South Africa is internationally renowned for having some of the world's greatest game and nature reserves. Although the National Parks of South Africa are numerous and well known, it has traditionally been the private game reserves that have the most luxurious accommodation. The granting of lodge development concessions in many of South Africa's National Parks has led to a whole new generation of unique Safari Game Lodges. Safari Game Lodges offer unprecedented luxury within the game rich and pristine National Parks.
The South African national parks are: Kruger National Park; Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park); Addo Elephant National Park; Bontebok National Park; Mountain Zebra National Park; Golden Gate Highlands National Park; Tsitsikamma National Park; Augrabies Falls National Park; Karoo National Park; Wilderness National Lakes Area; West Coast National Park; Tankwa Karoo National Park; Knysna National Lakes Area; Marakele National Park; Richtersveld National Park; Vaalbos National Park; Aghulhas National Park; Namaqua National Park; Table Mountain National Park, which incorporates the Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain and Silvermine nature reserves; and the Mapungubwe National Park.
Regional conservation bodies, such as KZN Wildlife, North West Parks, Cape Nature Conservation, etc. have numerous large reserves. There are also some 9 000 privately owned safari game ranches in South Africa, expanding at a rate of 300 000 ha per year. The contribution of these privately owned areas in maintaining South Africa's unique biodiversity is incalculable.
Some of the more well known Nature Reserves & National Parks in South Africa are:
Addo Elephant National Park -- Eastern Cape -- The 300 elephants in the park are the main attraction; thi big 5 nature reserves lies 75 km to the north of Port Elizabeth and is open throughout the year.
Augrabies Falls National Park -- Northern Cape -- Situated about 120 km west of Upington on the Orange River famous for it's waterfall and Shibula the black rhino.
Bontebok National Park - Western Cape -- home to more than 300 bontebok, and various other animals such as zebra, duiker and steenbok. Situated in the southern Cape, with the Breede river flowing through it, the varieties of fauna and flora and fynbos are spectacular.
The Cedarberg Wilderness Area - close to Citrusdal and Clanwilliam -- is renowned for its unique rock formations, bushman paintings, fynbos, birds, game and magnificent nature and views. Excellent hiking and mountain biking.
De Hoop Nature Reserve -- Western Cape -- De Hoop Nature Reserve is approximately 34 000 ha in size only three hours from Cape Town near the southern tip of Africa and a favourite destination for hikers, cyclists, bird watchers and whale watchers.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park -- Free State -- Nestling in the rolling foothills of the Maluti mountains in the northern Free Sate Highlands, this is the home of a variety of animals, but also offers superb accommodation and attractions, entertainment, hiking trails and much more.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve -- KwaZulu Natal -- Two of Africa's oldest game reserves (1895) and the linking Corridor Reserve make up 96 000 ha Park where the "Big 5" and others, like the elusive Cheetah, as well as an abundance of birdlife is to be seen.
Itala Game Reserve -- KwaZulu Natal -- Overlooking the Pongola River valley in the rugged, mountainous thornveld of Northern KwaZulu Natal, with diverse geological diversity, Itala offers a wildlife experience second to none.
Karoo National Park -- Western Cape --
This Nature Reserve is situated 7km from Beaufort West in the Great Karoo. It is the best preserved conservation area for Karoo vegetation, including fynbos. hiking and mountainbiking trails
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park -- Northern Cape --
One of Africa's great parks. The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (South Africa) and Gemsbok National Park (Botswana) have been formed into a transfrontier park of over 3,6 million ha. A rugged wildlife sanctuary with 3 rest camps & abundance of wildlife.
Madikwe Game Reserve -- North West --
Madikwe is regarded as one of the finest conservation areas in Africa, offering all the major species, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, both white and black rhino along with almost all the plains antelope species.
Mapungubwe National Park -- Limpopo -- a new park that offers tangible proof by way of the rich fossil deposits, Bushman rock art and gold artefacts, of ancient civilisations that once flourished in the region.
Marakele National Park -- Limpopo --
Situated in the heart of the magnificent Waterberg Mountain Range in the Northern Province, characterised by contrasting majestic mountain landscapes , hills and valleys, as well as an impressive variety of wildlife.
Mkuze Game Reserve - KwaZulu Natal --
Situated in the northern Kwazulu Natal region, this reserve differs from others in the vicinity in that it is flat with grasslands, fossil pans, wetlands and sand dunes. Attractions include game-viewing, birdwatching and an exciting bushveld trail.
Mountain Zebra National Park - Eastern Cape --
Situated about 25 km west of Cradock, a sanctuary for the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, but also home to various antelope species, caracal and over 200 bird-species. Serviced and equipped, with swimming pool, shop, restaurant, game-viewing and 3-day hi
Pilanesberg National Park - North West --
Situated inside the eroded crater of a long-extinct volcano in the North-West province. Pilanesberg is a sancuary for various kinds of game and is the successful conclusion to one of the largest game-stocking operations in South Africa.
Richtersveld National Park - Northern Cape --
An arid mountainous wilderness with splendid scenery, rugged kloofs, high mountains and dramatic landscapes, bordering the Orange River.
The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park - KwaZulu Natal -- A very special slice of Africa, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park offers ecotourists some of the most diverse wildlife and outdoor experiences imaginable.
Table Mountain National Park - Western Cape --
Experience the majestic southernmost point of the Cape Peninsula, visit the Nature Reserve and observe the rich Fauna and Flora.
Tsitsikamma National Park - Eastern Cape --
A region of startling beauty along South Africa's southern coastline, with the National Park encompassing its spectacular expanse. Various hiking trails like The Otter, the 200m bungi jump at Bloukrans River and much more
Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park - KwaZulu Natal --
The 243 000ha Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is one of South Africa`s prime ecotourist destinations. Here you can savour the ultimate freedom of great open spaces in a world of gigantic peaks and butresses.
Vaalbos National Park - Northern Cape --
An extraordinary area along the Vaal River where wildlife such as Black Rhino, White Rhino, Buffalo, Tsessebe, Eland and Red Hartebeest are to be seen .
West Coast National Park - Western Cape --
The focal point of this Park is the Langebaan Lagoon, but with miles of pristine golden beaches stretching into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes.
Wilderness National Park - Western Cape --
In the heart of South Africa's famous Garden Route, a charming world of lakes, rivers, fens, estuaries and beaches against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains.