Game Viewing in South Africa

Game Viewing South Africa - What’s so special? Feel the thrill and adventure of a close encounter with the Big Five... The roar of lions echoing across the endless savannah, the sound of crickets under a star studded sky. this is what you will experience when you visit one of the fine reserves teeming with wildlife in South Africa.

Did you know? In the Kruger National Park only closed vehicles are permitted and off-road driving is strictly forbidden. Night drives in Kruger may only be conducted by park rangers in large park vehicles.

South Africa is a wildlife paradise offering umpteen numbers of national parks and wildlife reserves. Although each game reserve offers its own dimension to game viewing, one common factor ties them all together: the regal big five of the South African wild world - Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, Lion and Buffalo (also see: South African Wildlife).

Game Viewing in South Africa is done either in closed vehicles (mostly in the National Parks of which the Kruger National Park is the most famous), in open safari vehicles in the Private Game reserves and both day and night game viewing is available in these private reserves. Tracking game on foot is also an option available in some parks and reserves.

Did you know? In the Private Game Reserves, day and night game drives are conducted in open vehicles. The biggest advantage of the open safari vehicles is that you get a better view and also a much better feel for the bush than in a closed vehicle.

And for the avid horse rider. there are game reserves where 'Game-viewing on Horseback' is an option. (for example see Ubizane Wildlife Reserve in KwaZulu Natal). Wildlife Safaris on horseback are an extraordinary experience as the game see you as part of the horse and don't frighten easily which affords you the opportunity to get up close to the animals.

At camps in the private reserves, the driver and tracker who accompany you on excursions are expert rangers and they are in contact with the other vehicles on game drives, greatly increasing your chances of finding the wildlife that you want to see.

Vehicles in the private game reserves may also leave the road to follow animals into the bush and provide opportunities to witness behaviour and interactions you might not see otherwise. Night drives in the private game reserves are also exceptionally good opportunities to spot game not usually seen during the day. South Africa Game Reserves - The hotspots: (please see our comprehensive South Africa Game Reserve section for details about the individual Game and Nature Reserves in South Africa - the section includes a map series showing the location and extent of the reserves).

The private game reserves of Mpumalanga are the best destination in South Africa for anyone seeking an exceptional wildlife safari. The private game reserves lie along the western border of the Kruger National Park and recently, much of the fencing that once separated these reserves from Kruger have come down, allowing the animals to roam freely between the private Game Reserves and the Kruger Park. Although the game in both the Kruger Park and the neighbouring reserves is essentially the same, there are differences in the overall game viewing experience. These include the Private Game Reserves within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the Game Reserves bordering and within the Greater Kruger National Park region.

Of the Limpopo Game Reserves, highlights from a game viewing perspective include the Kruger Park (North and Central sections) and Welgevonden Private Game Reserve. Teeming with Wildlife, Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal include the famous Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, Mkuze Game Reserve and Pongola game reserve. Situated in the Malaria Free Eastern Cape the Addo Elephant Park is just one hour's drive from the South African coastal city of Port Elizabeth, this magnificently diverse national park offers a wide variety of game viewing.

Also in the Eastern Cape are the well-know private game reserves Amakhala and Shamwari.

In the North West Province the Pilanesberg National Park and Madikwe Game Reserve offer and exceptional Big 5 Game Viewing experience and in the Northern Cape, Africa's first formally declared trans-border conservation area, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, lies on the border of South Africa and Botswana.

Take your pick depending on your requirements. From a super luxury game viewing experience to a self dive budget safari, from fully catered in a 5 star private game lodge to a self catering experience for the budget conscious - these are the possibilities for Game Viewing in South Africa.

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