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Vacation and Travel Guide » Article Details

South Africa’s Best Nature Reserves

Date Added: June 07, 2010 04:35:10 PM
Category: Africa
If you are planning on taking a vacation to South Africa, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to nature and wildlife reserves as the country boasts so many of them. Most holidaymakers to South Africa always visit to explore the inimitable and varied natural habitats, while at the same time meet and study the numerous animal species in the country. South African Safaris are quite popular, offering you luxurious game lodge accommodation together with game drives offered by qualified and highly experienced game rangers. Here is a list of the top rated nature reserves that you must visit in South Africa.

Golden Gate Highlands National Park - Free State Province

It is strategically found at the foot of the Maluti Mountains and provides awe-inspiring views of Drakensberg. You will find extraordinary sandstone formations, interesting Bushman paintings, and lots of bird, plant and animal life, all which are sure to captivate lovers of nature.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park (previously Greater St Lucia Wetland Park) - KwaZulu Natal Province
This nature reserve located on the Zululand coast of KwaZulu Natal Province offers you an opportunity to see crocodiles, hippos, turtles, and whales when in season. The place, whose name means ‘miracle and wonder’ is indeed appropriate, and has water sports too.

The Tswaing Nature Reserve – Gauteng
The name construes to mean the place of salt, and is located R35 north of Pretoria. While there are many species of birds and wild animals, the nature reserve is famous for the 220,000 year old crater that came into being after a huge meteorite believed to be 30-50m in diameter.

Kruger National Park - Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces
Straddling two provinces, this world famous vast reserve offers a wide gamut of accommodation establishments that will work with all budget ranges, as well as unrivaled game viewing opportunity either guided or self drive. There are many species to view in the Kruger Park, the big 5 just among them.

Mabalingwe - Limpopo Province

The name of this reserve construes to mean "place of the spotted leopard". It is a luxurious, malaria-free reserve located 2 hours away from the capital, Johannesburg. You get great bird and big game viewing, as well as Horse safaris.

Table Mountain National Park - Western Cape Province

This natural park has the best of two worlds, as it is to be found in Cape Point extending downwards to Signal Hill and boasts the most scenic beaches worldwide, splendid, iconic Table Mountain, Fybnos-clad valleys, and rugged Cape Point protruding into the oceans of the Cape of Good Hope.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - Northern Cape Province
This happens to be the largest conservation area worldwide, located on over 3.6 million hectares on the South Africa and Botswana border, in the Kalahari Desert. The Kgalagadi offers impressive panorama made of red sand dunes against a deep blue sky backdrop, making it an ideal park for photography lovers.

Pilansberg Nature Reserve - North West Province
This is a nature reserve of the Big 5 which is found on over 50,000 ha of untouched land in a malaria-free region. The National Park Alkaline Ring Complex which came into being after volcanic eruptions that occurred circa 1200 years ago is part of this nature reserve.

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M Gravlee is a travel writer based out of Akumal, Mexico.

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