Travel tips you can trust
South African wonder map
Addo Elephant National Park
This coastal enclave draws over 100,000 tourists per year. It has more than its 450 elephants, but that's the partial story. You'll also see the rest of the Big 5 (lions, leopards, rhinos, and cape buffaloes) and even great white sharks.
Augrabies Falls National Park
The water of the Orange River rushes through a deep, 18-kilometer (11-mile) long gorge in the form of roaring cascades and rapids - and a dramatic 60 meter (200 foot) high waterfall. Avoid the dry season or you'll miss the Augrabies Falls' spectacle.
It's the favorite fun-in-the-sun vacation destination for many South Africans. Climate is sub-tropical. The beaches draw sunbathers and water-sporters. And the beachfront nightlife pulsates. Note: Summer is the rainy, winter the dry season.
This narrow coastal belt on the Indian Ocean heavily draws tourists and vacationers. The Garden Route has scenic mountains and lakes plus rugged shorelines and sandy beaches. Inland activities include hiking, cave visiting, and ostrich-farm touring.
Golden Gate Highlands NP
This national park has striking cliffs and other sandstone formations that were boldly sculpted by rain and wind. The Golden Gate name was inspired by the gold-yellow hues reflected by the Brandwag and other rock formations. Animal inhabitants include elands and zebras.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park
This conservation entity boasts a variety of eco-systems, including swamp, forest, savannah, beach, lake, bay, and coral reef. Lodges offer both land drives and water excursions. iSimangaliso means "a marvel" in Zulu.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok NP and Botswana's Gemsbok NP share an international border that roaming wildlife doesn't recognize. It made sense for the two countries to link the two parks into a transfrontier park so they could jointly help conserve the lion, springbok and other game populations in this dry habitat
Madikwe Game Reserve
It borders Botswana and has all the Big 5 game animals. Like Phinda, game was relocated here and local tribes benefited because safari lodges generate income. The terrain is mostly open grass and bush lands, with a modest amount of trees and rock outcroppings.