My top 10 places to view Wildlife in South Africa

By: Suzanne Chickenruby

We live in Centurion, Pretoria and welcome numerous visitors every year to South Africa, including family, friends and work colleagues. We are regular visitors to the first 6 places and enjoy annual trips to 7-10.
In no particular order other than closest to home are the following places to view game, wildlife and birds.

1. Reitvlei Nature Reserve just off the R21. Fantastic for picnics, bird watching and viewing Rhino.

2. Groenkloof on the outskirts of Pretoria where the M18 and the R21 join. Get out your car and take a walk with Giraffes, Zebras and Gnu’s. Hire bikes, ride horses or experience the awesome 4x4 route. Picnic, camp and experience authentic African food at Moyo’s restaurant.

3. Walter Sisulu Gardens in Johannesburg. Enjoy a picnic, a stroll through the gardens, view the nesting Eagles and walk to view the waterfalls.

4. Krugersdorp Lion Reserve, best to visit on a Sunday and experience the feeding habits of the Lions in a semi wild habitat. Picnic site and camp site with restaurant.

5. Pilanesburg Game Reserve. The closest place to view the Big 5. A two hour drive from Pretoria or stay over in a lodge, Sun City or camp site. Take a picnic or eat at Pilanesberg Centre. View Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo and a Leopard if you’re lucky. Self drive or game drives available.

6. Kruger national Park. Nearest entrance is Malelane, nr Leopards Leap Golf Course, stay inside or outside the park in a lodge or camping. Drive along Crocodile River and take a walk with a ranger to view the hippos. Visit one of numerous restaurants in the park or take a picnic and braai.

7. Take a road trip to Cape Town via Port Elizabeth and visit the Addo Elephant National Park, there’s a variety of lodges nearby at reasonable prices. Spend the day viewing Elephants and other game.

8. Port Elizabeth Light house and visit the SAMREC Penguin Sanctuary. Learn about the plight of the penguin and the good work they do to rehabilitate penguins and return them to the wild. Take a walk on the beach to the light house and view the Oyster Catchers in their natural habitat.

9. Visit Oudtshoorn, inland of Mossel Beach and George. There is a great restaurant and gift shop and take a guided tour of the Ostrich farm and learn about their environment and the trade in feathers. Finish the day off with an Ostrich ride.

10. Finally visit the Cape of Good Hope, where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean meet. Take a walk on the beaches with the free roaming antelope.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingSuzanne Chickenruby is a Welsh expat living in South Africa. Blog description: As if raising teenagers isn’t hard enough! We thought we’d emigrate to South Africa as well. Join me on our journey with a few rants thrown in.
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Contest Comments » There are 10 comments

Gill Newnham wrote 10 years ago:

Excellent list of places to visit. I have been to most of them. Really enjoyed Pilanesberg. Will have to put nos 1-3 on my to do list, though, they do sound great. Well done on an excellent article.

Carole Hallett Mobbs wrote 10 years ago:

As a newcomer to South Africa I find Suzanne's checklist extremely useful (as is her entire blog!). I've spent today at Rietvlei which is fast becoming my favourite nearby wildlife spotting area. I've made notes of the other places to tick off during the coming months. Thanks Suzanne!

Suzi Fulcher wrote 10 years ago:

I visited Suzanne in SA last year and she took me to a number of places on the list which were 1,2,4 and 5, all were amazing experiences, and they will never be forgotten. It's a beautiful country and great to see blogs like this to give people an idea as to where to go and what to see!

Sanet wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks for reminding me of some of these amazing places to visit in our beautiful South Africa! December is our long summer school holidays and we are not going away this year. I wish we could go to 7,8,9 and 10....maybe next year. We will definitely visit 1,2,3 and 4 as it will be fun for the whole family.

Dorette wrote 10 years ago:

A comprehensive list of safe, easily accessible must-see spots in South Africa that would benefit not only tourists but locals too. I'm ticking them one by one! Thanks Chickenruby!

Dirk Smith wrote 10 years ago:

I have been to a number of these places - all great places to visit ! A great TOP 10 for both old and new visitors to SA !

Natalie Liebenberg wrote 10 years ago:

These are great recommendations and include affordable places for locals and tourists. The Chickenruby blog is always full of useful tips and sharp wit! Thanks :)

Karen wrote 10 years ago:

I love all Suzanne's pictures and narrative of her ex pats life in SA. I'm so planning to come visit as soon as I can.

Elizabeth Van Tubbergh wrote 10 years ago:

This is a wonderful list. Kind of like a bucket list and great for locals too! We might just start with the closest and go from there. Thanks Suzanne.

Tracey wrote 10 years ago:

I grew up in South Africa and have travelled generously in my country, I must say, this is a brilliant list of 'must sees'. You should definitely explore the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, for a beautiful & untouched mix of wildlife (incl. the big 5) and ocean... go on now :-)

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