Going on safari is a must-do experience when visiting Africa. While Cape Town’s mediterranean climate doesn’t lend itself to the traditional African bush experience, the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – are but a couple of hours’ drive from the city centre. Here’s a look at five places where you can see the big five, all malaria free!
Aquila Private Game Reserve
One of the most popular game reserves near Cape Town, Aquila boasts a big five safari experience. Situated in the Klein Karoo, just two hours outside of the city centre, they offer a variety of experiences. Go on a traditional game drive or explore the reserve on horseback, quad bikes, or even from the air. Aquila caters to both day visitors and those who wish to stay overnight in one of their luxury chalets.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Another Klein Karoo favourite and also home to the big five, Sanbona is as well known for its luxury as it is for great safari experiences, which includes the rare white lion. Ranging from five star lodges to luxury tented accommodation, Sanbona has something for everyone and they offer an array of activities for kids to make it an entertaining visit for the whole family.
This Garden Route wildlife safari lodge is situated in the lush mountains near Mossel Bay, and offers an impressive diversity of flora and fauna. This malaria-free Garden Route safari lodge is home to an abundance of wildlife including 4 of the Big 5, lions, elephants, buffalo’s, giraffes, rhino’s, hippo’s, rare black impalas and more. The Botlierskop Game Reserve is situated on a 3000 hectare game farm, and home to over 26 different species of animals and a prolific range of bird life.Your days at this Western Cape game reserve will include luxury 4×4 game drives and exhilarating bush walks through the heart of the bush, memorable Elephant back safaris and horseback rides. Guests enjoy great accommodation in luxury tented suites, elegantly decorated to reflect a romantic and welcoming colonial theme.
Gondwana Game Reserve
The Gondwana game reverse is in the heart of the famous Garden Route in South Africa. Offering ravines, deep scenic valleys, rolling hills and open plains, the malaria-free game reserve is excellent for guided walking safaris and safari drives.
The Gondwana game reserve is the only Fynbos reserve in the world.
Gondwana Lodge features welcoming and comfortable private suites which overlook two waterholes across the valley and the mountains. Each of the spacious open plan suites nestles in a beautiful surrounding where 180-degree views, clay pot fireplaces, as well as deep baths, await.
The reserve is also home to Bush Villas, which are suitable for larger groups and families. These self-contained villas provide a fully-equipped kitchen as well as a built-in-braai making it ideal for travellers who prefer to self-cater.
The lodge features a modern open-plan bar and lounge, with meals served in an elegant dining room set around two open fireplaces or in the outdoor boma. During their stay, guests enjoy bush breakfasts, romantic picnics, barbeques in the evenings and spectacular sundowners.