There are many illuminating national parks to see whilst in South Africa. Each has something different to offer guests and can be visited from one day to a week depending on the experience you are after. Get up close and personal with wildlife and camp amongst some of the country's most fascinating creatures. All national parks are easily accessible by car from main cities across South Africa and visitors will have no trouble driving on the left hand side similarly to Australia.
The Eastern Cape is a beautiful destination along the coastline of the Indian Ocean. It boasts a number of national parks and two must-sees for animal lovers, the Addo Elephant National Park and the Mountain Zebra National Park. The Addo Elephant National Park is one of the country's largest parks and only an hour drive from Port Elizabeth. Visitors can drive their hire car through this gorgeous terrain and see wildlife such as elephants, buffalos, ostriches, lions and occasionally leopards.
The Mountain Zebra National park is a smaller park just over three hours away from Port Elizabeth making for a more intimate experience. Tourists have the option to get up close and personal with the mountain zebras, antelopes, and baboons by touring the park via foot on a hiking trail or you may drive through the park. Another scenic landscape to visit is the Tsitsikamma National Park, the name meaning 'place of much water.' Beginners are able to take a short hike on one of the easier trails whilst those with more experience can complete a longer trek over a few days if desired. Along the way you will walk across the famous Storms River suspension bridge, swim in waterfalls and get an incomparable view of the Indian Ocean.
The Royal Natal National Park offers hiking trails, fishing opportunities and horse riding. The park's main attraction is Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world 974 metres tall. When entering the park you will first see a set of waterfalls called the Cascades, followed by the famous Amphitheatre, a rock wall that stretches five kilometres in length and is visible from most of the park. Hikes are offered ranging from two to five hours duration and each offer views of different scenery.
South Africa's most iconic and oldest national park is located in the North-East only an hour drive from Nelspruit. The Kruger National Park is divided up into 14 different areas and covers over 20,000 square kilometres. Visitors can experience the flora and fauna throughout the park on a short guided walking tour. If travelling with a larger group you can hike for three days and get within metres of South African wildlife. If you have a hire car you can also drive through the park and try to spot the big five, lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos.
Guests have many accommodation options when visiting Kruger National Park including Crocodile Bridge, a smaller camp in the southern part of the park or the well-known Olifants which is a larger camp area. Crocodile Bridge is near the Crocodile River viewpoint where you can watch hippos and crocodiles from only a few metres away. The Olifants camp area is situated in the middle of the park and overlooks the banks of the Olifant River. Sit back and appreciate the spectacular views of kudu, elephants, giraffes and lions as they come to the river to drink and bath.
Auto Europe offers car hire from over 100 depots in major cities, towns and attractions across South Africa so book online today or call on 1300 656 601 and start planning your national parks tour today!