Parks & Wilderness Areas, Eastern Cape
Parks & Wilderness Areas of South Africa
The nature of South Africa's conserved areas varies enormously. Many are rugged wilderness areas that are the preserve of hardy mountaineers. Others, particularly those around the dams and populated areas, are easily accessible to all.
There are wonderful botanical gardens and green corridors in the big cities. Some are playgrounds or places to sit with binoculars and watch the birds and the world go by. Most boast captivating landscapes and geological formations or host unique flora or fauna. Many are devoted to preserving rock art and other examples of the country’s rich cultural heritage.
It’s the big game parks that attract the most visitors. The Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal reserves are perhaps the best known of this type, but there are numerous other reserves in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West and Eastern Cape where you can see the Big 5.
Although game viewing is also popular in the Northern and Western Cape, the reserves in these provinces are as much about the spectacular scenery, open spaces, starry skies and extraordinary spring flower displays.
Many of the reserves are steeped in history. Historic battlefields are a feature of many of the reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. The province’s Drakensberg Mountains are a veritable outdoor gallery, home to the largest collection of bushman rock art in the world. There is also a high concentration of magnificent paintings in caves throughout the Cederberg Wilderness area. Sites like Mapungubwe National Park are as famous for their archaeological treasures as for their natural heritage. So, whaterver your interests, there is bound to be something to suite your taste.
Articles & Blogs
Mkambati Rocks6:45am 16 Jan
Mkambati – a place untouched
Walking alone in a beautiful place makes me feel so happy, I thought, negotiating the next landing place for my foot as I leapt from rock to rock. My attention was split between the roaring Indian ocean beside me, and the magical dainty flowers at my feet.
Mkambati Nature Reserve in the Wild Coast of Pondoland has twelve kilometres of pristine coastline between the Mtentu and Msikaba rivers. The ocean spills out onto rocky sandstone ridges and undulating grasslands, dotted with African plains game such as wildebeest, blesbok and...
Mkhambathi Waterfalls6:45am 14 Jan
Mkhambathi Nature Reserve – where waterfalls and oceans meet
Setting out early, with swimming costumes, cameras and a picnic lunch we canoed across the Mtentu River into Mkhambathi Nature Reserve, planning to explore Mkhambathi's famous waterfalls. The reserve has an impressive 21 waterfalls in all, the most legendary being Mkhambathi Falls which plunges straight into the sea! It is one of three waterfalls in Pondoland that flow into the sea and there are only about twelve in the world. The falls are most impressive...
Wild Zebra5:55am 12 Nov
Wild Coast – Friendly zebras and breath-taking beaches
Hluleka Nature Reserve is the Pondoland’s Southernmost reserve. It’s only 800 hectares but extremely picturesque – beautiful secluded golden beaches bordered by palm trees and over-grown natural forest beckoning the explorer. Interesting rock formations and caves carved out in cliffs will have you wandering for hours.
When we arrived, we were greeted by five nonchalant zebra grazing on the lawns near the chalets. They acknowledged our presence with brief glances before resuming their happy munching. The...
Addo’s luxury lodges5:55am 2 Sep
By Romi Boom, editor of Wild
All three concessions in Addo are dedicated to rehabilitating this precious wildlife region and have made huge investments to protect our natural heritage. They are partners in conservation and operate on a concession basis.
Riverbend Lodge (in the Nyati Section of the park) has eight suites and a family friendly policy. A haven for grandparents! Children of all ages are welcome and even toddlers are allowed on the game drives, the viewpoint being that it’s never too early to start loving nature. During our stay, guests included two families...
Mountain Zebra10:01am 15 May
Proclaimed in 1937, Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape is a photographers delight. With grassy plains giving way to mountainous ridges, your photos usually have a stunning backdrop, and there is sufficient game as subjects. If you do decide to make a trip soon, note that the N10 between Cradock and Cookhouse is closed from 12h00 to 16h00 every Tuesday and Thursday for roadworks at the moment. For more photos, check out our gallery:
CAMP IN THE CATHEDRAL OF THE MOUNTAINS3:01pm 27 Aug
By Romi Boom
The sound of splashing interrupts the dusk silence. A buffalo, perhaps a kudu bull, come down to the water to drink. I am in a dense sweet thorn thicket and, because it will be full moon in two nights’ time, the long white thorns shimmer in the moonlight. Even more memorable is that I’m overnighting in Camdeboo for the very first time.
Nqweba campsite has 15 caravan and tent sites set on gravel, each with a power point and braai unit, plus use of a...