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CComing this close to nature is a sense-tingling reminder of why we have always been inspired by the untouched wild. With world-renowned nature reserves and preservation areas in every province, there’s no shortage of places to explore.
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Vervet monkeys are playful, mischievous primates that can be found all over eastern South Africa and are hugely entertaining to watch – as long as you keep the kitchen windows closed.
The Upper Karoo Route from Victoria West to Calvinia via Carnarvon offers the beautiful landscape of Northern Cape (strewn with daisies in spring), rare wildlife and a thriving, hospitable culture.
Northern Cape is a vast arid province bisected by the Orange River – a superb wedding destination, whether among lush vineyard greenery, spring wildflowers, or the stark dry beauty of the Kalahari.
The elegance of the Cape Winelands, the grandeur of the mountains, scenic views on lonely beaches, or surrounded by bushveld wildlife – plan a wedding in South Africa, and you’re spoilt for choice.
Almost every South African game reserve has Burchell’s zebras, a plains zebra subspecies, to delight visitors – and a few select parks are home to the rarer Cape mountain zebra.
The Klein Karoo in Western Cape might be dry, but it offers unique plants, enthralling nature reserves, magnificent mountain vistas, its own wine route, ostrich farms and the world-famous Cango Caves.
Thakadu River Camp is a Fair Trade Tourism-certified, 5-star lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve, a malaria-free park that brings social and financial benefits to the local Tlokwa community that owns it.
The Big 5 and a bewildering array of life can be found on South Africa’s savanna – regions rich in plant, bird, insect and animal diversity protected in parks like Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and Kruger.
A trans-border adventure from South Africa to Mozambique will take you from game viewing in the bush to idyllic Indian Ocean playgrounds, via the urban delights of Maputo: ‘the Havana of Africa’.
Songimvelo Game Reserve in Mpumalanga province offers horseback safaris to get visitors up close to a wide selection of wildlife, a beautiful array of bird species and some astounding geology.
Shearing sheep or goats is an art; one much prized on the wool and angora farms of the Karoo – the area produces world champions – so watching the shearing is a fascinating drawcard for tourists.
Self-catering accommodation is available at several levels throughout South Africa, from basic to luxury, so it’s a handy option for business travellers, families and those stretching a tight budget.