Visit South Africa Game Reserves
From headline-grabbing Big Five icons to thousands-strong roaming herds of game, South Africa’s endless swathes of protected wilderness promise exceptional wildlife viewing.
The private reserves surrounding Kruger National Park – Sabi Sands, Ngala, Thornybush and Timbavati – are the setting for some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges. They also provide some of the country’s best safari experiences, with classic game drives, walking safaris and even overnight sleep-outs providing opportunities for up-close encounters with lions, leopards, elephants and more.
Close to the Garden Route, good for families, malaria free and catering to a wide range of budgets, the Eastern Cape’s reserves are another major draw. The big hitters here are Amakhala, Shamwari, Kwandwe and Kariega, all of which offer Big Five game viewing, a good choice of accommodation and easy access from nearby Port Elizabeth.
To the east, in KwaZulu-Natal, the andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is a birder’s paradise, home to an incredible 415 species, while the neighbouring iSimangaliso Wetland Park has fewer crowds and a diversity of habitats that are home to everything from hippo and white rhino to turtles, crocodiles, whales and dolphins.
Further off the beaten track still, the semi-arid and bushveld habitats of the Northwest Province and Northern Cape include the Tswalu Kalahari, famed for its sweeping desert landscapes and large population of inquisitive meerkats.
Top itineraries in South Africa's Game Reserves
This is the ultimate introduction to South Africa. A spectacular drive along the Garden Route's rolling greenery and coastal beauty will see you link Cape Town’s beachside charms with the country’s finest vineyards and whale watching spectacles before ending with an all-inclusive Big Five safari.
Follow in the tracks of kings and presidents with a trip aboard the stunning Blue Train, its 19th-century luxuries linking the beach-clad joys of Cape Town with an all-inclusive Big Five safari. Return from expert-led game drives in a private reserve to four poster beds and gourmet meals.
With KwaZulu-Natal perhaps the most richly diverse of South Africa’s provinces, this spectacular drive takes in everything from the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains and Durban’s beachfront charms to Zulu battlefields and an all-inclusive, Big Five safari.
Top places to stay in South Africa's Game Reserves
The luxurious safari lodge, Dulini River lodge is located in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve under a leafy evergreen thicket, ebony trees and upon the banks of the seasonal Sand River.
Boasting a true and authentic feeling of African history, Kirkman's Kamp is located high on a ridge, offering incredible views that span across the Kamp.
Set in a rare and beautiful sand forest, the dense canopy ensures privacy and a calming atmosphere of Zulu Zen. Located between the Mkuze Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, it is home to unique wildlife, over 380 bird species and the marine diversity off the nearby coast is said t…
Where to go in South Africa's Game Reserves
With an outstanding range of private concessions and award-winning private game reserves and lodges offering the opportunity to spot the Big Five, the Eastern Cape game reserves are a major draw for visitors.
African wildlife has been successfully reintroduced into the reserves of the Western Cape and they now offer an excellent safari destination, along with the beautiful flora of the Fynbos Floral Kingdom and the area's other popular attractions such as The Cape Winelands and coastal whale and shark s…
The reserves of KwaZulu-Natal boast lush green terrain thanks to the area's coastal rainfall pattern. The woods, wetlands and grasslands combine with mountains, rivers, marshes and pans to create a rich environment, abundant with diverse wildlife.
The Kruger game reserves offer some of South Africa's most prestigious game viewing, with a host of luxury lodges and plenty of free roaming wildlife - especially Big Five. Ngala Private Game Reserve was the first private reserve to be integrated in the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sand Game Reser…
South Africa's Game Reserves articles
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