Take a classic Kruger safari
When it comes to wildlife in South Africa, Kruger is the crowning glory. A vast, untamed region of thick bushland, dense forest and rushing rivers, it’s home to an incredible array of animals, including the Big Five. Sleep in rustic tents buried in the bush, surrounded by star-studded night skies and flickering oil lamps, stay in exclusive lodges nestled next to busy waterholes and try a heart-thumping game walk through Big Five territory.
Explore the Eastern Cape
Kruger isn’t the only place to take a safari in South Africa. At the far end of the Garden Route you’ll find a handful of private game reserves offering first class safaris. Sleep in river lodges accessible only by boat, get unbelievably close to huge herds of elephants in Addo Elephant National Park and stop for atmospheric sundowners in the bush during sunset game drives. Kruger may top the chart when it comes to South Africa safaris, but the Eastern Cape is brilliantly accessible and runs a very close second.
Spot whales in the waves
Safaris in South Africa are not restricted to the land. Offshore, there’s an entirely new world to explore. From June to December, migratory Southern Right and Humpback Whales arrive in the crashing waters of the southern coast, while dolphin play in the surf all year long. Take whale-watching boat trips from beautiful Plettenberg Bay to scour the waves for breaching humpbacks at ridiculously close range.
Visit the ostrich capital of the world
It may come as a shock, but South Africa is home to 90% of the world’s ostriches, many of them bred in the green, semi-desert of the Little Karoo. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world, with ostrich farms at almost every turn. You can stand on giant ostrich eggs, feast on ostrich burgers and even try riding an ostrich yourself! Staying on a working ostrich farm, you’ll learn all about the local culture in these parts and help feed the thousand-strong herd of ostriches on the farm. It’s quirky, eye-opening and totally unforgettable.
Take a riverboat safari
The St.Lucia Wetlands is a tangled network of mangroves, swamps and rivers, all bursting with wildlife. Sail along hippo-filled rivers on a boat safari, watch crocodiles patrol the mangroves, see lagoons packed with link flamingoes and spot hundreds of different species of bird. Sit back on deck, whip out your binoculars and see the animal magic unfold. The hippos waddle ashore in the dusk searching for food, so you can see them every night from the town itself. There’s nothing quite like it.