10 Parks to Visit in South Africa

South Africa is blessed with abundant nature that has been well preserved in state and private reserves.  They offer the public a truly unique opportunity to get back to nature in safe and comfortable surroundings.

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Since there are so many I thought I would compile a list of the top 10 I am hoping to visit soon:

Kruger National Park
The largest and most famous of South Africa’s parks is Kruger National Park in the east of the country bordering Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It is incredibly large, hosts the Big Five, and offers superb accommodation, meals, and guided safaris. A trip to the Kruger is simply a must.

Isimangaliso Wetland Park
Another large and beautiful park is the Isimangaliso Wetland Park cantered around St Lucia in the northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The St Lucia River is a magnificent experience, especially on boat safari, and the beaches and surrounding wetlands are truly fabulous. St Lucia is well adapted to receive visitors, and accommodation is very good.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a truly unique experience in the desert and semi-arid areas between the Namibia and Botswana borders. The park has the Big Five and some incredible bird life that is not seen elsewhere in the country, while accommodation is top-class.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in KZN is a fabulous park, Africa’s oldest and host to the Big Five. You can stay in luxury at the Hilltop Camp in the north or experience a more rustic experience at Mpila in the south. There are also private camps in the park, and regular open safari game drives take place.

Mkuze Game Reserve
Just nearby is the legendary Mkuze Game Reserve, a pretty basic bush experience accommodation and restaurant area, but a fabulous place, especially for birdwatchers with its incredible number of species.  It is advisable to bring along a good deal of your own food and drink requirements.

Addo Elephant Park
The Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape is also a highly rated park with excellent elephant-viewing opportunities and great accommodation.  Of all those listed I think this park would be the biggest hit with my kids.  In Thailand we grew to love elephants so much and seek our opportunities to spend time with them as often as possible.

Pilansberg Game Reserve
Pilansberg Game Reserve, north of Johannesburg, is also a popular park for visitors to Sun City, and its relatively small size allows for good viewing of animals.

Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site
The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site is a spectacular park with incredible mountain scenery offering a range of short, medium, and long hikes. Alternatively, just relax at one of the many hotels at the foothills of the mountain, or enjoy the wide array of family-orientated activities, from golf to horse riding and bicycling to tennis and bowls, or indulge in a body care treatment at one of the many spas.

Table Mountain National Park
Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town takes in the fabulous Table Mountain, where you can drive to the top of signal hill, the Cape Peninsula with its fabulous point nature reserve with its abundant penguins, and False Bay, all while enjoying the comforts of the great mother city just a few minute's drive away.

Garden Route National Park
The Garden Route National Park, which includes the exotic forests of the Tsitsikamma, offers you a spectacular stretch of coastal wonders, taking in great towns like Knysna, where you can boat on the lagoon, and Wilderness, where you can take some great nature walks and also enjoy the beach.

All told, these are lifetime experience parks offering you memories you will never forget.

Have you been to any of these?  Which was your favorite?

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