The African wilderness can be liberating.The freedom under the pale blue sky, amidst the rustling wild grassland, resurrects the rebel in you and encourages you to loosen the necktie and break any corporate chains holding you back from enjoying your vacation. South Africa has many parks and nature reserves. Let the untamed beauty, and the recklessness of nature sets your soul free at these parks mentioned below.
Kruger National Park
The best South African safari trip takes you through the rough country in the Kruger National Park. Kruger Park is the northeastern corner of South Africa, bordering Mozambique and has a total area of 19,485 km2. Even before entering the park, your guide is going to let you know about the Big 5 – the Elephants, Black Rhinos, Lions, Buffalos and Leopards. However, there are far many types of animals in the park and far numerous in numbers.
At the gates, one would see tourists climbing in and out of the four by fours. Ask around and check if they had spotted any animals on their trip. The display boards outside the gatepost indicate the area of the park where people have located the elephants, giraffes and the lions on their excursions. These maps come in handy and save much time.
The safari trips in the Kruger Park begin early in the morning, so tourists usually start lining up at the gates at the crack of dawn. Before midday, they are offered a brunch. The best part of the trip is when nature lovers get to climb up the lookout towers to view the landscape. The rarest animal to take a glimpse at is the African Leopard since their dotted skin provides the best camouflage. Visit the Kruger Park, and maybe you are lucky enough to see the leopard in its natural habitat on your first ride.
Addo Elephant National Park
If you like elephants, then this is the place for you. Addo Elephant Park is quite near to Port Elizabeth and portions of the park run along the coastline. Addo Park was established to protect the dying species of the African Elephants back in the 1930s. Poaching for the valuable tusks and ivory was rife back then until the park became a sanctuary for the elephants and the world community enforced a global ban on ivory trade. Today six hundred elephants are living in the park.
The success of the conservation effort and repopulation has been substantial and now small elephant calves roll around like a handball near water holes. The young ones look even more tiny and cute when their large elephant mothers and aunts hide them between their legs to protect them from a lion attack. A baby elephant takes years to learn to control his trunk as dexterously as the large females of the herd.
Other animals are living in the park as well, and the lions, antelopes and gazelles always swarm the pool area, trying to take a drink. These are wild animals; untamed and aggressive at times. In the mating season, elephant bulls are known to become very aggressive and charge at vehicles that tread too close into their territory. Keeping a safe distance is essential during these safaris. It is better to take a tour using the park’s touring services and let the professionals guarantee your safety. Many different trails in the park lead to amazing sights, exclusive experiences and breathe taking game drives. The best experience at Addo National Park comes with a luxury lodge, which has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a personal kitchen.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is abundant in wildlife. The park is situated in northern South Africa, right on the border with Botswana. The Kgalagadi Park comprises of two separate parks: the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and the Kalahari Gemsbok Park in South Africa – that is why it is called a ‘Transfrontier’ Park. The Kalahari is a desert that receives little to no rain; however, the presence of groundwater keeps the ecosystem thriving and vibrant. The park has lodging facilities as well that come complete with air conditioning. Game viewers can have a relaxing sleep at night in comfortable beds and can take a shower before each safari drive. The lodging area also has a few shops that sell souvenirs and packaged food items.
The temperature is the coolest in June and July, so coming to the Kgalagadi is better in those months. The dirt roads are flat and good enough for a smooth ride as you game drive off the main road. At the heart of the park, the explorer would find an abundance of giraffes, oryxes and antelopes very close to the roadside, peacefully munching on leaves and twigs. The dry, pale brown grassland hides the lions and the cheetahs perfectly until they come out for a drink. The park administration has made pools all across the reserve, where the lions and cheetahs, and even the ostriches with their baby chicks come to quench their thirst. Unlike Kruger Park, Kgalagadi Park receives fewer tourists, which makes the time spent there all the more unique and personal. Many tourists spend their time absorbing the liberating energy of nature and taking Instagram-worthy pictures.
Wildlife and game viewing is something that almost everyone can enjoy. Those who love animals particularly enjoy safaris because in parks like the Kruger and the Kgalagadi, the lions, leopards, cheetahs and the antelope run and roam free. These animals require protection, and the parks provide a safe and comfortable means of educating the people of the dwindling populations of wildlife all over the planet. Safaris help fund the protection and conservation efforts of the species living in these nature reserves and give us a chance to feel the freedom and the undying energy of nature.