Safaris in South Africa offer a fantastically accessible way to see some great wildlife in a country that’s tourist-friendly and great value. South Africa is home to one of the most magnificent selection of wildlife on the planet, and offers all kinds of safari experiences. At over 1.2 million km sq, and five times the size of the UK, South Africa is bordered on three sides by ocean. Whilst much of the country is made up of the highveld – a 1500m plateau – South Africa has a very varied terrain, ranging from desert and dry shrub land to coastal swamps, woodland and savannah.
Animals in many national parks in South Africa are comfortable with vehicles driving nearby, making spotting wildlife here easy for even a novice, and a great self-drive safari destination. Most parks are easily accessible in a 2WD hire car, which can keep the cost down as you won’t have to pay for a guide. With the money you save you could take one or two walking safaris, which is gives a different perspective on the bush and wildlife. These are offered by many of the larger national parks and well worth the money The big five animals are present in a number of national parks in South Africa, and if you’re an old safari hand Africa’s little five can also be found here. On the endangered list, South Africa is also home to the black rhino, wild dog, wattled crane and riverine rabbit.
With over 550 national parks and nature reserves and a great infrastructure to get into and around them, South Africa has a very well developed tourist economy, with wildlife making up a large portion of it. The tourist dollar derived from South Africa’s reasonably priced national park network is one of the main sources of revenue that goes back into local wildlife conservation efforts.
And of course, South Africa offers so much more than just safaris. There are all manner of activities and destinations you can combine with a safari in South Africa – including more than 2,500 km of stunning coastline with some of the world’s most famous beaches, world-class wine estates, and mother-city, Cape Town.