The ideal wild-life viewing experience does not involve seeing lots of other vehicles herding the bewildered game in all directions – a sight all too commonly encountered in such ‘classic’, albeit vastly overcrowded, destinations as Kenya’s Maasai Mara, where the wildlife is so accustomed to the presence of vehicles that the experience is little more exciting than driving through, for example, the West Midlands Safari Park.
Of the hundreds of awesome activities that South Africa has on offer, probably the most popular activity on offer is Game Viewing. Game viewing on any of the many game reserves in South Africa provides an opportunity to see South African wild life in all their beauty in their natural habitat. On a self-drive expedition, with a guide, on horseback, on elephant back – whatever your preference, you’re assured of a memorable game viewing experience.
Probably the most well known game viewing location in South Africa is the Kruger National Park. Home to South Africa’s Big 5, the Kruger National Park offers an incredible self-drive route through the open veld where you’ll see countless variations of buck, zebra’s, giraffe, leopard, lion, springbok, cheetah, eland and countless others. (There is a check list available at: http://www.sa-venues.com/wildlife/). Self-driven game viewing trips offer the benefits of being able to determine the pace of you journey, however without a guide who knows the area well, you might miss out on seeing something special.
The Kruger National Parks game viewing isn’t limited only to self-drive expeditions. The park has been very well developed to cater for many different preferences. Guided groups will be taken out into the bushveld, where you’ll camp overnight and experience the bushveld at night with all its fascinating sounds and sights.
The Eastern Cape offers much in the way of game viewing. Whilst most game reserves offer Big 5 game viewing, the popular Addo Elephant Park just outside Port Elizabeth lays claim to being the only park in South Africa that offers Big 7 game viewing! The 372 000 ha park is home to all of the South African Big 5 and in addition, there’s a 120 000 ha marine zone where you can spot the majestic whale and the much feared great white shark.
10 Minutes outside of Port Elizabeth, is the Seaview Lion and Game Park. Although it’s doesn’t offer game viewing of all the South African Big 5, it does offer the incredible opportunity to interact and play with lion cubs. R40 will get you up to about 30 minutes playtime with either the very young cubs, or the slightly older and more boisterous cubs. It’s an unforgettable experience and definitely worth doing. As you drive through the park, you’ll pass by giraffe, zebra and all sorts of buck. The Seaview Lion park also offers the rare opportunity to view the unique White Lion as well as the beautiful tiger.
Kwa Zulu Natal also has many choices for exceptional game viewing. The St Lucia National Park offers not only beautiful game viewing, but is also known as a birder’s paradise because of a the enormous variety of birdlife. Swaziland’s game viewing is one of the top in the country because of its raw beauty and rugged terrain. The Swaziland game viewing parks are not overly commercial and thus offer game viewing in its most natural form.
One of the hardest animals to spot when you’re game viewing in South Africa, is the leopard. Because of its reclusive nature – spending most of the day in the trees out of sight – game viewing trips don’t often get to see this incredible animal. However the game viewing parks in Mpumalanga offer some of the highest concentrations of leopard per square kilometer in South Africa. A day or night spent in most of the game parks in Mpumalanga is bound to include a number of leopard sightings – definitely worth the trip
Game viewing in South Africa offers more diversity of wildlife and more excitement than any other country in the world – make sure you don’t miss the wonders of game viewing in South Africa.