Month: April 2024

19 South African National Parks for Your Bucket List (Part 2)

19 South African National Parks for Your Bucket List (Part 2)

South Africa is a nation blessed with a rich tapestry of natural wonders, and its 19 national parks stand as a testament to this diverse beauty. From the untamed bushveld and rugged mountains to pristine coastlines and lush forests, each park offers a unique experience. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the South African National Parks bucket list, highlighting must-see attractions and activities within each park.

If you missed part one of this two-part blog series, click here to read all about the parks found in Limpopo, the Free State and Eastern Cape provinces. Don’t worry – we will keep your spot here until you return.

Western Cape

Agulhas National Park

Agulhas National Park, situated at the southern tip of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, boasts diverse flora and significant archaeological sites. Coastal plains harbour ecological wonders, shipwrecks, and ancient settlements, while wetlands provide habitat for endangered species like the Cape plantana and micro frog.

Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park, despite being South Africa’s smallest, hosts a high concentration of rare birdlife, fynbos species, and animals. Located at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, it safeguards indigenous plant life and offers recreational activities along the Breede River.

Garden Route National Park

Garden Route National Park, situated along the Western and Eastern Cape coastlines, showcases stunning landscapes, abundant wildlife, and diverse attractions like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Visitors can enjoy water sports, hiking, and culinary experiences amidst breath-taking natural scenery.

Karoo National Park

Karoo National Park features a variety of birds and mammals, including Black Rhino and Buffalo. With a rich fossil history and cultural significance dating back to the San and Khoi Khoi people, it offers diverse wildlife viewing opportunities.

Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park encompasses iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope, offering a blend of urban and natural landscapes. Visitors can explore beaches, forests, and historic sites while admiring rare plants and wildlife, including endemic bird species and penguins.

West Coast National Park

West Coast National Park, just outside Cape Town, is renowned for its rugged beauty and abundant marine life. Activities like snorkelling and whale watching complement sightings of mountain zebras and bonteboks amidst vibrant wildflowers from August to September.

Table Mountain National Park

Northern Cape

Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

The Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, straddling South Africa and Namibia, boasts diverse desert flora and fauna adapted to its harsh environment. On the Namibian side, visitors can marvel at the Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon globally and Africa’s largest, a top tourist spot after Etosha National Park.

Augrabies Falls National Park

The Augrabies Falls National Park, spanning 820 km², derives its name ‘Aukoerebis’ from the Khoi people, meaning the place of the Great Noise, as the Orange River cascades down 60 meters in a stunning waterfall. This arid area boasts a gorge beneath the falls, averaging 240 metres in depth and stretching 18 kilometres, showcasing remarkable erosion into granite. The landscape showcases intriguing geological formations and distinctive flora, including the quiver tree. In addition to observing the falls, visitors can partake in activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and game drives.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vast wildlife reserve spanning South Africa and Botswana, formed by merging Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Gemsbok National Park. It hosts diverse wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, and over 200 bird species, making it a significant lion conservation area since 2005.

Mokala National Park

Mokala National Park, established on June 19, 2007, in the Plooysburg area southwest of Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa, spans 26 485 hectares. Named after the camel thorn tree, it aims to conserve endangered species such as Cape buffalo, black rhino, and roan antelope, alongside other wildlife like white and black rhino, nyala, giraffe, and bat-eared fox, offering visitors abundant opportunities for close-up wildlife encounters.

Namaqua National Park

Namaqua National Park is renowned for its breath-taking array of indigenous flora each spring, attracting visitors for this singular reason. With approximately 3 500 species, including unique bulb flora, it holds the richest diversity of succulent plants globally. The park is also home to numerous endemic amphibians, reptiles, and mammal species like klipspringer, aardvark, baboon, and leopard, while its birdlife mirrors that of arid western regions.

Tankwa Karoo National Park

The Tankwa Karoo National Park, situated just 250 kilometres from Cape Town, offers vast open space and tranquillity, making it perfect for solitude seekers. Activities include hiking, stargazing, and game viewing, with diverse vegetation and a rich variety of succulent Karoo plants. Bird watchers can spot special species like the burchell’s courser and the Namaqua sandgrouse, while mammal sightings include klipspringer, springbok, and red hartebeest. Carnivores like the yellow mongoose and suricate are commonly seen, with a chance of spotting the bat-eared fox on cooler days.

Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park


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