The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, in the Kalahari Desert, presents a massive ecosystem relatively free from human interference. The vast landscapes offer unique wildlife experiences that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. Expect herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest, the largest black-mane lions you’ll ever see and more. This is a self-drive park but morning and sunset safaris can be booked at a few of the camps.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa, +27 54 561 2000
The Kruger National Park is possibly the most popular safari spot in South Africa, as well one of the largest in the world. At nearly two million hectares, the park offers visitors a diverse collection of animal species, including the Big Five, as well as diverse vegetation throughout. The southern portion of the park is more lush and wooded than the drier central and northern regions, and has the largest concentrations of game. As far as safaris go, choose to self-drive (a 4×4 is recommended) or pre-book game drives via the rest camps.
Kruger National Park, South Africa, +27 13 735 4000
Lion Sands Game Reserve has four luxury lodges set within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park. It is part of an ecosystem which is home to the largest concentration of wild animals in the Southern Hemisphere and is essentially a safari mecca. Home to the Big Five, many other species will also be spotted, from antelope to hyena and more. Safaris take place twice a day, morning and evening, and they’re not confined to the main roads, meaning visitors will get as close to nature as possible.
Pilanesberg National Park is the fourth largest within South Africa, covering approximately 55,000 hectares. This malaria-free park is set on the eroded remnants of an alkaline volcanic crater – one of only three in the world – and only three hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Pilanesberg National Park exists in a transition zone between dry Kalahari and wet Lowveld vegetation which attracts an unbelievable variety of animals, flora and fauna that are not often found living in such close proximity to each other.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Bojanala, North West, South Africa, +27 14 555 1600
Sabi Sands Game Reserve is undoubtedly the most exclusive private game reserve in South Africa. The 65,000-hectare game reserve is located on the south-western corner of the Kruger National Park and there are no restricting fences between the two parks, meaning wildlife roam freely. Some of the most exclusive private game lodges in the country are situated in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the chances of seeing the Big Five while on safari is just about guaranteed. The reserve is in particular well-known for its amazing leopard sightings.