As reports of the drop in the South African Rand’s value have trickled in, my heart has gone out to both South Africa and my friends and fellow expats living there. How would this bode for the future of the country? Would many people face hardships as imported goods became more expensive and out of reach?
But the good news is that one of South Africa’s most prominent export goods has become as affordable as never before: Tourism. And, in particular, the African safari at one of the many wonderful game lodges throughout its wildlife reserves. When I was approached to feature a safari provider on Joburg Expat, I was happy to oblige. I have not had the privilege of trying out the featured game lodge, but from our experience at many such game lodges, all unique and wonderful in their own way, as well as the glowing Tripadvisor reviews, I have no reservations making this recommendation.
The Unsurpassed Beauty of South African Wildlife
From the unmatched elegance and grace of the African leopard to the majestic awe and might of the legendary African lion, South Africa’s diverse range of endemic wildlife is unmatched in its natural beauty.
Home to the famous Big Five game – African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and white/black rhinoceros – game reserves in South Africa boast wildlife that has become renowned across the world. Because of this, the country sees a massive influx of foreign tourists who seek to experience the raw beauty. Such is the immense value and pride placed on the Big Five that since 1990 South African rand banknotes have featured a different Big Five animal on each denomination.
Other quintessentially African large animals are the hippo, giraffe, kudu, wildebeest (the famous gnu) and zebra, all frequently seen in South Africa’s conservation areas. Even packs of the endangered African wild dog can be observed pursuing their prey.
With 299 species of mammals and 858 species of birds, South Africa’s appeal caters to most if not all animal lovers. The well-established tourism industry takes advantage of this natural beauty by offering shark cage diving, bird spotting, veld expeditions, whale watching, and arguably most famously, safari tours and packages in South African game reserves.
Of the hundreds of wildlife reserves, none is more popular and renowned than the Kruger National Park. Established in 1926 and with well over a million visitors per year, the Kruger National Park covers an area of 19,485 square kilometres, which makes it the largest game reserve in South Africa and one of the largest wildlife parks in all of Africa. Steeped in legend and history, Kruger Park is also South Africa’s most exciting African safari destination. Aside from the spectacular African wildlife on display, it also offers its visitors sweeping vast landscapes of immense natural beauty.
With many accommodation options available, it’s never been easier for both domestic and international tourists to get up close and personal with the country’s wildlife. Set on the cool banks of the Olifants River on the 40,000ha Balule Private Nature Reserve inside the greater Kruger National Park, the award winning Pondoro Game Lodge offers its visitors comfort, sophistication, elegance, and a canvas on which to create an unforgettable African Safari. As such, the Pondoro Game Lodge has fast become one of the most popular choices for South African game reserve visitors.
This South African game reserve offers:
- Early morning game drive
- Nature walk
- Picnic lunch at the hide
- Birdwatching in camp and during game drives
- Evening game drive with spotlight
- All game drives in open-top Safari Cruisers
Importantly, wildlife viewing and South African game reserve experiences are a crucial fundraiser and a key aspect of meaningful conversation.
The white rhino has been brought back from the brink of extinction and now flourishes both in the Kruger National Park and the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, with similar attention now is focused on protecting the black rhino.
Whenever or wherever possible, try to take full advantage of South Africa’s unparalleled wildlife. Once you’ve been on an African safari, you will fall in love with Africa for the rest of your life. And if you already live in South Africa as an expat, now is your best opportunity to experience the beauty of Africa.
Find out about a South African game reserve today!