Stop trawling photos of wild animals on the internet and get that little closer to nature at these five, great South African animal encounter destinations
If South Africa is known for anything around the world (politics aside!) it’s our wealth of wild animals. With so many game reserves from the Cape in the south, to Limpopo in the North and KwaZulu Natal in the East, there are animals pretty much everywhere within a few hours driving distance of every major city in South Africa.
So, if you want to get up close and personal and really interact with South Africa’s wildlife, here are some awesome animal encounters in South Africa that you shouldn’t miss.
Monkey Land Primate Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay
Monkeys might not be the first animal you’d think of for an up close and personal animal encounter, but at Monkey Land Primate Sanctuary, you’ll learn all about the plight of these creatures and why we need to do everything we can to protect them.
Meerkat Magic, Oudtshoorn
There’s nothing cuter than a mob of meerkats (yes – that’s their actual collective noun) and near Oudtshoorn, you can go on a meerkat tour with Grant, affectionately known as The Meerkat Man. You can get up close to these gorgeous creatures, knowing that your money is going towards conservation of these cuties.
Knysna Elephant Park, Knysna
Elephants are one of the most majestic African animals and are synonymous with South Africa. Their populations are being decimated across the continent but visiting the Knysna Elephant Park will allow you to see them up close. Their elephants are rescued from situations where they are no longer wanted or are at risk of being culled.
Cheetah Experience, Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein might not be the first place you think of when it comes to animal encounters but the Cheetah Experience is well worth a visit. Not only will you see cheetahs on your tour, but also lions, leopards, tiger, wolves, caracals, servals and meerkats.
Giraffe House, Stellenbosch
Less than 40km from Cape Town, Giraffe House focuses on wildlife education for children and school groups. Not only can you get up close to giraffes, but they also have monkeys, zebras, bontebok, springbok, duiker, warthog, caracal, jackals, crocodiles, birds and a whole lot more.