Nature Reserves to visit in South Africa
It’s wonderful to know that in a diverse and abundantly beautiful country, land and the species that live on it are preserved. Within every province you will find another reserve with a different climate, rainfall patterns, vegetation and inhabitants. There are so many to choose from so I’ve made a list of ones you shouldn’t miss. Nature Reserves to visit in South Africa …
I love that this reserve combines the coastline and the veld (field). One minute you could be trailing through fynbos and low lying vegetation whilst spotting zebra and the next you could be searching rock pools to observe what lives within its waters. There are a few overnight trails available which go through De Hoop, the most popular one being the Whale Trail. There isn’t a better way to explore this territory than on foot, up hills and sand dunes and past bontebok on the pathways.
This is South Africa’s most iconic park which houses the Big Five; lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhinos. There are countless ways to enjoy your time here and a plethora of accommodations to choose from ranging from luxury safari tents to basic rondavels. Go on morning games drives or drive yourself through the reserve and hold thumbs that you spot these majestic creatures. Dine beside the camp fire and fall asleep to the sound of the wild.
This reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and will open your eyes to cliffs towering above the south-western most tip of Africa, bays, beaches and valleys. Once inside you can climb your way to the lighthouse which was first built in 1859 or take the Funicular. Zebra, baboons, buck and over 250 species of bird call this home so bring binoculars and a camera. There are overnight trails which run through this reserve, so if you’re keen for a walk with a view, this is where to begin.
Despite its name, this park houses way more animals than just elephants. Cape Buffalo, warthogs, Black rhino, lions, eland, kudu and hartebeest antelope are all found within this reserve. On a self-drive through the park we spotted three lions snoozing in the midday sun and an entire herd of elephants visiting and playing near a waterhole. You can also opt to go on horse, hiking or 4×4 trails and elephant back safaris.
This is one of my favourite parks to visit. You won’t find the Big Five here but you will find tranquillity amongst the fynbos and spring blossoms, sunshine on the beaches of Kraalbaai’s azure waters and antelope such as eland and bontebok grazing in the fields. Just a over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, this makes for a great day visit unless you wish to overnight on a house boat or in the fishing village of Churchhaven.