Want to make your 5 year-old self proud and become an explorer? Trade in your keyboard for a pair of binoculars and head to sunny South Africa's wide open spaces and endless sky to explore all the flora and fauna of this majestic land. Keep your eyes open for the leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, cape buffalo and lion (otherwise known as the Big Five) but don’t forget to take in the stunning natural scenery as well.
See the 'Big Five' on a Driving Safari
Big Five safaris in South Africa are a must-do for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big Five refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino and the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt. Now the thrill comes from photographing them in their natural habitat in Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, which is arguably the world's most famous wildlife sanctuary and boasts an impressive and unsurpassed array of indigenous species.
Explore the World's Oldest Caves in Mpumalanga
Traverse the 240 million year old Sudwala Caves and stunning Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga. The Mpumalanga province is dominated by the Blyde River Canyon – the world's third-deepest gorge; the Sudwala Caves – the world's oldest caves; and the famous Kruger National Park mentioned above. While this region boasts a spectacular natural diversity, it is actually one of South Africa's smallest provinces!
Observe the Endangered Boulders Beach Penguins
The Boulders Beach penguins are about as famous as birds can be. These African penguins used to be known as jackass penguins because of the braying sounds they make in the Western Cape. They're also ever-more endangered due to years of over-fishing, pollution and egg predation by seabirds. Thankfully, there are conservation efforts underway to preserve these precious penguins. In the meantime, Boulders Beach remains the only place in the world where one can get up-close to African penguins due to boardwalks that traverse the beaches just outside Cape Town.
Scout Martian-like Terrain in Richtersveld
The Richtersveld is a mountainous desert landscape of northwest South Africa characterized by rugged kloofs and high mountains. The region is full of changing scenery from flat, sandy, coastal plains, to craggy sharp mountains of volcanic rock and the lushness of the Orange River, which forms the border with Namibia. Part of the area is inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List due to its cultural values, but remains a favorite among travelers due to its "martian"-like terrain.
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