Luxury Game Reserve

On Safari in South Africa – The Best Wildlife Experiences


South Africa continues to enjoy the tremendous goodwill of holidaymakers worldwide.

The wildlife safari is a key item on the South Africa tourist menu. Those who chose to see Africa’s wildlife here will not be disappointed. The game viewing experience is excellent at the top-rated Kruger National Park and at other well-regarded game parks in the country. Wildlife is protected in over 300 public and private game and nature reserves. SANParks (South African National Parks) manages 20 national parks spread throughout the country.

Kruger is the place to see big game particularly the “big five” of buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros. Most of the other parks have specialized in conserving particular species or are identified with specific animals. The Greater Addo National Park, for example, is the only place you find elephants in the Cape region. Some of the parks along the 3000 km coastline host whales and dolphins.

South Africa’s wildlife conservation policies are advanced and highly successful. An initiative targeting wildlife sanctuaries cutting across international boundaries hopes to replicate this success elsewhere. This is in recognition of the fact that wildlife is no respecter of territorial lines covenanted between men. Transfrontier conservation areas have been identified in six regions along the boundaries with Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.

In South Africa, one of the best places to see wildlife is staying at a luxury game reserve. Private game reserves are not as expansive as the publicly owned national parks. Their key selling point is the superior accommodation and ranger escorted personalized tours. The national parks on the other hand are popular with self-drive tourists. They offer accommodation in a limited number of enclosed rest-camps, in thatched rondavels, bungalows and chalets. Tour companies also offer packages, including transport and guide in the national parks. See our South Africa Tours page to view info and book one of our package safari offers.

Luxury Game Reserve

Luxury Game Reserve

South Africa is home to numerous species of land animals, including the celebrated “big five” – rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant. Most members of the big five league are undoubtedly charismatic. But this is not the reason they are so named – otherwise I would petition that the buffalo be ejected. The reason is that these are the animals the early safari hunters found most challenging. The idea of viewing game without killing had not gained widespread acceptance then. The arrogant practice of killing animals as a sport is very unpopular today with those who value the right to life and dignity of animals as full members of our planet.

Game viewing is usually done from the comfort of a vehicle but walking, horseback, camel and canoeing safaris are increasingly becoming popular. If you wish to view a game in any of these modes, it is required that you be accompanied by an armed ranger. Full blood adventure types think that watching game aboard a vehicle is for wimps. Walking safaris are designed for such hardy souls. And it is the reason that the thoughtful folks at SANParks maintain a network of wilderness trails in the parks. The typical walking safari will have a maximum of eight persons with ages ranging from 12 to 60 years and last for 2 nights and 3 days. Participants must obviously be physically fit.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a unique game sanctuary. This huge park is a combination of the two parks -the former Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa. Covering over 36,000 sq km, it is one of the biggest wildlife conservation areas anywhere in the world. The landscape is marked by red sand dunes and sparse thornbush vegetation. The environment of this park provides outstanding opportunities for unforgettable wildlife photos.

This park is host to the famous black-maned Kalahari lions. You will also see gemsbok, springbok, eland, blue wildebeest, cheetahs, wild dogs, jackals, bat-eared foxes and leopards. Birding is also excellent and of 297 species recorded, 96 are resident. The Kgalagadi is not for the fainthearted -it is far from anywhere and getting there is a slog. It is located 904 km to the west of Johannesburg. All accommodation in the park is managed by SANParks. You will get the best experience if you visit between June and July when the weather is coolest.

On safari, remember to carry a pair of binoculars to help you spot animals. Also, carry a camera and other equipment as a means of recording your safari. It is the only way to shut up those who doubt the story of your encounter with the African wildlife. Carry along a decent pair sunglasses to shield you from glare, especially if you travel to the semi-desert Kgalagadi. Dressing well means cool clothing (such as light cottons and linen) for summer and warm for winter.

Another great location for luxury game safari is the vast and surprisingly varied biosphere, the Great Karoo that spans large sections all three capes, stretches as far north as the Kruger. The Great Karoo, classified as a demi-desert area, is, in fact, a conglomerate of habitats, of mountain, savannah, grassland and desert, the so-called Nama and Succulent Karoos. The Succulent Karoo occupies the western third of the Great Karoo. The Nama Karoo, South Africa’s second largest biome, straddles much of the country’s central plateau. Both game reserves, Samara and Mount Camdeboo, are located along the eastern flank (in the Eastern Cape) of the Nama Karoo, where it’s predominantly desert characteristics – shrublands, poor quality limestone soils – are partially broken up by the proximity of the Sneuberg Mountains.

On safari, remember to carry a pair of binoculars to help you spot animals. Also, carry a camera and other equipment as a means of recording your safari. It is the only way to shut up those who doubt the story of your encounter with the African wildlife. Carry along a decent pair sunglasses to shield you from glare, especially if you travel to the semi-desert Kgalagadi. Dressing well means cool clothing (such as light cottons and linen) for summer and warm for winter.

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The Luxury Villa Rentals Expert owner and founder of: the Hospitality Brand Fenicehospitality.com, HauteRetreats.com the ultimate collection of luxury villa rentals managed by owners, a collection of inspected and verified villa rentals. Sabrina is ready to inspire your next travel and stay in a wonderful luxury villa rental. Travel In Style!