A few of South Africa's parks, reserves and conservation areas.
South Africa's wildlife parks, reserves and conservation areas showcase the full spectrum of the country’s fauna, flora and landscapes. Thanks to the foresight of conservationists past and present, South Africa is blessed with abundant wildlife. The Kruger National Park alone has well over 10 000 elephants and 20 000 buffaloes - in 1920 there were an estimated 120 elephants left in the whole of South Africa. The white rhino has also been brought back from the brink of extinction and now flourishes both in the Kruger National Park and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal.
Look For The Big Seven
Wildlife enthusiasts eagerly seek out Africa’s “Big Five” - elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. South Africa proudly boasts the “Big Seven” – the Big Five PLUS the great white shark and southern right whale. In addition to the standard safari drives, here you can go on elephant walks, bush hikes, crocodile and shark dives and more. Each park offers a unique perspective on its wilderness and the opportunity to experience it in a new way.
Lesser known animals are also worth looking for . A sighting of the rare tsessebe (a relative of the wildebeest) may cause as much excitement in some as the sight of a pride of lion. And while one can hardly miss a nearby elephant, spotting the shy little forest-dwelling suni (Livingstone's antelope) is cause for self-congratulation. On the really small scale, one could tackle the challenge of ticking off each of South Africa's seven species of elephant shrew, a tiny pig like mammal that gets its name from its long pointed nose.
South Africa is major birding destination. Of the 850 or so species that have been recorded, about 725 are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near-endemic. Apart from the resident birds, South Africa hosts a number of intra-African migrants such as cuckoos and kingfishers, as well as birds from the Arctic, Europe, Central Asia, China and Antarctica during the year. South Africa's birdlife ranges from the ostrich - farmed in the Oudtshoorn district of the Western Cape, but seen in the wild mostly in the north of the country - through such striking species as the hornbills to the ubiquitous LBJs ("Little Brown Jobs").