You don’t have to travel all the way to the Kruger National Park or Madikwe Game Reserve to enjoy an exceptional safari experience in South Africa. In fact, South Africa is simply brimming with them, and the ones in the country’s Western Cape province, in particular, are excellent add-ons to a Cape Town itinerary.
With so much to see, and (often) so little time, we can understand why our travellers want to make the most of every moment they have. Thankfully, thanks to the proximity of reserves such as Inverdoorn and Aquila to the city of Cape Town, an authentic safari is an easy add-on to your Mother City holiday. What’s more (yes, there’s more), safaris here are completely malaria-free ensuring that you and your family can sleep soundly at night.
Popular safari destinations in the Western Cape
The Klein Karoo (little Karoo) was once home to a plethora of big game and the Big 5 who were slowly driven out by early settlers moving into its fertile valleys to farm. Inverdoorn Game Reserve has since reintroduced the Big 5 and a plethora of other previously endemic species to the region. Today, guests can observe the Big 5 in one of their old habitats, a convenient 2.5hr drive away from Cape Town.
The endless greenery, rocky outcrops amid rolling hills, and wide open spaces of the Garden Route provide an incredible location for visitors to enjoy a malaria-free safari experience at Botlierskop Game Reserve. This is the perfect stopover where guests can experience a safari and four of the Big 5 located between Cape Town and the popular seaside escapes of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is set along the lesser travelled Route 62 highway which runs some 450km from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn. Often referred to as the ‘inland alternative’ to the Garden Route, this route takes you through rural South Africa, past tiny dust-ridden towns and into the Klein Karoo, a stretch of arid semi-desert which meanders its way up country.
Aquila Game Reserve offers a luxurious, malaria-free Big 5 safari experience in the Little Karoo, less than a two-hour drive from Cape Town. Named after the rare and endangered black eagle, the reserve covers 10,000ha of rivers, mountains, gorges, and three biomes of vegetation. Lying on the national flower route, Aquila is also a floral paradise awash in fynbos and prone to stunning bursts of colourful flower displays.