National Parks and Reserves in South Africa
Please click on the links below for info on National Parks of South Africa
Addo Elephant National Park
The Addo Elephant National park was formed in 1931 to protect the remaining elephants in the Addo area, as there were less than 15. Now there are more than 450 elephants in the park, as well as other wildlife such as buffalo, black rhino, warthog, eland, kudu, zebra, hippos, jackals, red hartebeest and more. The park lies 75km to the north of Port Elizabeth and is open throughout the year.
Agulhas National Park
Cape Agulhas, the southern most point of the African continent, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans join, is home to this park which was launched on 1 March 1999. It has rich natural and cultural features with several attractions to draw tourists to its shores each year. You can see the lighthouse, graveyard of ships and enjoy the fynbos.
Augrabies Falls National Park
The Khoi-khoi people called it 'Aukoerebis' which roughly means 'Place of Great Noise', referring to the Orange River thundering its way downwards for 56 metres in a spectacular waterfall. When the river is full the sound is deafening. The 28 000 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the smallest succulents, birds and reptiles, to springbok, gemsbok and the endangered black rhino.
Bontebok National Park
Sheltered by the rugged bastion of the Langeberg Mountains, and bordered to the south by the peaceful Breede River, the Bontebok National Park provides not only refuge for the bontebok, but also for other species such as Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest and grey rhebok. This park is a destination with doors to diverse adventures and idyllic relaxation spots. The simple yet wonderful beauty of this park, which is the smallest of South Africa's National Parks but richest of the world's six floral kingdoms, and situated within the Cape Floral Kingdom, can be appreciated throughout the year.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Nestled in the rolling Maluti Mountains, situated in the north eastern Free State province, there is the Golden Gate Highlands Park. This fantastic wildlife retreat takes its name from the golden sunlight which reflects off the sandstone cliff faces within the park, especially Brandwag rock, which stands boldly over the main restcamp. The camp is made up of 11 600 hectares which provides home to a diversity of animals such as black wildebeest, eland, blesbok, oribi, springbok, Burchell's zebra, vultures (lammergeyer), bald ibis and many more.
Karoo National Park
The sunsets seen from the Karoo are breathtaking and must be seen to be appreciated. The Karoo is the largest ecosystem in South Africa and is home to a fascinating diversity of life - a wide variety of endemic wildlife. National Park is given shape by the contrast between the Nuweveld Mountains and wide open rolling plains. Much of the wildlife has dwindled but the park has taken care to establish the original species within their traditional home. The project of re-breeding quagga's is particularly interesting and you can view the animals produced by this experiment.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
In 1931 the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (in South Africa) was proclaimed to protect migratory game. Today it joins with the Botswana Gemsbok National Park and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park (located on the SA/Botswana border) comprises an area of over 3, 6 million hectares which makes it one of the largest conservation areas left in the world. Here you will find landscapes of red dunes and camel thorn trees, home to the majestic Black-Mane lion, leopards, gemsbok, springbok, eland, blue wildebeest and many more. You will find six different camps of varying size, facilities and cost. This is also a haven for birders.
Knysna National Lake Area
Travelling the 500km from Cape Town to get to Knysna along the scenic Garden Route is a pleasure in itself. The Lake Area enjoys a temperate climate making is an excellent place to unwind. The beautiful Knysna National Lake Area is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse and a large diversity of marine life. Dominated by the craggy bastions of the twin Knysna Heads, the lagoon has borne witness to centuries of trade in timber, ivory and gold.
Kruger National Park
Situated on South Africa's border with Mozambique in the country's Lowveld, the Kruger National Park is world renowned and offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. It is one of the oldest and biggest reserves in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, the park now boasts an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. The park occupies the area between the Sabie River in the north and the Crocodile River in the south and comprises of nearly 2 million hectares.
Mountain Zebra National Park
In the early 1930's the threat of extinction hung over the Cape Mountain Zebra, but the proclamation of the Mountain Zebra National Park in 1937 saved these animals from extinction, and currently their population stands at 350. The park is situated 12km from the picturesque town of Cradock, 800km from Cape Town and 800km from Johannesburg. You can also find eland, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, gemsbok, reedbuck and grey rhebok in the park.
Table Mountain National Park & Cape Point Reserve
The Table Mountain National Park is situated at the south-western tip of Africa and encompasses the incredibly scenic Table Mountain Chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south and the seas and coastline of the peninsula. The park is world renowned for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora. It is a truly remarkable natural, scenic, historical, cultural and recreational asset both locally and internationally. It is a Natural World Heritage Site.
The Cape Point Nature Reserve is about 25 minutes drive south from Cape Town. This beautiful reserve contains spectacular coastal scenery, beaches, diverse plant and animal life, shipwrecks and dramatic mountains. The southern end of the Cape Peninsula, the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are the two main areas of interest.
Tsitsikamma National Park
"Place of water" is the translation of Tsitsikamma from a Khoisan word. The heartland of the park stretches some 5km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep sea fish. It is situated at the heart of the Garden Route, in the southern east area of the Western Cape. The Park has some 80km of rugged coastline with spectacular sea views and scenic landscapes. This is the third most commonly visited out of the twenty national parks in South Africa.
West Coast National Park
Just inland from the secluded harbour of Saldanha Bay one finds the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, focal point of the West Coast National Park. This park was proclaimed in 1985 to protect the wetland area and the many migratory birds that come to the park every year, from the northern hemisphere to spend the southern summer here. During the spring the strandveld is embroided with a tapestry of multi-hued flowers, while in the Postberg section many antelope are to be seen in a setting that is as unique as it is idyllic.
Wilderness National Park
In the heart of the Garden Route you will find a charming world of lakes, rivers, fens, estuaries and beaches, all against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains. Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers. Here you will find the brightly coloured Knysna lourie, one of the many kingfisher species homed in this area. Wilderness National Park begins in the west by the Touw River mouth and carries on till the Swartvlei estuary where it joins with the Goukamma Nature Reserve.
Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Situated in the north by the curve of the Orange River, the terrain of the Richtersveld National Park is undulating and rugged. It is a vast mountain desert which is managed jointly by the local Nama people and the South African National Parks. The park was proclaimed in 1991 and comprises of 162 445 hectares of rugged terrain. You will find a wide variety of plant life, some species occurring nowhere else, such as gnarled quiver trees, tall aloes and the quaint 'halfmensboom' (half person tree) keeping vigil over this inscrutable landscape. You will also find a remarkable range of small reptiles, birds and mammals.