From wine farms to nature reserves, fantastic restaurants with beautiful sights, this country is the full package. Here’s how to navigate your way through South African National Parks and all that has to offer.

Positioned on the Southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa attracts tourists for all sorts of reasons. Home to every distinct ecosystem and iconic nature reserves such as the Kruger National Park for those who want to see the “big five,” South Africa is understandably flooded with tourists almost all year-round.

Perhaps one of the most popular destinations in the Western Cape. Here you’ll find sandy beaches such as Clifton and Langebaan, Beautiful Winelands located around Stellenbosch and Paarl, hiking trails up Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, and lovely scenic drives up into The Garden Route.

So you’re probably wondering where, to begin with planning this trip? Well, if you are looking for the full South African experience, you need to book into a national park safari; and you have so many to choose from, so we visited, and this is what we found….

Kruger National Park – Lions Sands Game Reserve

Within Kruger National Park are five private game reserves, all offering the ultimate safari holiday. Stay at Lion Sands Game Reserve, one of South Africa’s most exclusive and luxurious escapes.

Lion Sands sits on the borders of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, giving you the best of both worlds.

Awarded the Conde Nast “Best resort in the world” title in 2019 – Lion Sands Game Reserve is luxury personified, so it’s easy to see why travellers return year on year.

Comprising five exclusive lodges along the Sabie River, each lodge has well-trained staff to look after you, and they make sure your escape is perfect. For convenience, fly into Skukuza airport, a private facility nearby and start your holiday without the long transfer.

Kgalagadi Reserve and National Park

Kgalagadi Reserve is number one for adventure breaks; set in a national park offering authentic accommodation and a choice of sunrise and sunset safaris.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park that houses the reserve consists of two national parks – Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and Gemsbok National Park, the latter is in Botswana.

There are several accommodation options in the Kgalagadi Reserve but none more authentic and traditional than the Xaus Lodge.

This private reserve run by two San-Bushmen communities, the Mier and Khomani people is the only reserve where all meals, guided games drives and walks are included in your stay.

Are you looking for a back to basics authentic experience? The Xaus Lodge is a great choice.

But if that’s not enough adventure, and you have time on your hands, you should stay right at the foot of Table Mountain, you’ll be overwhelmed by the choice of five-star-rated hotels located right on the Waterfront.

Surrounding the waterfront are fabulous restaurants offering some of the best seafood dishes there are with amazing views right by the edge of the water.

Tips for South African Parks

So pack your bags and get ready for your exploration of South Africa with these tips…

Make sure you’re going at the right time.

South Africa is beautiful any time of year but prime tourist time is the summer months between December and March. During these months temperatures can reach 39 degrees. Perfect for beach-lovers or those who love hot weather in general. You rarely face a rainy day in the summertime, so you’re guaranteed a perfect holiday.

Make sure to plan your trip with enough time to do everything.

With so much to do, you want to make sure your itinerary is well-spread so that you have time to slow down and appreciate the country. Plan days for lazing by the pool or the beach so that you can feel well-rested for the next activity or dinner.

No matter the activity, you’re bound to have a lot of fun; enjoy good quality food and don’t stress about fitting in every experience because you might find yourself with a long list and not much time to tick everything off. You can always return to South Africa. No trip to South Africa will ever be the same with all the options available.

Immerse yourself in the culture

South Africa is famously known as the Rainbow Nation. This Rainbow Nation comes with countless cultures and flavors. The music, food and architecture will capture your heart and make you fall in love.

With food inspired by Malay-Afrikaans flavors, made with fresh ingredients, tastes that will make your taste buds tingle; and wine that comes from only the best grapes. You will never be able to look at food and drink in the same way again.

Music created by local artists and made with traditional Khoi or San instruments will open your ears to sounds you’ve never heard before. Dancing is in the blood so expect to take part.

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

With so much adventure and culture, you won’t be able to stop smiling all the way home. The people of South Africa will welcome you with open arms every time you choose to return and are guaranteed to make you dance and sing along with pure joy.

Soak up some sun and eat some good food and escape at the Cape of Good Hope!