South Africa is one of the most majestic countries in all of Africa. This diverse corner of the continent covers every bit of Africa’s much-loved gem, including bustling vibrant cities, game parks, animal sanctuaries, deep history, incredible food, and warm welcoming people.
If you’re considering a trip to South Africa – great choice! Here, you’ll find the best of the bush, beach and city, making it the ideal place to discover what Africa is all about.
Most travelers who are looking to experience an African safari consider visiting the likes of Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana as they’re the most well-known destinations for safari tours. However, there are many game reserves and lodges throughout South Africa that offer premium wildlife tours (and at a fraction of the cost), without compromising on luxurious accommodation, top class service, and unrivalled sightings of various wildlife species. In South Africa, you also have the option to visit various other parks and encounter species that don’t necessarily live out in the bush, such as monkeys and meerkats!
And, of course, when you’re ready to explore more of the country, you have the option to visit cosmopolitan cities, world class wine farms, award winning restaurants, exquisite beaches and enjoy all that South Africa has to offer.
If you’re visiting South Africa, or if you’re a local looking to enjoy authentic wildlife experiences, take a look at our list of reserves and sanctuaries you shouldn’t miss for the world!
Western Cape and surrounds:
Monkey land Plettenberg Bay
The primate sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, is well worth a visit – especially since you’ll be getting up close and personal with species that aren’t always easy to come by – even when on a safari! Here you’ll see lemurs and various species of monkey.
Meerkat Magic, Oudtshoorn
In places such as Botswana, meerkats are common sightings. They live in the wild and spend their days eating, building mounds and protecting themselves from prey. South Africa, however, doesn’t have many meerkats living in the wild, which is why visiting Meerkat Magic in Oudtshoorn is essential if you’re eager to learn more about these sweet little creatures.
Samara Game Reserve, Karoo
If you are considering a visit to the Karoo; an exquisite and utterly unique corner of the Eastern Cape, then you should not miss a visit to Samara Game Reserve. In fact, Samara is the only good reason you need to visit the Karoo – although, the remote yet fascinating landscapes which look like something out of a movie makes for a pretty good reason too! If you’re looking for luxury accommodation in the Karoo, and a five-star safari experience filled with sights of various wildlife and bird species, then Samara is certainly the place for you. Expect premium comforts and world class service; sights of elephant, lion and cheetahs to name a few, and authentic African experiences that’ll forever be ingrained in your heart.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the most well known and most visited wildlife park in the country. However, even though it’s pretty expensive, it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting exclusivity. There are hundreds of cars making their way through the park, and more often than not, large crowds surrounding the wildlife. If you’re quite okay with all the action, then make your way to the Kruger National Park when you’re in Gauteng.
Florence Boom Bird Sanctuary Randburg
Florence Boom Bird Sanctuary is the oldest bird sanctuary in Johannesburg and has recorded over 250 bird species in its vicinity over the last few decades. It’s not only incredibly beautiful, but it’s the perfect excursion to complete your trip to South Africa. After encountering wildlife species, it’s essential you appreciate South Africa’s unparalleled bird life.
Umgeni River Bird Park
Umgeni River Bird Park is Kwazulu Natal’s favourite bird sanctuary situated in Durban North, not too far from the city center. It is well known for their many bird species, and it’s believed all profits go to rehabilitation and maintenance.
CROW (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife)
CROW which stands for Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife, are an incredible organisation whose core mandate is to ensure hurt or orphaned wildlife species are given a second chance at life. CROW rehabilitate a wide range of species including primates, mammals, raptors and birds, and their professional team are clued up on the best ways to nurture each one back to good health and stability. One is able to visit this remarkable sanctuary, and you can be sure you won’t just be getting your money’s worth, but you’ll also be helping to save these beautiful creatures.