8 Places Where You Can Get The Best Wildlife Experiences in South Africa!
My journey in South Africa has just ended and here I am to document all my experiences while they are still very fresh including ones with wildlife. Writing this post while I’m waiting on the airport for my 24-hour flight back to San Francisco. I have to say my experiences in South Africa were quite unique in many ways. Most of these experiences that I had, were happening for the first time in my life such as the closest contact ever with the pure wildlife in nature. So let me talk about the very best wildlife experiences by listing top wildlife destinations in South Africa.
Most of my best times in South Africa were spent in Mount Camdeboo, an incredibly private lodge located in a game reserve. First things first, amazing accommodation! I don’t usually do such luxury vacations but since it was arranged by our company, it doubles the taste. You will definitely feel like a celebrity in that house since all little details are being taken care of for you! We had lovely guides who did anything to keep us satisfied during our stay and safari experiences. I can’t thank them enough for making our stay awesome.
In terms of wildlife safari, we were so lucky that we got to see all that we were looking for in the wild. Lions, elephants, zebras, buffalos, cheetahs, giraffes and of course those cute warthogs…Hakuna Matata, lol they always remind me the movie! There are many other animals that I probably forgot to mention but overall this could be the complete safari experience that you are looking for. We did morning tours every morning, came back for delicious lunch and then headed back to the wild for more and finished with stunning African sunsets!
With no further comments check out Mount Camdeboo and book your stay now if you’re planning your trip to South Africa!
Of course, it would be a shame if I forget to mention one of the best places for wildlife experiences in South Africa. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to Kruger since it was very far away from where we stay and it wasn’t a part of our program. However, I heard enough about it from locals to tell you that you should go! Most of the private game reserves in South Africa transfer animals from Kruger to protect their species in a sustainable way, which means Kruger is the place where you will witness the real wilderness and also a bigger population of animals.
I’d suggest that you book a trusted tour to go Kruger instead of going by yourself.
This one I should call “The House of Wild Cats”. White tigers, cheetahs, leopards, pumas and many more cats that would probably bite. And yes, Lion King is also there. You will walk around the deadliest cats that you can ever see and they have great watchtowers where you can go up with your own risk and take cool photos while they play around or lay down for hours. Let’s be honest, especially lions are lazy!
The world SAASA refers to South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance. Basically, there are 2 more members of this alliances which will get you huge discounts if you book packaged tours. I will talk about one of them just in a second. A single ticket to any sanctuary costs 260 African Rand which currently makes 19$ US. For me the price was reasonable for the animals we saw inside. And of course, you will hear about these animals from the expert guides. Here you can book your tour to Jukani to meet with those wildcats!
They are cute, they like playing around and they may steal your hat if you have a good one! This was one of the fun experiences that I wanted to recommend. It is not the longest tour that you will get but definitely fun to wander around in a jungle where you are surrounded by more than 700 monkeys which include 11 different species. Of course there is a “no-touching” rule, however, sometimes monkeys may want to touch if you are calm enough and if you carry some shiny jewelry, which might end up bad for you though!
Here you can check out the Monkeyland and book your tour to see all those cute monkeys!
And this is the last cycle of SAASA members. I know that not many people are crazy about birds when they visit South Africa. But I also know that there are some, and I like to make sure that I can bring the best experience to the table for everyone, so you can leave the ones you’re not interested and plan your stay accordingly.
Birds of Eden is located in Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route. Once you enter, you’ll be surrounded by more than 3000 birds from 220 different species. We didn’t do a guided tour on this one and took our time to take photos of the birds. There are many different species which are very interested to photograph, so for photographers, this bird watching sanctuary is a great place to see them all. Good fact about Birds of Eden is that it’s located right next to the Monkeyland, so you don’t even have to drive if you are visiting Monkeyland, you can just check out Birds of Eden as a bonus for your program.
Get ready for a wild ride! This place offers a wildlife safari, but not only with a safari car. You can ride your horse and discover all the great wildlife while riding your horse like a true explorer. An hour of our day was very well spent with this tour while we got to see animals like zebra, giraffe, wild beast, impalas and springbok. I’m pretty sure that we miss some of them since we were already focused on our ride with our new friends.
But don’t worry if you are not comfortable with the idea of riding a horse, they also offer regular safari with a car. They have a good variety of animals, however, it is not a huge wildlife reserve, so definitely doing a safari with a horse ride would be a better experience for this place. If you are looking for a wildlife experience with a huge animal population surrounding your car, Mount Camdeboo is a better option for your safari.
This private game reserve is located in Mossel Bay, where we mostly stayed. They are famous with their elephant experiences where you can walk with the elephant almost for an hour, observe other animals like zebras or giraffes. During the walk, you will listen to the guide about all the details of these gorgeous animals. After the tour, you will have the chance to feed them and pet them while taking great photos. So technically, this is not a wildlife experience, but this is one of the experiences that you can get really close to wild animals like elephants.
Indalu also offers a nice accommodation inside the reserve so if you want to check out available tours and options in Indalu just click this.
This is probably the least wilderness you can get compared to all other places I just listed. Firstly, it’s part of Table Mountain National Park and a more controlled area by people. And also the animals you get to see will make you think of the term cuteness overload instead of wilderness. I’m talking about the penguins of course! I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find it so weird spotting a giant colony of penguins in the most southern part of Africa with it’s warmest temperature! I guess that’s the reason that their species is called African Penguins.
They are such cute animals, however as the sign says, they will bite. These penguins are part of the habitat and that’s why they are protected even more since their species is quite endangered. Unfortunately, there were millions of them 100 years ago, however, today, there are only 55.000 left in South Africa. Hope you’ll enjoy watching the penguins and appreciate their presence, and if you are on Santa’s “nice list”, some penguins may come to play around for a short time until they are spotted by all other tourists and chased for a photo! Click here to learn more about the African penguins!
And here you have your list ready for a crazy wildlife adventure. These 8 that I listed were by far the top wildlife destinations in South Africa. If you are going there to experience some wildlife, you should add these place to see all amazing wilderness and not to miss anyone on your list. Hope you will have a wonderful trip to South Africa! For more travel advice and tips for making your journeys easier and effortless, consider subscribing, so you will get great travel tips every month with new tricks to save you time and money!
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