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Travel to the bush in style – Since 1946, The Blue Train in its charisma and majesty has been synonymous with luxury hospitality, tourism and leisure.
South African National Parks, (SANParks), manages a system of parks which represents the indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage of South Africa. Most of the national parks have overnight tourist facilities, with an unrivalled variety of accommodation in arid, coastal, mountain and bushveld habitats. National parks offer visitors an unparalleled diversity of adventure tourism opportunities including game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and exposure to cultural and historical experiences. Conferences can also be organised in many of the parks. The national parks are: Groenkloof, Kruger, Table Mountain, Marakele, Golden Gate, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo Elephant, Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, & Wilderness), Bontebok, Agulhas, West Coast, Karoo, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld, Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mapungubwe, Tankwa Karoo and Mokala. Filming & Photography As from 4 August 2009, SANParks has instituted various procedures for permit applications for filming and photography in National Parks. All application forms can be downloaded from SANParks’ website and should be faxed through to the number on the application form. Please note that once an invoice for an application has been filled out, no amendments can be made. Once an application has been filled and sent to SANParks, the application will be evaluated to assess the impact of […]
Askari Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the Plumari Africa Game Reserve in the Magaliesberg, just over an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria and offers guests a memorable Big 5 wildlife experience within a malaria free environment.
FreeMe is a rehabilitation centre for indigenous wildlife based in the north of Johannesburg. It was founded in 1997 by a group of trained rehabilitators who realised that there was not enough organised care for suburban indigenous wildlife. Each year thousand of birds, mammals and reptiles living in gardens or suburbs become orphaned, sick or suffer injuries. Most veterinarians do not have facilities to cater for wildlife, leaving would-be rescuers unable to determine what to do with them. FreeMe has filled this gap. The public can now bring wildlife to us for specialised treatment, care and rehabilitation until they can be released. We are staffed and operated by a small full-time staff and a group of trained volunteers. The centre is open seven days a week from 8am to 5pm and we welcome calls from the public asking for advice and support. FreeMe relies on members of the public to bring compromised animals to the centre, and for notification if there are wild animals in distress. In emergencies such as oil-spills volunteers may travel to a locality to rescue and assist wildlife. FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation NPC Registration number 2004/000431/08 PBO Ref. No. 005-380 B-BBEE Profile URN BEE3117611
Situated adjacent to the oldest desert in the world, Sossusvlei Lodge is a luxurious retreat in this premier tourist attraction area in Namibia.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa.
By using the elephant as an ambassador and educator our aim is to educate people about the difficulties facing conservationists and all wildlife in an ever changing modern Africa, so as to ensure that we see the value of our wildife for future generations.
Rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes that sweep away inland from the Orange River divulge the fact that you are now in the vast mountain desert that is the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld National Park, an area managed jointly by the local Nama people and the South African National Parks. This is a harsh and unpredictable land where water is scarce and life-sustaining moisture comes in the form of early morning fog – called ‘Ihuries’ or ‘Malmokkies’ by the local people – which rolls in from the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, sustaining a remarkable range of small reptiles, birds and mammals. A staggering assortment of plant life, some species occurring nowhere else, is to be found here, with gnarled quiver trees, tall aloes and quaint ‘half-mens’ keeping vigil over this inscrutable landscape. The park is only accessible by means of a 4×4 vehicle, but vehicles with high clearances such as combi’s and LDV’s do travel in the park. Sedan vehicles are not permitted. There is no specific route that can be booked in advance.
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve is Sir Richard Branson’s safari lodge located in the Western sector of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and forms part of Virgin Limited Edition.
The Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge. Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region. Klipspringer and kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky, silent sentinels in a strangely unique environment where only those that are able to adapt ultimately survive. The 55 383 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the very smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok and giraffe.
The ONLY FREE self sustaining White Lions in the World. The sheer expanse and stark beauty of the Sanbona gives one a sense of humbleness, the realization of the inconsequentialities of life, a temporary release of the daily stresses of everyday living.
The world renowned Shamwari Group has been a pioneering leader in wildlife safaris, conservation and hospitality for over 20 years.
Now the third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park has expanded to conserve a wide diversity of biodiversity, landscapes, fauna and flora. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s river mouth, Addo covers about 180 000 hectares (444 700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. And their Addo has only just begun, with plans to expand the Park into a 264 000 hectare (652 300 acre) mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that includes islands that are home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins. Facilities
MalaMala Game Reserve is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13 300 ha, MalaMala shares a 19 km unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve.
Join the southern-most elephants in the world at Knysna Elephant Park. Here our resident family of African elephants and world-class guides will unravel the sad and mystical story of the Knysna forest elephants. The Park offers a rare and exciting opportunity to get close to these gentle giants, who live in a controlled, free-range environment in the heart of the famous Garden Route. Experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and “Be touched by an elephant today”! The unique Elephant Lodge affords you the experience of sharing the elephants’ accommodation with them. Our Elephant Back Rides offera once in a lifetime opportunity to ride these incredible creatures. As you traverse through indigenous Cape fynbos atop of the elephants, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Outeniqua mountain range. The experience is rounded off with refreshments at the Lapa which overlooks pristine indigenous forest. Facilities Other Activities
Tankwa Karoo National Park is situated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape with the Roggeveld Escarpment in the East, Cederberg in the West, and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the South. Just a four-hour drive from Cape Town brings you to this truly unique national park. Situated within the Succulent Karoo Biome, the area is renowned for its rare and endemic plant species, rich birdlife, and landscapes that will take your breath away – from the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment to the moonscapes of the Tankwa Desert. While Tankwa Karoo National Park is still in a developmental and land consolidation phase, expanding from the original 26,000 hectares in 1986 to nearly 143,600 ha by late 2010, it is the ideal destination for those seeking the brightest stars in Africa, a once in a lifetime glimpse of a rare endemic bird or perhaps nothing more than a silence that reaches deep into the soul.
The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, as its Tswana name suggests, has become a ‘place of sanctuary’ for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the park. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds including what’s probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here.
This 8 000 ha coastal reserve consists mostly of open grassland dissected by perenial streams and flanked by the magnificent forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu rivers. Grasslands cover a large portion of the reserve and support a fascinating and diverse flora. Large numbers of grazing herbivores such as Eland, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Blesbuck and even Gemsbok, have been introduced into the grasslands, although only the first two species are indigenous to the area. Nature lovers and hikers love Mkhambathi Nature Reserve. This subtropical walker’s paradise has much to offer with a long stretch of coastline and an extensive choice of hikes. Characterised by open grasslands, indigenous forest patches and swamp forests, Mkhambathi Nature Reserve is fringed by the beautiful forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu Rivers. Most of the reserve is rolling grassland, supporting an intriguing diversity of plant life. Of all the rivers running through the reserve, the sparkling pools and series of waterfalls on the Mkhambathi River are the most stunning. The Horseshoe Falls is particularly awesome. Downstream the river cascades over the Strandloper and Mkhambathi Falls before crashing into the ocean. Birds to spot include the Ground-hornbill, Red-shouldered widow, Yellow-throated longclaw, Common waxbill, […]
The four star Leopard Mountain Game Lodge is an extremely attractive safari lodge situated in the strikingly beautiful Zululand Rhino Reserve, Hluhluwe, KwaZulu Natal.
Invigorating crystal clear air, beautiful scenery, tranquil ambience and an abundance of wildlife offer you a special and personal African wilderness experience at Mountain Zebra National Park. Situated near Cradock in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, this national park was originally proclaimed in 1937 to save the dwindling Cape mountain zebra population. Now, at over 28 000 hectares, the park boasts a conservation success story, protecting over 700 zebra as well as wildlife such as endangered black rhino and cheetah.
Etosha National Park is unique in Africa. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa. The park is malaria free, accessible in a regular sedan car and the rest camps provide a range of accommodation as well as restaurants, viewing decks, shops and petrol stations. Luxurious camps in Etosha’s remote areas have now added top end accommodation to the park’s offerings. The various accommodation options in Etosha National Park are well equipped with restaurants, shops, curios, swimming pools and petrol stations. The three main camps (Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni) offer various types of accommodation from camping to chalets overlooking floodlit waterholes. Situated deeper in the park are the more exclusive camps (Dolomite and Onkoshi) that provide a safari experience for discerning travelers. The abundance of game in Etosha National Park is somewhat unexpected. During winter the Etosha Pan is bone dry. This endless white expanse is an unlikely venue for a wildlife sanctuary. Yet the surrounding […]
An amalgamation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa (proclaimed in 1931)and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park comprises an area of over 3,6 million hectares – one of very few conservation areas of this magnitude left in the world. Red sand dunes, sparse vegetation and the dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob show antelope and predator species off to spectacular advantage and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Kgalagadi is also a haven for birders, especially those interested in birds of prey. The Kalagadi Transfrontier Park has a list of approximately 280 species of which only about 92 are resident. The remainder comprises mainly nomadic, migratory and vagrant species, which number about 17, 50 and 121 respectively. Kgalagadi offers premium mammal viewing destinations anywhere because of the sparse vegetation and concentration of animals in the dry riverbeds of the Auob and Nossob Rivers. It is especially renowned for predator watching and for the seasonal movement of large herbivores such as blue wildebeest, springbok, eland and red hartebeest. Ground Squirrel and Suricate (Meerkat) are two more of the park’s more prominent species. Both these ground dwelling species live in large family groups for added protection […]
This cruel law (ordinance) condemning the above five species to extinction, has resulted in people and various bodies exploiting and abusing these animals. Because of the exploitation and abuse of these listed and other wildlife species, the RIVERSIDE WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRE (RWREC) was founded and developed. With a specially designed programme we provide a temporary sanctuary for vervet monkeys and other wildlife casualties that have been taken out of the wild and kept in captivity or being used as pets. It is common knowledge that wild animal species do not make good household pets especially the vervet monkey biting the family, friends and breaking nearly all ornaments and other valued household items. At this point they lose their cuteness and the owners must get rid of them, with very limited options. Either to be handed over to the Authorities and other organisations to be killed or to be used in bio-medical research laboratories. The casualties that result from this cruel Law, are anthropogenic in their cause and therefore, a need for wildlife rehabilitation centres was vitally important. A rehabilitation centre such as RWREC plays an important role and helps to alleviate a great deal of this problem, […]
Just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay, and only 1,5 hour’s drive from Cape Town’s City Centre, one finds the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park. Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere. During the spring the strandveld is embroidered with a tapestry of multi-hued flowers, while in the Postberg section many antelope are to be seen in a setting that is as unique as it is idyllic.
The Joburg Zoo is one of the most popular local and tourist attractions situated in the leafy northern suburb of Johannesburg. The Zoo covers 81 hectares of land and was founded in 1904, as a piece of land donated to the public for recreational use by the firm of the late Hermann Ekstein. Hermann Eckstein was involved in the development of the new mining town of Johannesburg, He had three million trees planted in an area which he christened Sachsenwald, now the suburb of Saxonwold. The Joburg Zoo has several modern animal exhibits and educational centres. To learn about some of main attractions read the short descriptions below. All directions are given from the Upper Park Zoo entrance. Visit Africa’s symbol a beauty and power, the lion in our natural and open AngloGold Lion enclosures. The zoo houses 11 lions with 3 magnificent pride males and their pride females. The Zoo is also lucky to have rare white lions making up our lion pride. AngloGold can be found by following Memorial Boulevard towards the war museum in the northern side of the zoo. Something fun for both children and parents, visit our education centre and get up close and personal […]
Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is the ideal location for anyone interested in the park’s wildlife and birds, to those in search of serenity, identity and the extraordinary history of this World Heritage Site. Come and join these diverse pilgrims and share unforgetable moments sipping sundowners at the confluence of the legendary Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, watch the eagles soar over Botswana and Zimbabwe’s skies, hear the echo of elephant trumpets, take a tree top walk or just relax and absorb the surroundings… Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is rich in biodiversity, great scenic beauty and the cultural importance of the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe.
As the southern-most tip of Africa, it has always had its mysteries and adventure, and still captures the imagination of contemporary explorers. Amongst the mysteries associated with this region, is the legendary ‘Cape of Storms’ which wrecked many ships en route to the east via Cape Agulhas. Ancient people also left their mark on the landscape. For example, archaeological middens remind contemporary man of a successful hunter-gathering culture that was in harmony with its natural environment; and a cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years to when the Khoi-khoi people trapped fish using ingeniously constructed tidal traps. This windswept, ruggedly beautiful coastal plain at the southernmost tip of Africa, with its rich cultural and natural heritage, was proclaimed as the Agulhas National Park on the 23rd of September 1999. The park started as a 4 ha portion of land at the southern tip and has grown through the additions of 36 portions, bringing the area of the Park to 20 959 ha.
Mokala is SANParks’ newest park. It is situated approximately 80km south-southwest of Kimberley, and west of the N12 freeway to Cape Town. Nestled in the hills, Mokala’s landscape boasts a variety of koppieveld (hills) and large open plains. The isolated dolerite hills give the place a calming feeling of seclusion. A big surprise awaits you when you pass through the hills and are confronted by the large open sandy plains towards the north and west of the Park. Drainage lines from the hills form little tributaries that run into the plains and drain into the Riet River. Mokala is a Setswana name for a Camel Thorn (Kameeldoring) These trees occur in dry woodland and arid, sandy areas and are one of the major tree species of the semi-desert regions of Southern Africa. This immensely important species has a great range over the Northern Cape and varies from a small, spiny shrub barely 2m high, to a tree up to 16m tall with a wide, spreading crown. The Camel Thorn is an incredible resource to both wildlife and humans who survive in often harsh conditions characteristic of this area. Traditionally, the gum and bark have been used by local tribes to […]
The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions. The Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now occupy their former ranges. The Karoo National Park has a wide variety of endemic wildlife. Many species have been relocated to their former ranges – such as brown hyena, lion and Cape mountain zebra. Over 20 breeding pairs of black eagle find sanctuary within the park. There is also a wide diversity of succulent plants and small reptiles.
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is a proud facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF). The 85-hectare Zoo in Pretoria houses 3117 specimens of 209 mammal species, 1358 specimens of 202 bird species, 3871 specimens of 190 fish species, 388 specimens of 4 invertebrate species, 309 specimens of 93 reptile species, and 44 specimens of 7 amphibian species. The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the largest zoo in the country and the only one with national status. More than 600 000 people visit the Zoo annually. The total length of the walkways in the Zoo in Pretoria is approximately 6km. An Aquarium and Reptile Park also form part of the Zoo facility in Pretoria. The Aquarium is the largest inland marine aquarium in the country. The third largest collection of exotic trees can be found at the Zoo.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is located in Free State, South Africa, near the Lesotho border. It covers an area of 340 km² (131.3 mi²). The park’s most notable features are its golden, ochre, and orange-hued deeply eroded sandstone cliffs and outcrops, especially the Brandwag rock. Another feature of the area is the numerous caves and shelters displaying San rock paintings. Wildlife featured at the park includes mongooses, eland, zebras, and over 100 bird species. It is the Free State’s only national park, and is more famous for the beauty of its landscape than for its wildlife. Numerous paleontology finds have been made in the park including dinosaur eggs and skeletons. Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the north eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park’s sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock, keeping vigil over the main rest camp. This 11 600 hectares of unique environment is true highland habitat, providing home to a variety of mammals – black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok and Burchell’s zebra – and birds, including the rare bearded vulture (lammergeier) […]
The fourth largest park in South Africa, Pilanesberg is a melting pot of topographies–which include syenite koppies, forested ravines, bush veld and rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas–all contained in the crater of an extinct volcano that covers 55,000 hectares. Much of the beauties find reflection in the Mankwe Dam, the central water feature here. This is also a great place to spot wildlife, including the Big Five–the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and the cape buffalo. Thabayadiotso, “the Proud Mountain”, offers fitting relief to the panoramas of the park. Apart from the large mammals, the park is home to over 300 species of birds and they can be sighted while on the one-of-a-kind self-guided trail in the Walking Area at Manyane Complex. If the wild ones are not showing up, you can rest assured you’ll see at least 80 species of birds at the walk-in aviary along the way.