South Africa Tourism: Ten Things to See and Do

Giraffes in South Africa
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Giraffes in front of a baobab tree in the Kruger National Park.

South Africa has set aside much of the country for the protection of wildlife. The largest and best known reserve is Kruger. The state-owned-and-operated sanctuary is also one of the most affordable and therefore requires a reservation far ahead of a visit. Accommodations range from camp sites to luxury "private" camps. Visitors usually view the animals from their cars, but they can also sign up for walks in the company of armed rangers.

Many private game reserves, such as Timbavati, share a fenceless boundary with Kruger park, forming a giant contiguous ecosystem. The privately owned sanctuaries usually offer luxurious (and accordingly priced) facilities, some including accommodations in trees, showers in the outdoors, cocktail decks overlooking water holes, and small guided safaris in off-road vehicles.

In KwaZulu-Natal Province visitors may sign up for three-day hikes in Umfolozi Wilderness, a 59,000-acre (24,000-hectare) section of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park where there is no development whatsoever. Hikers enter the wilderness in the company of rangers and camp in tents. Baggage and food is sent ahead on donkeys.

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Kruger National Park

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
—Photograph courtesy South African Tourism
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