National Parks & Reserves of South Africa

A country blessed with immense natural beauty, South Africa’s national parks exist to preserve and share the amazing landscapes and diverse wildlife of the country.

Of the nation’s nineteen national parks, Kruger National Park is perhaps the best known. One of the world’s most beloved safari destnations, Kruger is regularly in the mix as one of the world’s top safari destinations with good reason.

South Africa’s parks aren’t all about the Big Five though, and a number of marine reserves exist to showcase the nation’s sharks, whales, and dolphins. Farther afield, desert parks conserve stunning landscapes and unique biomes found nowhere else in Africa.

South Africa’s most popular parks include Kruger, Addo Elephant Park, Table Mountain, Garden Route, and Richtersveld Transfrontier.

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Safaris in South Africa

South Africa is one of the world’s most popular safari destinations, with Kruger National Park being right up alongside Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara when it comes to providing world class game viewing.

South Africa’s safari routes are well established and serviced by world class hospitality, and the country’s parks can be visited by all budgets – from luxury to bare bones camping experiences for those on a budget.

Home to a total of 43 parks and reserves, South Africa’s most popular safari destinations include Kruger, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Kgalgadi, and private reserves such as Sabi Sand and Mala Mala.

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While people come to Zanzibar for some much needed rest and relaxation, that doesn’t mean there isn’t history begging to be uncovered or stunning sights worth seeing. Shadows of Africa can help you soak in Zanzibar’s unique cultural and historic identity when you’re not relaxing on the beach.

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Wildlife of South Africa

South Africa is one of the world’s most popular safari destinations for a reason, and the entirety of the popular Big Five can be found across its parks – with elephants, lions, white rhinoceros, and buffalo being especially common.

In addition to the Big Five, visitors to South Africa can expect to see all of the iconic African wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, cheetahs, primates, and more. African Wild Dogs, Meerkats, springboks, and endemic wildlife such as the Cape Mountain Zebra and black wildebeest are also highlights.

Wine Country

South African wine is famous around the world , and for lovers of good wine and good food, a trip to Cape Winelands offers a gastronomic escape that perfectly complements a safari adventure.

Dozens of restaurants and cellar doors dot the beautiful countryside of the Cape Winelands, and it’s infinitely accessible: just a short drive from Cape Town.

Lovers of wine will be in heaven wandering the vineyards and soaking in a wine culture that dates back to the 1600s, but even those without an appreciation for the grape can find plenty of charm in the quaint B&Bs, chic restaurants, and sweeping landscapes of the region.

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Beach Escapes and Marine Adventures

South Africa has been blessed with some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, and people flock from all over the world to visit the beaches of cities like Cape Town, Durban, and Mossel Bay.

A laid back beach vibe, the warm waters of the Indian ocean, white sand, and accommodation & dining options for all tastes and budgets makes South Africa a great place to work on your tan.

Water sports such as scuba diving, wakeboarding, kite-surfing, surfing, snorkeling, and more can be done all along the South African coast.

Out beyond the breakers, South Africa’s marine reserves house an entirely different kind of safari: a world of great white sharks, dolphins, whales, and seals just waiting to be seen.

Natural Beauty

The wide open savannah of Kruger National Park, the dramatic shape of Cape Town’s Table Mountain, the jagged peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, the sun-baked deserts of Kgalagadi, the rolling hills of the Cape Winelands, and the startling vistas of the world-famous Garden Route speak to just a fraction of South Africa’s immense natural beauty.

Beyond the beaches and game reserves, visitors to South Africa can find a world of remarkable landscapes to be explored by car or on foot.

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Apartheid History

Many are familiar with South Africa’s dark history of racial tension, and museums and memorials across the country speak not only to the nation’s troubled past, but also to its strives towards greater racial equality.

Places like Robben Island and the township of Soweto are a popular way to experience this side of South Africa, and cultural tours can be designed to give a greater insight into not only the apartheid era, but also the colonial era.