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Fantastic National & Provincial Parks

Do you want to reconnect with your wild side? To immerse yourself in the smells and sounds of the bush and have an intimate experience of the natural lives of the wildest of creatures? You can have the thrill of being close to some of the world's most effective predators, or the fascination of seeing the daintiest creatures deftly moving through and between the bushes.

There are so many choices:

  • You can do a day trip from many of the major centres, or you can immerse yourself in the bush for weeks.
  • You can choose to go to places where you are most likely to see the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino) or you can go looking for different species, perhaps Oryx (Gemsbok), Bontebok, or Cape Mountain Zebra.
  • You can go to places that are particularly recognised for their diversity of bird life.
  • You can see the animals in dense bush, in dry semi-desert, in forests or in scrub thicket.

We would love to help you decide where to go and how to get there. We have been to most of the parks and over a period of 20 years went time and again to both the Kruger National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Our intimate local knowledge works together with the Hays Group's incredible range of operators to get you all the best options and prices, and our UK based company gives you the peace of mind of ABTA  and ATOL protection.

So contact us now to make it happen!

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The Fabulous Range of National & Provincial park Options

The National Parks in South Africa are managed by SANParks, a central government owned and run organisation. Most of the 9 provinces in South Africa also have provincial organisations that own and run provincial parks. The system began in 1898, with the proclamation of the precursor to the Kruger National Park, and has made an incalculable contribution since then, in wildlife conservation and in making wild places accessible to the public.

Most of the parks provide accommodation as well as other facilities, but in many of them you can also stay in private game lodges that provide different and more exclusive accommodation.

These are all wild spaces where creatures live in their natural habitats so it is never possible to be sure what you will see. Some sights are much more likely in some places than in others, but much of the pleasure and excitement lies in the fact that everything is a surprise.

Best for Families

Wildlife adventures are a great way for families to spend time together and connect. They often involve a lot of time in beautiful places peacefully watching or looking for animals or birds and this can be wonderful quality time together. Children have to be a certain age to appreciate the pleasure. Private reserves, and private concessions in the national and provincial parks may cater better for them. Of the national parks, Pilanesburg is exceptional because:

  • it's quick and easy to get to.
  • it has the big five at high densities in a small space - meaning you're more likely to see them.
  • it has a big variety of accommodation and other things to do nearby.

In the Kruger Park the Jock Safari Lodge and the Kapama Safari Lodge both specialise in activities targeted to Children.

Best for Couples

  • The private concessions within the National Parks and the Ezemvelo KZN Parks are favourite places for honeymooners and other couples. They will give you luxury, service, privacy and lots of organised activities if you want them.
  • If you just want privacy and time by yourselves nothing could do better than one of the small bush camps in the Kruger (Byamiti, Shimuwini or Sirheni) or in the Kgaagadi (Urikaruus or Gharagab).

The Wagtail Wow

  • Ndumo in the far north of KwaZulu Natal gave us one of our best holidays!
  • Sirheni, Talamati, and Biyamati in the Kruger and Urikaruus in the Kgalagadi are some of our favourite places in the world.
  • Our property in South Africa bordered on the Goukamma Nature Reserve and we loved swimming, walking and picnicking there.

To benefit from our years of experience and our passion for these places contact us today to talk about your holiday plans!

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Kruger National Park

The Kruger Park is situated in the 'lowveld' (the lower lying parts) of the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Some quick facts:

  • The Park covers 7,580 square miles (for comparison, Wales covers 8,006).
  • It is an area of extraordinary biodiversity with 16 'macro ecozones'.
  • 147 mammal species. 
  • Over 500 bird species.
  • 336 tree species.

The south of the park has more predators and more big game, so your chances of seeing the Big 5 and other exciting mammals are higher.

The north is wilder, there are fewer people around and it is exceptional for birds of all sorts, and raptors in particular.

There is a very wide range of accommodation, including self catering park accommodation and many private lodges, and remote bush camps.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to the Kruger National Park!

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

In the far north west of South Africa, in the Kalahari Desert, is the second biggest National Park. It is less easily accessible, with unsurfaced roads and smaller camp-sites, which in turn mean fewer visitors! There is less diversity of plants and animals, but the landscapes along the two dry riverbeds of the Nossob and Auob are extraordinary. Also it is one of the world's first game parks that is jointly managed by two neighbouring governments, Botswana and South Africa. It is exceptionally good for birding.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park!

Addo Elephant Park

In a completely different micro-climate and with different landscape and vegetation, the Addo Elephant Park is close to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, and a visit to it is easily combined with the Gaden Route. Although the park was established to protect Elephants, it has a wide range of mammals and birds. No malaria prophylaxis is required in Addo.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to the Addo National Park!

Pilanesberg National Park

Just 3 hours outside Johannesburg and adjacent to the internationally renowned golf resort, Sun City, is the Pilanesberg National Park. This is an absolute gem. It is extraordinarily diverse and offers the Big 5 and other treats like Roan and Sable Antelope and Tsessebe, as well as great birding. Because it is quite small but has a high density of game, the likelihood of seeing exciting sights is very good. Also there is a fantastic range of accommodation available.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to the Pilanesberg National Park!

Smaller National Parks

As well as the major national parks mentioned above there are several others that should not be forgotten or ignored:

  • The Marakele National Park to the west of Johannesburg and Pretoria offers great game viewing close to the main centres.
  • The Mapungubwe National Park in Limpopo Province is a nature reserve and World Heritage Site established on the site of a third century kingdom.
  • The Golden Gate National Park in the Eastern Free State, at the top of the Drakensberg has spectacular scenery, lovely walks, unusual game and great birding.
  • The Karoo National Park near Beaufort West in the middle of the Great Karoo is an excellent place to get a glimpse of the wonderful semi-arid Karoo flora and fauna, especially the birds.
  • The Mokala National Park, outside Kimberley is a good window on the natural world of the Northern Cape.
  • The Mountain Zebra National Park showcases the habitat and wildlife of the interior of the Eastern Cape.
  • The Namaqua National Park is fantastic during the spring for the most glorious wild flower display and is good for birding at all times.
  • The West Coast National Park is a RMSAR wetland of international importance and is a very special blace for birding as well as for wild flowers in spring.
  • The Ai-Ais Richtersveld National Park is an amazing, extremely remote wilderness area on the border with Namibia.

And there are others.

If you are drawn to any one of these parks, perhaps for wild flowers, or birding or for any other reason, we can help you plan a holiday there.

Contact us for a chat about it!

Ezemvelho KZN Wildlife Parks

Ezemvelho KZN Wildlife is the organisation responsible for the world-renowned game parks in KwaZulu Natal. Close to Durban, and also easily accessible to Johannesburg, these parks offer fantastic accommodation and facilities and they also have private concessions operating in them. The main parks are:

  • Hluhluwe-iMfolozi was established in 1895 and is the best known of the parks. The Big 5 can be seen there, as well as many smaller animals and wonderful bird life. This park has played a particularly important role in the conservation of Black Rhino.
  • Ithala, in the north-west of KwaZulu Natal is specially known for giraffes and warthogs.
  • Ndumo is right up on the Mozambique border, with a lot of forest, as well as savannah and bush. It is bordered by the Usuthu River and the Pongola flows through it, so it has abundant wetlands. With 430 species of bird in a relatively small area it is excellent for birding.
  • Sodwana, Cape Vidal and Maphelane, together managed as the Zululand Coast have vast stretches of pristine beaches, coral reefs, swamps, wetlands and woodlands, with extraordinarily diverse animal, bird and marine life.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to any of the Ezemvelo KZN parks!

Cape Nature Reserves

Cape Nature is the organisation responsible for wildlife conservation in the Western Cape. They run more than 20, mainly small reserves in beautiful, tucked away places within the Western Cape, close to Cape Town and the Garden Route. Though most of them have fewer big mammals than the major national parks, they have fantastic bird life. Some of the most beautiful are:

  • De Hoop near Cape Aughulus, the southern tip of Africa, is arguably the best place from which to watch whales, and one of the best for birding.

  • Kogelberg, between Cape Town and Hermanus is considered by many to have the most beautiful combination of landscape and wild flowers in the Western cape.

  • Goukamma, just outside Knysna is a little gem tucked away on a beautiful river and very close to Buffalo Bay, which has one of the best bathing beaches.

Contact us today to talk about holidays to any of the Cape Nature parks!

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 All holidays are ABTA & ATOL protected.

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