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Animal encounters

Wildlife tours of South Africa

Clive Wedderburn November 26, 2014

When you tour South Africa you’ll experience its distinctive, natural topography, fairytale forests and pounding seas. The distances aren’t that great if you want to explore wild reserves, white-sand beaches, and verdant vineyards along the way. With its open highways and dramatic kerbside landscapes, you’ll love South Africa for its once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences.  

South Africa Safaris

So prepare to do a meet-and-greet with the Big Five: leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Amid the pristine parklands of the game reserves you can see them all – a great introduction to the country. 
 
 
For an extreme animal close-up, head for Knysna Elephant Park, which offers a rare and exciting opportunity to help feed these magnificent mammals, and learn about the vast herds that once roamed here. 
 

Want more wildlife? 

Head for Oudtshoorn, home to more than 400 ostrich farms, such as Highgate Ostrich Show Farm.
 
 
The Western Cape in particular is all about close encounters with the world’s biggest bird, as well as white Bengal tigers and Nile crocs. For even more avifauna, try the Birds of Eden Aviary, where you can make more than 3,500 feathered friends.
 

A Whale of a Time

Excuse the pun, but really, this is your chance to swap feathers for fins, in the town of Hermanus, on the edge of Walker Bay – deemed one of the best whale-watching spots in the world. 
 

From June to December, keep a look out from the cliff tops for the numerous southern right whales that swim within metres of the shore. 
These endangered cetaceans are known for their mournful songs and playful nature, and you can watch them breaching, spouting and lob-tailing without even having to leave dry land.
 
 
South Africa isn’t all about wildlife, however; it’s also about towns and cities too like colourful, urbane and artistic Cape Town, a cultural highlight to enhance any nature tour.
  

TIA (This is Africa)

 There are beaches which boast miles of golden sands and surf breaks and forests, an enchanting fairyland of giant trees, dramatic mountains and charming valleys.
 
 
South Africa is a hikers’ heaven, offering everything from casual day strolls to overnight treks. Whatever your interest – whether it’s wildlife, landscapes or adventure – you can create a stunning itinerary to your own tastes.