South Africa National Parks

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About South Africa National Parks National Parks

South Africa’s national parks offer a mesmerizing journey through the heart of Africa’s diverse landscapes and rich wildlife. From the iconic savannahs of Kruger National Park to the dramatic coastline of Table Mountain National Park, each park presents a unique and immersive wilderness experience.

Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves, is renowned for its abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five, and offers unforgettable safari adventures. Table Mountain National Park, encompassing the famous Table Mountain and Cape Peninsula, boasts stunning scenery, diverse flora and fauna, and outdoor activities such as hiking and birdwatching.

Addo Elephant National Park showcases the largest population of elephants in South Africa and offers opportunities for wildlife viewing and conservation experiences. These national parks not only safeguard South Africa’s natural heritage but also provide opportunities for eco-tourism, adventure, and cultural encounters, making them essential destinations for nature enthusiasts and travelers alike.

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South Africa National Parks's National Parks

Addo Elephant National Park elephants in a watering hole

Addo Elephant National Park

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Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Golden Gate Highlands

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Kruger National Park leopard laying in a tree

Kruger National Park

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Table Mountain National Park penguins on the beach

Table Mountain National Park

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West Coast National Park waves along the coast

West Coast National Park

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FAQ’s

1. How many national parks are there in South Africa?

South Africa is home to a total of 20 national parks. These parks protect a diverse range of ecosystems, including savannahs, forests, deserts, wetlands, and coastal areas, and are renowned for their rich biodiversity and iconic wildlife species.

The national parks of South Africa offer opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities, making them popular destinations for tourists and nature enthusiasts visiting the country.

2. What is the largest national park in South Africa?

The largest national park in South Africa is the Kruger National Park. Covering an area of approximately 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 square miles), Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and is internationally renowned for its diverse wildlife and exceptional safari experiences.

Located in the northeastern part of the country, Kruger National Park is home to an impressive array of species, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros), as well as numerous other mammals, birds, and reptiles.

The park offers visitors the opportunity to explore its vast wilderness through guided game drives, bush walks, and self-drive safaris, providing unforgettable encounters with Africa’s iconic wildlife amidst stunning natural scenery.

3. What is the smallest national park?

The smallest national park in South Africa is the Marakele National Park. Covering an area of approximately 67,117 hectares (about 259 square miles), Marakele National Park is located in the Waterberg Mountains of the Limpopo Province.

Despite its relatively small size compared to other national parks in South Africa, Marakele is known for its breathtaking landscapes, including deep valleys, rocky hillsides, and vast grasslands. The park is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, and numerous bird species, including the rare Cape vulture.

Marakele National Park offers opportunities for game drives, birdwatching, and hiking, as well as unique experiences such as sleeping in a luxury tented camp overlooking the Waterberg Mountains.

4. What was the first national park in South Africa?

The first national park in South Africa is the Kruger National Park. Established in 1898 by President Paul Kruger, the park was initially known as the Sabie Game Reserve and later renamed in honor of President Kruger.

Kruger National Park is one of the oldest and largest game reserves in Africa, covering an area of approximately 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 square miles) in the northeastern part of South Africa. It was established to protect the diverse wildlife of the region, including the iconic Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros), as well as other mammals, birds, and reptiles.

Today, Kruger National Park is internationally renowned for its exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities and remains one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations.