South Africa Photo Safari

The most diverse photo destination

Photo Safari in South Africa – what a wonderful project. South Africa is a country that I visit at least 4 times yearly. It has undoubtedly one of the most diverse landscapes in the whole of Africa. That, in my opinion, makes it an excellent trip extension or a photo destination with a difference. If one likes to document landscapes, culture, architecture, wildlife or just being on the road this is a destination for you. Apart from that, there are wine routes, whale routes, mountain passes ……. and so much more to explore. In short, it is a perfect guided self-drive destination. If you want to have your own coffee table book with your photos in it of an African road trip this is it!

South Africa Country Brief

South Africa is truly a nature lover’s destination as it offers some of the most diverse landscapes in the entire African continent. Forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and savannahs are just some of the scenes one can hope to encounter. There is an abundance of wildlife on top of the natural surroundings that host over 700 publicly owned reserves, 200 private reserves and 19 National Parks.

Over 800 bird species are found in various places around the country throughout the year. Approximately 725 of these species are residents or annual visitors and around 50 are endemic to South Africa. Bird watching opportunities are good all year, however, spring and summer are considered by many to be the best times.

The bushveld and savannah regions are home to many of the large animals typically associated with the African continent. The “Big Five”, the lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, and the rhinoceros inhabit many parks and reserves. The term “Big Five” was coined by big-game hunters regarding the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. In addition to these popular creatures are more than 200 mammal species including hippopotamus, giraffes, wildebeests, and zebras. Lions and leopards are not the only big cats in South Africa; cheetahs are also found mostly to the far north in places like Kruger National Park, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in Northern Cape and reserves in KwaZulu Natal. The caracal, the African wild cat, and the rare black-footed cat can also be spotted.

The waters surrounding South Africa offer as much diversity as is found on dry land. There are eight whale species including the largest mammal in the world, the blue whale as well as the popular killer whale. The southern right whale is a conservation success story in South Africa. These species got their name from the fact that they are slow-moving, rich in oil and baleen and float when killed, literally making them the ‘right’ whale to hunt. They have been protected in South Africa since 1935 and numbers are on the rise.

South Africa National Parks

A South Africa Photo Safari would not be complete without a visit to a national park or reserve. Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in Africa and is considered by many to be the ultimate safari experience. It hosts 507 bird species, 147 types of mammals and 114 different reptile species. It is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that links Kruger with game parks in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In relation to this project, fences have come down to allow animals to roam freely. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park is the oldest park in South Africa. It is the only state-run park in which all of the “Big Five” are present.

The park was established in 1895 primarily to protect the white rhino. Due to its commitment to conservation, the park now has the largest population of white rhinos in the world. The Sabi Sands Reserve rounds up what is merely a sample of what is on offer in South Africa. It is the oldest of all private game reserves in the country. The main goal of the reserve is conservation as it hosts not only the “Big Five” but many endangered species. In this capacity, it serves as a sanctuary for South African wildlife.

South Africa Quick Facts

Nelson Mandela is known by six different names in South Africa. At birth, he was named Rolihlahla Mandela. On his first day of school, his teacher gave him the name Nelson, following the custom back in the 1920s to give all children English names as English colonials ‘couldn’t’ pronounce African names. When he was 16 he was given the name of Dalibhunga (‘creator or founder of the council’) during a traditional rite of passage ceremony. South Africans commonly call him Madiba, which is the name of the Thembu clan to which he belongs, or simply Tata or Khulu, the Xhosa words for ‘father’ and ‘grandfather’.

Table Mountain, one of the iconic landmarks of South Africa, is one of the oldest mountains in the world and has more than 2,200 species of plants, 70 percent of which are endemic.

South Africa Crater

The world’s largest visible crater in South Africa. Around 2,030 million years ago a meteor the size of a mountain (about 10km across) fell to earth in South Africa’s Free State making a crater 300km across; it is the oldest crater made by either a comet or meteorite and reportedly the site of the largest energy release in history. In 2015, scientists claimed to have found a bigger crater (around 400km wide) underground in the Australian outback, although it is not visible on the earth’s

The meandering 850km road through Cape Winelands is the world’s longest wine route. Route 62 runs between Cape Town, Constantia to Port Elizabeth, via Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route, embracing 350 years of winemaking as it passes classic Cape-Dutch homesteads, green mountains, 200 cellars and miles and miles of vines.

South African fish migration is so huge it can be seen from space. Between May and July every year millions of small silver fish travel in vast shoals from the cold waters off South Africa’s Cape Point up to the coastlines of the northern Eastern Cape and southern KwaZulu-Natal. This annual event is called the Sardine Run. The shoals are so big – 15km long, 3.5km wide and up to 40m deep – they can be seen by satellite. In their wake come hundreds of birds, sharks, whales, dolphins, all eager to have a share.

South Africa has three capital cities. Cape Town (Legislative), Pretoria (Administrative) and Bloemfontein (Judicial). There are nine provinces in total: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. Each has its own government.

The aboriginal people of South Africa are the San and the Khoi. The hunter-gather Sans and pastoral Khoi together become known as the KhoiSan and lived in what is now the Western Cape around 300AD. Zulu and Xhosa tribes established large kingdoms in the region in the 15th century.

South Africa Photo Safari

Perfect wildlife pictures

South Africa Photography Workshops

Photo categories available

Wildlife Photography
Landscape Photography
Street Photography
Architecture Photography

Photo Safari Countries

Each Country has its Magic

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