Our children can find the magic in trees, flowers, running water, savannah landscapes and animals. It is our duty as parents to cultivate and validate this sense of wonder so that our children can mature in their understanding of nature to lead more purposeful lives and become responsible eco citizens.
There is no arguing that the Kruger National Park deserves the number one spot. This 2 million hectare, world-renowned Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. It is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. This is the ideal place to get up close and personal with the best that nature has to offer.
THE PLACE OF SANCTUARY
The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, as its Tswana name suggests, has become a ‘place of sanctuary’ for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa.
Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterise the park. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five-metre high cycads and tree ferns are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino, to the big cats, as well as an amazing variety of birds including what’s probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world have settled here.
KAROO TO COAST
The third largest national park in South Africa, Addo Elephant National Park, has expanded to conserve a wide biodiversity of landscapes, fauna and flora. Stretching from the semi-arid karoo area in the north around Darlington Dam, over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River Valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s River mouth, Addo covers about 180 000 hectares (444 700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is a sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.