Travel to Eastern Cape Safaris
Eastern Cape Safaris
There are several great parks and reserves in the malaria free Eastern Cape. Just 75 years after its proclamation to protect the 11 elephants that remained in the area, the Addo Elephant National Park is now a world-famous mega park. Elephant numbers have swelled to over 450, one of the densest elephant populations in Africa. The park is also home to buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino and, with great white sharks and southern right whales in the marine section of the park, South Africa’s Addo is one of the few reserves in the world that boasts the Big 7!
From just 2 500ha in size at proclamation, Addo Elephant National Park is now 164 000ha in size, with plans to expand to a massive 360 000ha. Already traversing 5 of the 7 biomes found in South Africa, this expansion will further enhance its diversity. In Addo, you will find 1 000 year-old cycads, hillsides adorned with pastel-colored proteas, primeval impenetrable thicket, bizarre-looking spiny noorsveld, and wide-open plains where antelope graze. Lion and spotted hyena have been reintroduced into the park and there are kudu, red hartebeest and eland too.
The rare flightless dung beetles of Addo are a more unusual attraction. Always busy rolling perfect balls from elephant dung, the park is full of signs warning visitors to avoid harming these unique creatures. The marine section of the park includes the world’s largest breeding colony of Cape gannets on Bird Island and the second largest colony of African penguins. Rare Roseate terns come to Bird Island to breed in winter, Siberian falcons breed in the coastal dunes nearby and Caspian and Arctic terns stop off on the island on long-haul flights.
Shamwari Private Game Reserve stands in a class of its own. It has been voted the best game reserve and conservation company in South Africa for 10 consecutive years. The reserve has even become a favorite among international celebrities. Golfer Tiger Woods got engaged here and Hollywood aces Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage and John Travolta have all visited Shamwari in the past few years. Shamwari Game Reserve not only boasts Africa’s most sought after ‘big five’ animals, it also aims to rehabilitate an ecosystem almost destroyed by centuries of farming. Situated along the Bushmans’ River, the area comprises five of the country’s seven biomes: no wonder the 25 000 hectare area supports a stunning variety of flora and fauna. Because of the focus on responsible tourism, the reserve has received the Global Nature Fund Award for Best Conservation Practice.
Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa is also home to two sanctuaries of the Born Free Foundation, which cares for lions and leopards that have been rescued from poor conditions in circuses or zoos around the world. Visitors are welcome to pay their respects to these ‘pensioner cats’. For families with children there is no better safari destination than Shamwari Private Game Reserve, which caters to the curiosity of kids. With or without children, after a morning of admiring the reserves magnificent wildlife, you deserve a treatment in one of three luxury spas. You can also spend the afternoon on one of the local beaches nearby before enjoying the sunset back at the reserve, with drink in hand and the sound of jackals performing a suppertime serenade.
Pumba Private Game Reserve is the third largest privately owned game reserve in the South African province of the Eastern Cape. It covers an area of 6790 hectares and includes five of South Africa’s seven biomes. This means that there is an undeniable wealth of plant- and animal species to enjoy.
The vegetation consists of a mixture of the unique Eastern Cape Valley Bushveld, a dense type of plant cover that is especially popular amongst elephants and antelope. Extensive open plains give guests the coveted opportunity of watching antelope and the endangered White Rhinoceros graze in peace and serenity.
In addition to the famous Big 5 (leopards, lions, rhinos, buffaloes and elephants), Pumba is home to approximately 40 other species of mammals and hundreds of bird species. These animals range from commonly seen species (such as the graceful giraffe) to more elusive animals, like the White Lion and the leopard.
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