Bontebok National Park, South Africa

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Bontebok National Park

When looking for a holiday destination that will provide memories of an experience framed in colour and natural beauty, look no further than the Bontebok National Park as a destination with doors to diverse adventures and idyllic relaxation spots. The magnificent Langeberg Mountains serve as a romantic setting for the splashing of natural colours synonymous with the Cape's floral heritage. The simple yet wonderful beauty of this National Park (the smallest of South Africa's National Parks) and the Cape Floral Kingdom – a world heritage site - can be appreciated throughout the year.

There is a story behind the name of the park, one which reveals the importance of this park's role within nature conservation. The bontebok, after which the park is named, once numbered a meager seventeen, yet with careful attention to the problem, and a caring attitude, the world population has been lifted to some three thousand. In 1931 this park was proclaimed to host the last thirty of these buck in the wild! The beautifully colourful bontebok can naturally be seen in this park, but there is much more for the eco-tourist to enjoy. The diverse animal life, including the Cape Mountain Zebra, is complemented by over two hundred species of birds which inhabit the park.

Marking the western border of the Bontebok National Park, the ever popular Breede River provides the ideal setting for bird watching, fishing and swimming. Here it is possible to relax and enjoy the cool water between exploratory outings into the park. Options for exploring the park include several options in hiking routes or even mountain bike rides, allowing you to see more of the park in a single day.

An increasingly popular part of visiting South African tourist destinations is to learn about local history. The Bontebok Park makes provision for this by providing an insight into the lives of the Khoisan community and the historical developments which have shaped the community.

There is a rest camp called "Lang Elsie" is named after the Hessekwa Khoi-khoi chieftainess. The Hessekwa are believed to be of the first people to trade with the Dutch settlers in Cape Town. The accommodation offered by this park also serves as a useful base from which visitors can explore wine routs and historical buildings of Swellendam, Robertson, Montagu, Ashton and Bonnievale. Montagu has become famous for their hot springs, a definite must for any visitor to experience, while Swellendam's Drostdy Museum will not dissapoint.

There are also hiking trails through the Langeberg Mountains, accessible from the nearby Marloth Nature Reserve. Their trail has been rated as one of the best in South Africa.

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