SA National Parks

about south africa national parks

South Africa houses 21 national parks, together covering 4,000,000 hectares or over 3% of the country’s total area, some of them are of the best national parks in the whole of Africa. With such a plentitude of choice , here are some of the most beautiful National Parks in South Africa..

Kruger National Park (Limpopo and Mpumalanga) (19485 km²)

The iconic Kruger National Park takes pride and joy as one of the world’s most renowned safari havens.  The unbelievable natural beauty and breathtaking wildlife on display are almost without match on the continent. As well as the big five, there are over 150 other large animals such as zebras and antelopes that roam its plains and visitors are guaranteed an unforgettable experience with such a diverse range of beautiful animals on show. It is actually the best place in Africa to see large animals. A safari here promises an exceptional experience and is really what memories are made of.

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Addo National Park (Eastern Cape) (1640 km²)

With over six hundred elephants contained within the park, Addo is the perfect place to see the largest mammals on earth in their natural habitat. Already having encompassed seven different types of biomes, the park’s recent expansion means that it now also includes a part of the coastal area and a couple of islands, making it the only national park in the world where you can see the big seven! With elephants, lions, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards as well the recent additions of whales and great white sharks, Addo is certainly a mesmerizing and memorable National Park to visit.

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Golden Gate Highlands National Park (Free State) (340 km²)

Located near the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, this park is visually stunning due to its spectacular sandstone cliffs that dominate their surroundings. The ancient rock formations are beautiful to look at and hidden among these colossal cliffs are caves containing San rock art paintings within them. As such, history plays a large part in drawing visitors to the park and a number of paleontological discoveries have also been made within its boundaries such as dinosaur skeletons and eggs have been found.

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Garden Route National Park (Western and Eastern Cape) (1210 km²)

The massive Garden Route National Park stretches from Tsitsikamma to Knysna to Wilderness across one of the most beautiful parts of the country. From forest excursions and mountain biking to birding, water activities and hiking, visitors really are spoiled for choice.

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Table Mountain National Park (Western Cape) (221 km²)

One of the most iconic sights in the whole of South Africa is Table Mountain which forms the impressive backdrop to the city of Cape Town. This immense plateau that is often topped with fluffy white clouds is awe-inspiring to visit such is its beauty. Numerous twisting trails of varying difficulty levels make their way up the side of Table Mountain and the view on the hikes slowly gets better and better the higher you go.

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West Coast National Park (360 km²)

Flower-enthusiasts flock to the nature reserve during August and September each year to see carpets upon carpets of brightly coloured and breathtakingly gorgeous flowers as well as an array of other interesting fauna and flora found in the park. This colorful park really does give credence to South Africa being called the Rainbow Nation. With a multitude of bright and lively flowers dancing before you in the wind, West Coast National Park certainly does paint a beautiful picture and as such the multi-colored landscapes are simply stunningBoth Hluhluwe- Umfolozi and iSimangaliso Wetland park are not strictly national parks but are part of  Ezemvelo KZNl Wildlife

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Hluhluwe- Umfolozi Game Reserve (KwaZulu Natal) (960 km²)

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is the oldest Big 5 game reserve in Africa. This was the home of “Operation Rhino” in the 1950’s when white rhinos were saved from the brink of extinction. It has been credited with saving this endangered species from extinction. Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park lies in the heart of “old Zululand” and is rich in history dating back to the early Iron Age. While not technically considered to be malaria-free, Hluhluwe is a low risk malaria-area and infections are extremely rare.

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iSimangaliso Wetland Park (KwaZulu Natal)(3280 km²)

The park is internationally recognised as a World Heritage Site. A very special slice of Africa, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers ecotourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable. You can dive on coral reefs or walk for miles along golden beaches; explore great dunes and wander through magical coastal forests; roam across grassy plains as the wind carries the whistling calls of reedbuck on the alert, go fishing or take a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia.

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