South Africa is your ideal holiday destination if you are charmed by the roar of a lion and the trumpet of an elephant.
While South Africa is full of cultural diversity, its rich flora and fauna are the icing on the cake! If you like being in nature, mapping tiger footprints or just watching rhinos relax in the water, you should visit South Africa.
The wildlife in South Africa is exceptionally fascinating and dynamic. There are many national parks and game reserves that offer a phenomenal wildlife experience. At Thomas Cook we have selected the best ones for you, so scroll down the list and be sure to visit them for a truly “wild” experience.
How to travel to South Africa?
Many long-haul flights operate from India to various airports in South Africa. The most popular airports are Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela and King Shaka International Airport. Travel to and from the airport to the cities is carried out smoothly with the help of minibus taxis and other public transport.
Must-see national parks and wildlife reserves
The South African landscape offers diversity like no other. There is something for everyone – from breathtaking coastal cities to snow-capped mountains, from personalized experiences for thrill seekers to guided tours for animal lovers. But a South African experience is incomplete without a visit to the fascinating natural parks and sanctuaries. Here is a list of the best national parks in South Africa:
1. Highland National Park
Surrounded by the hills of the Maluti Mountains in the Free State, this national park is famous for its majestic cliffs and protrusions. It takes its name from the landscape created when the golden sun casts its light on the rocks and cliffs of the area.
The park was created in 1963 and still allows visitors to access cave paintings made years ago. The park is home to a few rare bearded vultures, oribi antelopes, Burchell’s zebras, jackals and bald ibis. More than 140 unique bird species live in the park, and the Vulture Restaurant offers a taste like no other! From horseback riding to swimming, there are many activities that visitors can enjoy.
Get ready for a pure celebration in authentic style and immerse yourself in the golden glory of this national park. Although the Golden Gate Highlands National Park does not contain popular animals, the sunsets are truly breathtaking.
2. Kruger National Park
A visit to the South African wildlife is not complete without a visit to the Kruger National Park. This park is located in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, on the border with Mozambique. Stretching over a vast area, the Kruger National Park is home to rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, buffaloes, elephants and lions, among other animals.
Alternatively, you can opt for guided wildlife tours or venture into the park in your own vehicle. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the Big 5 game. These include lions, leopards, black rhinos, African bush elephants and African buffaloes. They are called The Big 5 because they were considered hard prey for hunters. You also have options for night safaris. for more information, visit www.thomascook.in .
3. Addo Elephant National Park
If you like elephants, this should be your destination. Near Port Elizabeth, Addo is home to more than 600 elephants that can be seen in all their glory.they roam freely and bathe in the mud of this South African game reserve. In addition to rhinos, you will also find zebras and antelopes in the sanctuary. It is the third largest game reserve in South Africa and offers a fantastic experience.
4. Kgalagadi Transboundary Park
One of the most famous national parks in South Africa, it is located in South Africa and Botswana in the Kalahari Desert. In addition to wildlife in South Africa, there are many other experiences that you should try, including cycling expeditions, ecological walks in the middle of rivers and a visit to the Auchterlonie Museum. You can see cheetahs, leopards and hyenas among the animals.
5. Hotels near Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park
Located in the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa, this wildlife park is famous for spotting the “Big 5”. According to several reports, the park takes credit for bringing the white rhino back from the brink of extinction. It is now home to more than 1,500 white rhinos, among several other species. You can stay in different camps and wooden pavilions installed near the park.
6. Mapungubwe National Park
Beautiful sandstone formations and picturesque landscapes dot the Mapungubwe National Park, located in Limpopo, South Africa, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Among the different species of flora and fauna, you can find elk, kudu, zebras and giraffes. The park has a rich cultural history that will leave you hooked.
7. Table Mountain National Park
This park is located in Cape Town and is known for its great diversity of plants and flowers exclusive to the region. The Cape of Good Hope is also located in the park. Sometimes you are lucky enough to find penguins in the area. It’s a hiking paradise, and the cable car ride gives you an adrenaline rush. There are many accommodations available in the park and in Cape Town to choose from.