South Africa's Natural Beauty
For many people visiting South Africa the wildlife alone warrants the visit. Fantastic and varied, nature watching is also incredibly affordable if you
steer clear of the famous Big Five game resorts. Marine wildlife in particular is a delight - in early June the southern right whales leave their Antarctic
feeding grounds and travel down to the Cape Coast, while humpback whales arrive with their calves in early November. These huge beasts often loll
around close to shore, offering a sight not soon forgotten.
Often described as the world's top land-based whale-watching spot, Hermanus is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of these majestic mammals and
the Cape's rustic south-eastern coast. The best season for whale watching is from June to November when the whales congregate to mate in the
warmer, protected waters of South Africa.
The country is also, of course, famous for its land-based wildlife, with Kruger Park recognised as one of Africa's top safari destinations. Managed by
South African National Parks, the park is home to a huge diversity of animals: 147 mammal species, 507 bird species and more than 100 reptile
varieties. Visitors have the opportunity to spot lions, elephants, leopards, giraffes, buffalo and an abundance of other animals. Accommodation in the
park varies from simple rest camps to ultra-luxurious private lodges.
Located in northern KwaZulu Natal, the Greater St Lucia Park incorporates Lake St Lucia, the St Lucia and Maputaland Marine Reserves, the Coastal
Forest Reserve and Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. The park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site and is well-known for its
magnificent scenery. The coast of the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park is as stunning and unspoiled as ever and encompasses a rich marine life. The
park's forests and lush coastal plains are host to a prolific bird life.
In addition, the Blyde River Canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon. The canyon is located on the road that joins the towns of Sabie and