South Africa Wildlife

South Africa is known for its array of wildlife, and activities that revolve around seeing the native animals are among the most popular things to do during vacations here. National parks are available for touring and sightseeing, and the provide travelers with a wide variety of habitats to observe and a range of diverse wildlife species to study and photograph within any designated wildlife reserve in South Africa. 

An abundance of South Africa wildlife awaits those interested in nature, conservation, and education regarding endangered species at the national parks and game reserves. The parks and reserves for wildlife in South Africa provide habitats for hundreds of species that include mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds. Wildlife enthusiasts will have unlimited opportunities to learn about conservation from the largest elephants, rhinos, and buffalo to the great lions and leopards.

Through the establishment and protection of a designated wildlife reserve in South Africa, the parks maintain a productive and safe environment that allows visitors to see through scheduled tours, safaris, and photography numerous animals in their natural habitats. The Big Five game animals, and some of the most popular species of South Africa wildlife, are the African elephant, cape buffalo, lion, leopard, and the black rhinoceros, and many safaris and tours revolve around seeing these particular creatures.

The largest wildlife reserve in South Africa is Kruger National Park, which maintains hundreds of species of reptiles, birds, and mammals in its vast ecosystem. The impalas have the largest presentation of wildlife in South Africa at Kruger followed by zebras, buffalo, giraffes, and elephants. The lions, leopards, and cheetahs, though smaller in numbers, maintain a considerable presence.

At the Addo Elephant National Park near Port Elizabeth, visitors interested in wildlife in South Africa will primarily see elephants, but the park is also home to zebras, buffalo, lions, and hyenas. At Karoo National Park, which is northwest of Port Elizabeth and northeast of Cape Town, visitors will find springbok and kudu antelopes, along with the panther tortoise, the largest species of turtle in the southern Africa region.

Pilanesberg National Park is a fine example of one of the many parks dedicated to South Africa wildlife. In the early 1980s, the park took on the largest resettlement project in South African history by moving more than 6,000 animals from other parks into Pilanesberg. Currently, the park maintains white and black rhinos, giraffes, lions, leopards, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, and zebras, along with more than 300 species of birds.

Additional species found at the many South Africa wildlife parks include a number of felines, such as the cheetah, African wild cat, serval, caracal, and suricates. Add Leatherneck turtles, bat-eared foxes, meerkats, jackals, baboons, Vermet monkeys, hartebeests, and wildebeests to the diverse mixture of wildlife in South Africa that can be seen on tours and safaris. The antelope population in particular has a significant presence and includes the elands, impalas, klipspringer, bushbuck, gemsbok, and the springbok, which is the country's national symbol.

The well-established parks and reserves located throughout South Africa are home to many species of wildlife, and the parks are found in different areas of the country as well, including KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the coastal Garden Route, as well as the Western Cape region near Cape Town. The Northern Cape, Northwest Cape area, Free State region, and the Limpopo province are all centrally located and set further inland. In short, the abundance of parks throughout the country means that wherever you go on your South Africa vacation, you're sure to see abundant wildlife.

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