Vacationers interested in the outdoors, wildlife, desert landscape, mountains, and waterfalls have a significant number of South Africa national parks and game reserves to visit. Among the parks that cater to wildlife and conservation is Kruger National Park near Limpopo Province, which is the largest of the South Africa parks and a primary destination for international travelers.
The wildlife varies depending on the park's location within the country. For instance, at Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and at Tembe Elephant Park in Zululand, visitors will find a superb collection of elephants, antelopes, and rhinoceros. Karoo National Park, which is located in the Western Cape area, is composed of mountains, plateaus, fossils, and a large assortment of antelopes and turtles.
South Africa Parks also include desert and plateau type landscaping. De Hoop Nature Reserve with its dune-like landscaping is home to zebra, eland, and more than 100 bird species, and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, situated in the middle of the Kalahari, is a prime location for viewing lion prides. Kgalagadi shares a border with Botswana, while Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is located next to neighboring Namibia. Richtersveld is in the North-West region of South Africa, which includes deserts and mountains, as well as a variety of succulents and other plants. Access to the park requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Two South Africa Parks that include waterfalls are the Tsitskamma National Park, located along the Garden Route, which also has hiking trails and a rain-forest atmosphere. At Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape, vacationers can observe rhinos along with stunning waterfalls. Giant's Castle Game Reserve in South Africa, a mountainous park located in southern region of Drakensberg, is ideal for hiking and photographers. The park is the breeding ground for both the Bearded and Cape vulture, and the Drakensberg is also the site of stunning Tugela Falls.
Located in the KwaZulu-Natal region, the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve has the so-called Big Five game animals—elephants, lions, leopards, cape buffalo, and black rhinos—along with giraffes. Another KwaZulu-Natal game reserve in South Africa located approximately five hours from the city of Durban is the Mkhuze Game Reserve home to hundreds of bird species and herds of nyalas, zebras, kudus, giraffes, and wildebeests.
More of the excellent sightseeing South Africa national parks are known for is available at the Golden Gate National Park, located in the Free State region, where mountain ranges, sandstone formations, antelopes, wildebeests, and zebras provides vacationers with the opportunity to observe wildlife at the same time they're hiking through the park.
For those interested in the history of South Africa, the Mapungubwe National Park in the Limpopo Province is a rich archaeological site with numerous fossils. and the Royal Natal National Park located in the KwaZulu-Natal region is ideal for hikers and campers with its abundance of roaring streams and waterfalls.
Conservation at South Africa national parks is a priority. At Mountain Zebra National Park located near Cradock in the Eastern Cape region, the small reserve focuses on the protection of the Cape Mountain Zebra. Bontebok National Park, located in the Western Cape, focuses on the conservation of the Bontebok antelope. At Marakele National Park in Waterberg, vacationers can observe breeding pairs of Cape vultures.
Additional South Africa parks featuring rivers, lagoons, wetlands, dunes, and water birds include the West Coast National Park, Table Mountain National Park, Wilderness National Park, and Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. Vacationers who are interested in aquatic and semi-aquatic wildlife are sure to enjoy these destinations, along with similar South Africa game reserves. The Hdumo Game Reserve in Zululand has a mixed landscape of grasslands, lakes, and wetlands, and is an ideal habitat for crocodiles and hippos.
Selecting a game reserve in South Africa can be daunting as there are many to choose from; they're located in all areas of the country and cover many types of landscapes. Wherever you go, however, you'll find that South Africa game reserves abound with wildlife and picturesque beauty, from savannas and plateaus to the scenic mountains at the Madikwe Game Reserve, based along the Groot Marico River on the Botswana border in the North-West Province.