South Africa’s most visited destination isn’t really a wildlife destination – Cape Town – although diving among great white sharks in False Bay ranks high on the list. It is Cape Town’s unique geography and important history, combined with a relaxed urban lifestyle that draws many travelers. And there’s no better place to be introduced to the unique fynbos vegetation of the Cape Floral Kingdom than the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Close to Capetown are the Winelands and the Garden Route. South Africa’s wine growing region is home to world-class vineyards and Hermanus, on South Africa’s southern coast, is known as the whale watching capital of the world – a place where travelers can watch southern right whales from the shore or on board the small boats.
In wildlife conservation travels, South Africa is most famous for Kruger – the region that includes the national park and the private reserves to its immediate west, such as Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, where you have the opportunity to spot the “Big Five” in a day. The fences that used to separate the park from the private reserves have long since disappeared and the best game viewing is to be found in the private reserves. Experience the African bush by exploring other private reserves away from the crowds, such as Timbavati Private Game Reserve and Thornybush Game Reserve.
Many of these private wildlife reserves are located on reclaimed ranch land – lands that have been restored over the decades, allowing the area’s indigenous plants to return and creating exceptional wildlife habitats. Once the land recovered, wildlife species naturally migrated onto the reclaimed land or have been reintroduced and wildlife conservation travel has replaced traditional farming and ranching.
South Africa is the great destination for a family vacation, a romantic getaway or honeymoon and to enjoy the world famous.