, and is located 280 kilometres (170 mi) north of the city of Durban, in central Zululand.

Not only is the park home to the Big Five, there are also 86 special species to be found.  Wikipedia lists these species as including Nile crocodile, hippo, cheetah, spotted hyena, blue wildebeest, jackal, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, nyala, eland, kudu, impala, duiker, suni, reedbuck, warthog, bushpig, mongoose, baboons, monkeys, a variety of tortoises, terrapins, snakes and lizards.

Besides these species, the park is also a birder's paradise, offering 340 bird species in total, a sheer paradise for any bird watcher with their camera in hand!

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Located not too far away from the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve is iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park). This is South Africa's third-largest protected area and covers 280 km of the coastline between the Mozambican border right through to Mapelane, south of the Lake St. Lucia estuary.

The park consists of roughly 3,280 km2 of natural ecosystems and is managed by the iSimangaliso Authority and has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site due to its rich biodiversity.

The fauna and flora in the various ecosystems of the park range from coral reefs and sandy beaches, right through to wetlands, savannas and sub-tropical dune forests, offering a myriad of species. On land, buffalo, elephant, leopard and black and white rhino can be seen, and recently lions have been reintroduced into the area after 44 years of absence.

Hippo photo CC-by-SA Petter Lindgren
Hippo, photo CC-by-SA Petter Lindgren

In the ocean ecosystem there are dolphins, whales and marine turtles (including both the leatherback and loggerhead turtle) and also  800 hippopotami and 1,200 Nile crocodiles.

This brief introduction into the world of wildlife in South Africa will hopefully give an idea of what is on offer in this splendid and varied country.  Have a great safari trip!

Travel guide

Copyright © Daisy Web Promotions
Latest Update: July 18, 2016