While many arriving in South Africa spend an extended amount of time in Cape Town or Johannesburg, those seeking adventure prefer getting off the beaten path and exploring other aspects of the region. South Africa tours in the Drakensberg Mountains, along the Elephant Coast or in Kruger National Park provide a chance to experience the culture and history of the area while confronting the rugged beauty of the landscape and the native wildlife that survive there.
Spanning over 240,000 hectares, the park features the Drakensberg Mountain Range comprised of basalt cliffs on a limestone base that look down over the bush. The thick yellowwood forest and picturesque cascading waterfalls create a natural boundary that divides the Kingdom of Lesotho and Kwa-Zulu-Natal. The tallest peak, known by the Zulu people as Dragon Mountain, stands at an elevation of 3,482 metres (11,424 feet) above sea level. A solitary road climbs to the top, which harbours a pub.
Archaeological exploration of the range indicates that the Bushman first inhabited the area sometime between 100,000 and 40,000 years ago. Traces of the primitive civilization include a collection of over 30,000 prehistoric paintings scattered throughout the many park caves. Abseiling and rock climbing attracts adrenaline junkies, but for those looking for a more laid back trip, the hike from Durban to the Giant’s Castle proved an exhilarating experience. It is three kilometres in length one-way, and the hours pass quickly while enjoying the landscape and examining some of the paintings.
This wildly gorgeous destination extends from the uMfolozi River to the Mozambique border. This region serves as headquarters for the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park, the Hluhluwe/uMfolozi Game Reserve and the Tembe Elephant Park. The coastal site derives its name for the large elephant population that reside in the lush, tropical environment. Lonely beaches border rivers and wetlands that attract hippos who occasionally wander into nearby St. Lucia. From July to December, Humpback and Southern whales migrate to the local waters in search of mates and to deliver their young. Sea turtles create nests on the beaches during the summer.
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park remains one of the best destinations for to include on your tour. When you come to booking your South Africa holiday, I’d advising booking through a reputable South Africa tour operator to ensure that you have the trip of a lifetime. Besides having one of the largest elephant populations in the country, the park offers the chance to see big game animals. The territory consists of huge tracts of woodland separated by open plains and fast moving rivers. Scaling the “Olifants Restcamp” bluffs by vehicle offers the perfect view over the region. Below, elephants and hippos regularly congregate at the river’s edge. Waiting patiently also rewards spectators with a glimpse of buffaloes, lions and rhinoceros.
There is so much to see and do in South Africa’s diverse landscape that it is more than worthwhile heading out of Cape Town to experience some adventure.