1. Kruger National Park
Kruger Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and has been a protected wildlife area since 1898. It has a great network of paved and dirt roads that allow guests to have great wildlife encounters. Some of our best encounters have been within 5 minutes of entering the park – even before the registration office! The park has well placed rest plazas in interesting and scenic spots. You can self drive or travel with a registered guide who uses open safari vehicles. Kruger is home to the largest variety of species in the southern portion of Africa. Many parks and reserves in other countries do not have a complete range of species since many are only recently converted from farmland. Kruger is not the only national park in South Africa: there are other unique parks all over the country.
A rare sighting of wild dogs in Kruger
2. Many Private Reserves with Established Conservation Efforts
South Africa has many private reserves with safari lodges and rich wildlife. In contrast, some private and park land in other countries such as Botswana were cattle farms just 20 years ago while Kruger and the private reserves around it have been established and well managed as wildlife preserves for generations. On a private reserve it is possible to go off trail or conduct walks. The private reserves adjacent to Kruger are the highest quality areas for wildlife and recently most have dropped fences to create the Greater Kruger Area. This new virtual park allows the animals to roam over a huge range of territory. Private reserves in the area around the Sabi River are the premiere location to see leopards.
Open safari vehicle on a private reserve
A leopard in Sabi Sands reserve
3. A Wide Range of Accommodation Choices
Competition and a long history of tourism means lodges are well cared for and maintained. The culture of South Africa is to offer the highest degree of hospitality to guests and you get great food and accommodations for much less than what you would pay in other African safari countries. Infrastructure allows guests to be in contact with businesses and medical care if they need to, but turning off devices also gives a genuine feeling of being in world apart. The choices range between luxury lodges in the middle of nowhere, rental houses, high quality permanent tent and cabin camps, to budget conscious lodges. Each are offered in a wildlife setting some with spectacular scenery.
Safari Lodges often serve outside under the stars
Tree House Lodge chalet
4. Ease of Travel
South Africa has distinct seasons that offer choice to the visitor. (see When is the Best Time for Safari in South Africa) South Africa has many travel routes from North America and Europe: once in South Africa it is a few hours or less drive to get to the wild areas. The high quality of lodges, roads, water, towns, and infrastructure make it possible for guests to do self-drive tours especially in the Cape Region. A good network of commercial domestic flights serves tourist and city areas of the country. Johannesburg is the gateway for travel to other Africa destinations so it is possible to see wildlife in South Africa and also fly to other destinations in southern Africa such as Victoria Falls for a combined trip.
Reserves have high quality dirt roads
5. The Cape Town Region
The Cape Town Region is a counterpoint to the safari lifestyle of the rest of the country and offers its own wildlife and natural beauty to photograph. It offers world class gourmet dining, wine regions, and has been listed as one of the top 5 cities in the world. As a “world within a nation” it has mountains, beaches, wine lands, culture, and coastal drives. It can feel like being in Europe, and has its own wildlife regions with whale and shark sighting, rare penguin colonies, and areas with antelope and excellent birding.
The main street of Simonstown, a coastal town in the Cape
South Africa is an easy and satisfying choice for a wildlife photo safari. It has a huge variety of wildlife species due to the age and quality of its wildlife areas. Guests on safari have choices when it comes to level of service and price. South Africa has always offered an authentic safari experience and can be a single destination or part of a combined safari itinerary.