For the ultimate South African experience, a tour of the country’s national parks is an absolute must. With so many amazing landscapes to explore, as well as the wealth of animals and ecosystems to see, the national parks of South Africa are an adventure like no other, and the perfect way to spend time with your family whilst holidaying in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful countries. Whether you’re looking for lions and rhinos, or you’re more interested in bird watching and plant life, South Africa’s wilderness has it all, so check out our guide below for some of the best parks to visit first!
Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Upon first glance, the RichtersveldTransfrontier Park offers a harsh and unforgiving landscape only suitable for the sturdiest of walking boots and 4x4s. However on closer inspection as you make your way further inland, the views become more enlightening as you get closer to the shadowing mountains towering over the beautiful flora and fauna. As the Orange River sweeps its way through the RichtersveldTransfrontier Park, the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean give life to a number of ecosystems, offering substance for birds and mammals alike. With an assortment of plant life like no other national park, this is a place for the lovers of horticulture.
Camdeboo National Park
This park is one of the oldest in the world, formed hundreds of millions of years ago developing unique landscapes and forming diverse ecosystems. Spread out over 405 hectares, it isn’t the biggest Camdeboo isn’t the biggest national park in South Africa, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in Karoo, where numbers total thousands. Furthermore, it’s only a short drive from the town of Graaff-Reinet, a great place to stop over in the Eastern Cape, and the park is home to the Nqweba Dam too! As this part of South Africa is known for its flash flooding, tourists are advised to exit the park if heavy rainfall occurs.
Addo Elephant Park
One of the most famous national parks in the world let alone South Africa, Addo has been a sanctuary for elephants for many years. Situated across 180,000 acres, the park has expanded with the surrounding terrain, encompassing ecosystems and biodiversity alike throughout its detailed history. The best think about this amazing park however isn’t just the elephants, that number in the hundreds! Addo also offers tourists the chance to experience lions, black rhinos, leopards and zebra across this vast landscape, and there’s even a proposed 120,000 hectare extension to the boundaries of the park planned in the coming years.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
This 12,000 hectare park is great for alternative wildlife, and from the black wildebeest to the springbok and Burchell’s Zebra – and let’s not forget about the huge number of bird species too – The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is one of the country’s standout attractions. As you tour the rugged landscape and peer over the edge of sandstone cliffs, the views here are simply magical, and combined with that cool evening breeze taking the heat out of the day, there are even places to stay in this park, so get your flights to South Africa now and have an experience of a lifetime!