When it comes to sheer diversity, South Africa is difficult to beat. The world-famous Kruger National Park covers an astounding 20,000 km2 which can be explored on horseback and on foot as well as by traditional vehicle-based tours. It’s home to 150 mammals, including the Big Five, and no less than 500 bird species.
Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger region offers the best chance in the country to capture leopard on film, while Madikwe is known for its population of extremely rare African Wild Dogs, and Addo Elephant National Park for its 600 elephants, 400 Cape buffalo, and 50 black rhino.
But in addition to the Rainbow Nation’s seemingly endless wildlife opportunities, South Africa boasts almost 3,000 km of dramatic coastline. Divided between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, it’s home to breaching great white sharks, humpback whales and idyllic tropical beaches.
Then there’s the chance for hiking and rock climbing among the snow-capped Drakensberg Mountains, white water rafting among the hippos and crocodiles of the Orange River and the stunning landscapes of Blyde River Canyon, the famed silhouette of Table Mountain sitting benevolently above Cape Town, and an intriguing if heartbreaking modern history that can be explored on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela’s prison for almost twenty years.