SA is mainly known for its national parks.
First of all there is the Kruger National Park
(+/- 450 km from Johannesburg) : it is the oldest and largest game reserve in the world and with the added attraction of having the Big 5.
On its western border lie a number of private reserves offering the chance - at a price - to conduct safaris in open vehicles with well-informed rangers. On the southern border lies Marloth Park, a wildlife sanctuary at the Crocodile River, a natural border with the KNP.
Buffalo, rhino and lion are confined to a smaller game reserve within Marloth, elephants can be seen playing in the river while other game like kudu, zebra, giraffe, blue wildebeest, nyala, impala, warthog, vervet monkeys, roam freely between the units available for the visitors. As dangerous game is restricted you can take a walk along the river or ride a mountain bike on the dirt roads in Marloth Park.
But there are many more exceptional game reserves all over South Africa.
To name a few : Madikwe Game Reserve (next to the border with Botswana in the Northwest Province), Pilanesberg NP and the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve (named after the protea pland found thoughout the area) in the Gauteng and Mpumalanga Province.
On the east coast and more towards the interior - in Kwazulu-Natal - you can go to the Golden Gate Highlands NP, Simangaliso Wetland Park, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park (renowned for rhino conservation), Tembe Elephant Reserve and Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park (a World Heritage Site). Towards the west there is the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Frontier Park, the Karoo NP (the largest ecosystem in SA), Augrabies NP (with the waterfalls on the Orange River), the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and the Namaqua NP (best visited from early August to September).
And in the Western and Souther Cape you can find the Addo Elephant Park (home to 450 elephants), the Bontebok NP (a World Heritage Site), the Hoop Nature Reserve (with an abundance of marine life), the unique Table Mountain NP, the Tsitsikamma NP and last but not least the Wilderness NP (a hikers and bird-lovers paradise).
Another highlight of SA is the well known Garden Route, a popular stretch on the southeastern coast, a road that includes the towns of Mossel Bay, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg, Nature's Valley and George.
One of the attractions in the northeastern part of the country is Blyde River Canyon : a deeply carved canyon with breathtaking views and the charming gold mining town of Pilgrim's Rest, preserved as a living museum. The dramatic Drakensberg offers scenic drives like the Panorama Route, one of the highest and most scenic routes of SA and the Waterfalls tour.
For the city trippers there is Cape Town, also known as the Mother City, which has many outstanding attractions : Table Mountain, the Waterfront, Robben Island, Seal Island, the Cape of Good Hope, .. and of course the many wine routes through the Cape winelands.
Another interesting town is Durban, traditionally SA's most popular holiday town thanks to a subtropical climate and alluring beaches and year-round warm seas.
Johannesburg with its Zulu name Egoli (City of Gold) is the heart of SA's industrial and commercial life. Although it is a medium sized city it is offering some of the continent's best nightlife, hotels and shopping opportunities. A 90 minutes drive to the west takes you to SA's answer to Las Vegas : Sun City, a glitzy resort with casinos, cinemas, restaurants, a golf course and numerous hotels.
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