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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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Not only can you catch a glimpse of the famous Big Five, but you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of bird species, ancient trees, winding rivers, superb accommodation and adventure.
Boulders Beach, just outside Cape Town, has so much going for it you will be blown away by the beauty of the small hidden attraction. The ancient granite boulders protect it from the wind and large waves, which makes it an ideal swimming spot for children. Because it falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, the beach is always clean and safe, and it is rarely crowded. This comes at the cost of a small price, but who wouldn’t be willing to part ways with R65 for a day in this paradise?
The Oscar-winning documentary celebrates South Africa’s biodiversity, the 3 rd most biodiverse country on Earth, and home to the only place in the world where the Marine Big five (Southern Right Whales, Dolphins, Great White Sharks, Cape Fur Seals and African penguins) are all in close proximity to the shore.
Never has wellness been more relevant, with health and immunity now at the forefront of consciousness after months spent at home during lockdown, and entirely new concepts added to the plethora of health concerns - from Zoom fatigue and maskne to the loneliness induced by self-isolation. Here are some of South Africa’s top wellness experiences for travellers to nurture the mind, body, and spirit on a 2021 post-lockdown trip.
On a boat cruise around the Bird Island Group, protected by South African National Parks, you’ll see African penguins, Cape gannets, whales, sharks and dolphins.
The Cango Route stretches from Oudtshoorn, the world’s ostrich capital, over the R328 to the Swartberg Pass, a marvel in mountain pass construction, and back to Oudtshoorn. The road through the Cango Valley might only be 30km long, but if you take it slow and enjoy the attractions along the way, you’ll soon see the magic of it all.
Mkhuze Game Reserve, in northern KwaZulu-Natal province’s vast iSimangaliso Wetland Park, has varied habitats where you can see rhino, elephant and other game, big and small, plus 420 bird species.
Limpopo province has the Kruger National Park and scores more game reserves for birders and wildlife fans – it also boasts fossils, historic remains and traditional South African cultures.
The Kruger National Park, which straddles the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga and is famed for game and the Big 5, also offers birdwatchers more than 500 avian species to tick off every summer.
The Greater Limpopo Birding Route – expanded dramatically from the Soutpansberg/Limpopo route – hosts around 600 bird species in South Africa’s northern mountains, forests, savannahs and wetlands.
South Africa’s grasslands are not nearly as monotonous as they look at first: the rich savannah ecosystem supports a range of livestock and more wildlife species than temperate northern prairies.
The remarkable quiver tree forest in the Northern Cape is the largest aloe forest in the world and a cornerstone of Khoisan culture.