Visitors to South Africa are spoilt for choice when it comes to natural attractions. The country is abundantly blessed with beautiful places and stunning lookout points, unspoiled wilderness areas and breathtaking landmarks of nature. The places worthy of visiting are literally innumerable. Here, we feature six natural wonderlands for your South African bucket list. Collectively, these wonderlands will offer you extraordinary settings and unrivaled experiences of the wilderness and its wildlife, amazing scenery, incomparable desert areas, prized wetlands, beaches and forests.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, MPUMALANGA
The iconic Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest and most well-known safari destination. The park offers a range of options, ranging from self-drive day trips, basic accommodation resorting under the park board, and then also a number of luxurious private safari lodges situated in pristine private concessions within the park. These private lodges have exclusive traversing territory in Kruger National Park. The park sees over 500 bird species, and more mammal species than anywhere else in the country, including the endangered African wild dog and all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant). Private safari lodges in Kruger Park offer outstanding accommodation and professionally guided 4×4 safari drives twice every day. Stay at Singita Lebombo / Sweni or at Lukimbi Safari Lodge.
PANORAMA ROUTE, MPUMALANGA
The Panorama Route is a stretch of Mpumalanga province boasting a number of astonishingly spectacular landscapes and landmarks, which have collectively become known as the Panorama Route. The scenic highlights on the route are many, and include Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. All are wonders of nature well worth visiting, and visitors can self-drive the route. Views are expansive and breathtaking: expect to see great canyons, impressive waterfalls, rolling grasslands, rugged mountains and interesting rock formations. The Panorama Route is easily combined with Kruger National Park, being in relatively close proximity. Stay at Khaya Ndlovu Manor House. a beautiful bushveld villa set on a wildlife reserve and overlooking the Blyde River Canyon. Enjoy wilderness drives and excursions to the scenic Panorama Route.
Alternatively, stay at Rissington Inn.
ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK, KWAZULU-NATAL
The Isimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal is one of South Africa’s most magnificent wonderlands. Of global importance, it is a proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has an incredible diversity of ecosystems, incorporating extensive wetlands, majestic wilderness beaches, dunes and grasslands, and wildlife areas. Stay at Makaktana Bay Lodge.
THE GREEN KALAHARI
The Green Kalahari is a magical semi-desert area in the Northern Cape, taking its life from the great Orange River. The river flows through a large valley, and makes its most spectacular appearance at the awe-inspiring Augrabies Falls. Stay at Tutwa Desert Lodge in the Green Kalahari, a lodge that is deeply engaged in conserving the area’s leopards and its animals and plants in general. Enjoy an excellent wilderness experience in a reserve with 24 km of exclusive frontage onto the life-giving Orange River.
THE GREAT KAROO
The Great Karoo is an awe-inspiring and timeless desert in South Africa. The landscape is beautiful and mesmerizing, featuring vast tracts of semi-desert, mountains and fascinating succulent plants (the Karoo is said to have one-third of the world’s succulent species). The Karoo is characterized by climatic extremes, fossil life, limited rainfall and deep, star-studded night skies. The Karoo spans more than 400 000 square km and integrates farming areas, wildlife reserves and several charming country towns. For an unforgettable Karoo safari, stay at Samara Private Game Reserve
THE WILD COAST
The Wild Coast is one of the many wonderlands of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a natural paradise for holiday-makers, incorporating a stunning stretch of coastline, pristine beaches, bays and estuaries, and indigenous forests. Outdoor leisure in this beautiful region is supreme. Stay at Prana Lodge or at Miarestate Hotel & Spa.
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