Explore the Diamond Route

Owned by companies traditionally associated with diamond mining – namely De Beers, E Oppenheimer & Son and Ponahalo Holdings – the Diamond Route refers to a series of properties that have been set aside for conservation and tourism. Many have accommodation, ranging from luxurious lodges to camping, and offer a range of wildlife and outdoor activities. more

Sandgrouse

Sandgrouse are desert birds, well adapted to life in the desert. But because they eat dry seeds, they desperately need regular access to fresh water. The chicks are particularly vulnerable. However, male sandgrouse have a solution - bringing back water every day in their belly feathers. more

Kori bustards

Kori bustards are said to be the largest flying birds in the world. You’ll often see them in the Kalahari or the Karoo – they prefer semi-arid areas (though you may well see them in places like the Kruger National Park too). So large are they that smaller birds sometimes ride on their backs. more

Karoo National Park

The Karoo National Park is a convenient stopover for those heading along the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape Town. But it is addictive. The silence and the far horizons clear your head. Then you start noticing the little creatures all about you, and the eagles that soar above. more

De Zeekoe Fair Trade Farmstay, Oudtshoorn

Close to Oudtshoorn you’ll find a farmstay that boasts rustic accommodation as well as luxury, that is ethically run and where you'll see plenty of birdlife. The most compelling attraction, though, is the famous habituated meerkats. Go and watch them wake up one morning. more

Mpumalanga's water birds

The water birds of Mpumalanga and their habitats are well known to birders throughout the world. It’s in Mpumalanga that you will find the rare Pel’s fishing-owl, the highly endangered saddle-billed stork, the rarely glimpsed white-winged flufftail and many of their more common – but often as fascinating – cousins. more

Bontebok and blesbok

Bontebok and blesbok are two similar but distinct antelope species that came close to extinction. These colourful beasts – especially the bontebok – owe their continued existence to a few stubborn landowners, some fences and one of the first examples of a South African conservation ethic. more

Game-viewing from a hot air balloon

Skim the treetops and fly where eagles dare to get a bird's-eye-view of Africa's animal kingdom when you go game-viewing from a hot air balloon. Up at dawn, then up, up and away on an aerial safari to search for the Big Five from the sky. more

Leopards

Leopards are usually the most coveted of the Big Five sightings, in part because their nocturnal stealthy habits make them among the most difficult big cats to see. But what a find, if you do see it. They are the quintessence of feline beauty – stealthy, strong and secretive. more

Sun City Segway tours

There are three Segway gliding tours through the scenic surrounds of Sun City. See the Gary Player Country Club golf course, experience local wildlife or enjoy the magnificent Pilanesberg mountains from a unique vantage point. Had a secret desire to ride one of these futuristic machines? Well now's your chance! more

Dolphin spotting in South Africa

Dolphins in South Africa’s waters are protected by some of the strongest cetacean conservation laws in the world. There are several species, but only three occur so close inshore that they are reliably seen. They include the famous bottlenose dolphin, the beautiful common dolphin, and the shy humpback dolphin. more

SanWild Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Limpopo

SanWild Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, close to the northernmost gate of the Kruger National Park, is a wildlife rehab centre that cares for animals that are brought in injured or orphaned. Plans are afoot to enlarge this important conservation centre. more

Eland antelope

A full-grown eland antelope can weigh close to a ton. But young eland are staggeringly agile, able to leap high fences in a single bound. The eland’s importance to the San, or Bushmen people, is massive, and is reflected in their frequent depictions in rock art. more

Table Mountain Marine Protected Area

The Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) is possibly the most dramatic seascape in the country. The marine park curves around the long, thin Cape Peninsula. The two great oceans – Indian and Atlantic – mingle their waters all along this coast, adding to the spectacular diversity of this region. more

Big Five safaris

Big Five safaris in South Africa are a must-do for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big Five refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino and the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt. Now the thrill comes from photographing them in their natural habitat. more