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National parks in South Africa, places of
thrilling wildlife encounters and stunning scenery

The national parks in South Africa are renowned for their rich heritage of wildlife and natural beauty. Know before you go and learn more about them, such as How to get there, Attractions, Activities, Accommodation, Maps, Facilities, Climate, Tariffs, Reservations, and much more.


Nowhere in Africa will one find such a rich variety of wildlife in one single country as in South Africa 's national parks and game reserves. A visit to our country would not be complete without a visit to at least one of them.

There are 20 National Parks in South Africa, representing the indigenous flora, fauna and landscapes of the country, together with its related cultural heritage.

They are located across the country, from the southern Cape to the Limpopo river in the north and from the arid North West to the Indian ocean beaches of KwaZulu-Natal in the east.

The Parks are managed by "South African National Parks", one of the world's foremost conservation and scientific research bodies, also known as "SANParks", under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

Habitats range from mountain, marshland and coastal plains to bushveld, savannah, arid desert and luxurious green forests. The diversity of plant species, especially the wild flowers of the cape, is unequalled anywhere in Africa.

Elephant family on a stroll in one of the South African National Parks
copyright © South African tourism
Elephant family on a stroll in one of the South African National Parks

Here one can observe the huge variety of African wildlife and scenery at close range. In a safari group with a tour guide or travelling on your own, one can always be sure to experience unforgettable encounters and sceneries in an untamed Africa environment.
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The map below shows you the location of all the national parks in South Africa.

1 Mapungubwe 6 Augrabies Falls 11 Karoo 16 Bontebok
2 Marakele 7 Mokala 12 Camdeboo 17 Wilderness
3 Kruger 8 Golden Gate 13 Mountain Zebra 18 Knysna
4 Kgalagadi 9 Namaqua 14 Table Mountain 19 Tsitsikamma
5 /Ai-/Ais/Richtersveld 10 Tankwa 15 Agulhas 20 Garden Route
21 Addo Elephant 22 West Coast 23 iSimangaliso Wetlands

Tips for navigating the map

  • Use the zoom function to separate the markers that overlap.
  • Use the plus/minus button in the left-hand bottom corner or the the scroll wheel of your mouse to zoom in and out.
  • Alternatively, put the mouse cursor on any location on the map that you want to explore and click repeatedly with the left hand mouse button to zoom in or out, without moving the mouse.
  • Moving the mouse cursor on the map with the left hand mouse button clicked in, will allow you to move the map up and down and left and right.
  • The button on the left in the title bar at the top will take you to a satellite view of the map
  • The button on the far right in the title bar will take you to a larger map
  • Click on the refresh button of your browser to return to the original map.


Tips for navigating the map

  • Use the zoom function to separate the markers that overlap.
  • Use the plus/minus button in the left-hand bottom corner or the the scroll wheel of your mouse to zoom in and out.
  • Alternatively, put the mouse cursor on any location on the map that you want to explore and click repeatedly with the left hand mouse button to zoom in or out, without moving the mouse.
  • Moving the mouse cursor on the map with the left hand mouse button clicked in, will allow you to move the map up and down and left and right.
  • The button on the left in the title bar at the top will take you to a satellite view of the map
  • The button on the far right in the title bar will take you to a larger map
  • Click on the refresh button of your browser to return to the original map.

Learn more about the National Parks in South Africa below.
(The numbers correspond with those on the map above.)

Learn more about the National Parks in South Africa below.

Elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park Addo Elephant National Park (21)
As the third largest of South Africa's national parks, the 3,600 sq km Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the dense bushveld about 80 km north of Port Elizabeth. Right from its beginning Elephants and their conservation are the reason for the Park's existence. Without them, Addo Park would not be Addo Park.
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Addo Elephant National Park (21)

As the third largest of South Africa's national parks, the 3,600 sq km Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the dense bushveld about 80 km north of Port Elizabeth. Right from its beginning Elephants and their conservation are the reason for the Park's existence. Without them, Addo Park would not be Addo Park.

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Breaching humpback whale - Addo Elephant National Park Agulhas National Park (15)
Windswept, weather-beaten, but beautiful, the 20,959 ha (210 sq km) Agulhas National Park is to be found 200 km (120 mi) south-east of cape town in the southern Overberg region of the Western Cape province. It is here where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet at the southernmost tip of the African continent.
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Agulhas National Park (15)

Windswept, weather-beaten, but beautiful, the 20,959 ha (210 sq km) Agulhas National Park is to be found 200 km (120 mi) south-east of cape town in the southern Overberg region of the Western Cape province. It is here where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet at the southernmost tip of the African continent.

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Orange river gorge in the Augrabies National Park Augrabies National Park (6)
Covering an area of 820 sq km (12,000 ha), the Augrabies Falls National Park extends along the Orange river, about 120 km west of Upington in the Northern Cape Province. It is home to the Augrabies Waterfall, which thunders down about 60 meters into a 240 meters deep gorge. Awe-inspiring when the river is in flood.
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Augrabies National Park (6)

Covering an area of 820 sq km (12,000 ha), the Augrabies Falls National Park extends along the Orange river, about 120 km west of Upington in the Northern Cape Province. It is home to the Augrabies Waterfall, which thunders down about 60 meters into a 240 meters deep gorge. Awe-inspiring when the river is in flood.

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The rare Bontebok antelope in the Bontebok National Park Bontebok National Park (16)
Home to the rarest antelope species in the world and smallest member of South Africa's national parks, the Bontebok National Park is situated in the Western Cape province, 5 km from the town of Swellendam on the banks of the Breede river. The Park is part of the unique and world-renown Cape Floral Kingdom region.
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Bontebok National Park (16)

Home to the rarest antelope species in the world and smallest member of South Africa's national parks, the Bontebok National Park is situated in the Western Cape province, 5 km from the town of Swellendam on the banks of the Breede river. The Park is part of the unique and world-renown Cape Floral Kingdom region.

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The Valley of Desolation in the Camdeboo National Park Camdeboo National Park (12)
Situated in the Great Karoo and home to the pre-historic landscape of the "Valley of Desolation", the 195 sq km Camdeboo National Park, previously known as the "Karoo Nature Reserve", almost encircles the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape province. It offers exciting wildlife and flora amid awesome scenic beauty.
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Camdeboo National Park (12)

Situated in the Great Karoo and home to the pre-historic landscape of the "Valley of Desolation", the 195 sq km Camdeboo National Park, previously known as the "Karoo Nature Reserve", almost encircles the town of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape province. It offers exciting wildlife and flora amid awesome scenic beauty.

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Stormsriver restcamp in the Gardenroute National Park Garden Route National Park (17, 18, 19, 20)
The 1,210 km2 (470 sq mi) Garden Route National Park, an amalgamation of the Knysna National Lake Area and the Wilderness and Tsitsikamma National Parks, lies along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. It is home to Knysna's famous indigenous forest, elephants and rare seahorse.
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Garden Route National Park (20)

The 1,210 km2 (470 sq mi) Garden Route National Park, an amalgamation of the Knysna National Lake Area and the Wilderness and Tsitsikamma National Parks, lies along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world. It is home to Knysna's famous indigenous forest, elephants and rare seahorse.

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Desert flora landscape in the Karoo National Park Karoo National Park (11)
Home to a fascinating variety of wildlife and desert flora amid hot and arid semi-desert conditions and scenery, the 768 square kilometres (297 sq mi) Karoo National Park is located in the Karoo region of the Western Cape province, near the town of Beaufort West. The Park is also home to the Quagga breeding project.
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Karoo National Park (11)

Home to a fascinating variety of wildlife and desert flora amid hot and arid semi-desert conditions and scenery, the 768 square kilometres (297 sq mi) Karoo National Park is located in the Karoo region of the Western Cape province, near the town of Beaufort West. The Park is also home to the Quagga breeding project.

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Kalahari desert landscape in the Kgalagadi National Park Kgalagadi National Park (4)
Straddling the border between South Africa and Botswana and nestling against the Namibian border, the 38,000 sq km (15,000 sq mi) Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is situated in the most northern corner of the Northern Cape. Part of the Kalahari desert, it offers spectacular landscapes simmering under the desert sun.
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Kgalagadi National Park (4)

Straddling the border between South Africa and Botswana and nestling against the Namibian border, the 38,000 sq km (15,000 sq mi) Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is situated in the most northern corner of the Northern Cape. Part of the Kalahari desert, it offers spectacular landscapes simmering under the desert sun.

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Giraffes in the Kruger National Park Kruger National Park (3)
Sprawling across nearly 20,000 sq km of hot bushveld in the far northeast of South Africa, the world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of the finest game sanctuaries in the world, housing almost every species of wildlife found in Southern Africa. Truly the flagship of all South Africa national parks, a breathtaking experience.
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Kruger National Park (3)

Sprawling across nearly 20,000 sq km of hot bushveld in the far northeast of South Africa, the world-renowned Kruger National Park is one of the finest game sanctuaries in the world, housing almost every species of wildlife found in Southern Africa. Truly the flagship of all South Africa national parks, a breathtaking experience.

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Mapungubwe Hill in the Mapungubwe National park Mapungubwe National Park (1)
Located in the remote north of the limpopo province at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, where the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana come together, the 28,000 ha Mapungubwe National Park is home to the location of a lost civilization that prospered in the region between 1200 and 1270 AD.
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Mapungubwe National Park (1)

Located in the remote north of the limpopo province at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, where the borders of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana come together, the 28,000 ha Mapungubwe National Park is home to the location of a lost civilization that prospered in the region between 1200 and 1270 AD.

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Giraffes in the Marakele National Park Marakele National Park (2)
The location of the 670 sq km (260 sq mi) Marakele National Park can be found in the Waterberg mountains near Thabazimbi in the Limpopo province, approximately 250 km north of Johannesburg. Next to 4 of the Big 5 (no Buffalos), it is home to the largest colony of Cape Griffon Vultures in the world (around 800 breeding pairs).
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Marakele National Park (2)

The location of the 670 sq km (260 sq mi) Marakele National Park can be found in the Waterberg mountains near Thabazimbi in the Limpopo province, approximately 250 km north of Johannesburg. Next to 4 of the Big 5 (no Buffalos), it is home to the largest colony of Cape Griffon Vultures in the world (around 800 breeding pairs).

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Red Hartebeest antelopes in the Mokala National Park Mokala National Park (7)
Known for its ambiance of peacefulness and seclusion, the 197 sq km (76 sq mi) Mokala National Park lies in the Northern Cape province about 80 km (49 mi) south-west of Kimberley, in the middle of a beautifully varied landscape of impressive hills and wide ranging plains. It is known for its beautiful Camel Thorn trees.
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Mokala National Park (7)

Known for its ambiance of peacefulness and seclusion, the 197 sq km (76 sq mi) Mokala National Park lies in the Northern Cape province about 80 km (49 mi) south-west of Kimberley, in the middle of a beautifully varied landscape of impressive hills and wide ranging plains. It is known for its beautiful Camel Thorn trees.

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Herd of Mountain Zebras in the Mountain Zebra National Park Mountain Zebra National Park (13)
Established to preserve the almost extinct Mountain Zebra population, the 284 sq km (110 sq mi) Mountain Zebra National Park is situated in the Eastern Cape midlands, about 25 km west of the town of Cradock. Next to its growing herd of Mountain Zebras the Park is also home to the endangered Black Rhino.
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Mountain Zebra National Park (13)

Established to preserve the almost extinct Mountain Zebra population, the 284 sq km (110 sq mi) Mountain Zebra National Park is situated in the Eastern Cape midlands, about 25 km west of the town of Cradock. Next to its growing herd of Mountain Zebras the Park is also home to the endangered Black Rhino.>

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Wild flowers spectacle in the Namaqua National Park Namaqua National Park (9)
Home to one of the most incredible wild flower spectacles in the world, the 700 sq km (270 sq mi) Namaqua National Park can be found in the Northern Cape Namaqualand region, about 138 km south of Port Nolloth with the Atlantic Ocean as its western border. Fields upon fields of beautiful flowers appear with every spring.
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Namaqua National Park (9)

Home to one of the most incredible wild flower spectacles in the world, the 700 sq km (270 sq mi) Namaqua National Park can be found in the Northern Cape Namaqualand region, about 138 km south of Port Nolloth with the Atlantic Ocean as its western border. Fields upon fields of beautiful flowers appear with every spring.

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The majestic Table Mountain in Table Mountain National Park Table Mountain National Park (14)
Situated on the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape province and home to Signal Hill, Lions Head, Devils Peak, the Twelve Apostles and the majestic Table Mountain itself, the four sections of the Table Mountain National Park extend along the length of the Peninsula, from Cape Point in the south, to Signal Hill in the north.
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Table Mountain National Park (14)

Situated on the Cape Peninsula in the Western Cape province and home to Signal Hill, Lions Head, Devils Peak, the Twelve Apostles and the majestic Table Mountain itself, the four sections of the Table Mountain National Park extend along the length of the Peninsula, from Cape Point in the south, to Signal Hill in the north.

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Landscape in the Tankwa Karoo National Park Tankwa Karoo National Park (10)
Hugging the borders of the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces, the 1,436 sq km ( 554 sq mi) Tankwa Karoo National Park lies 70 km west of the town of Sutherland in one of the driest regions of the country, roughly a 4 hours drive (270km) from Cape Town. A place of such great beauty, it will take your breath away.
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Tankwa Karoo National Park (10)

Hugging the borders of the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces, the 1,436 sq km ( 554 sq mi) Tankwa Karoo National Park lies 70 km west of the town of Sutherland in one of the driest regions of the country, roughly a 4 hours drive (270km) from Cape Town. A place of such great beauty, it will take your breath away.

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Langebaan lagoon in the West Coast National Park West Coast National Park (22)
Home to the world renown Langebaan Lagoon wetland region, the 275 sq km (106 sq mi) West Coast National Park can be found along the west of the Western Cape province coast, about 100 km north of Cape Town and only a short distance south of Saldanha bay. The Park is well known for its extraordinary migratory bird life.
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West Coast National Park (22)

Home to the world renown Langebaan Lagoon wetland region, the 275 sq km (106 sq mi) West Coast National Park can be found along the west of the Western Cape province coast, about 100 km north of Cape Town and only a short distance south of Saldanha bay. The Park is well known for its extraordinary migratory bird life.

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Fish River Canyon in the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld National Park Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (5)
Spread out on both sides of the border between Namibia and South Africa, the 6,045 sq km Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park with its vast mountain desert landscape is where the Richtersveld World Heritage Site and the Fish River canyon, second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, can be found.
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Ais-Ais Richtersveld National Park (5)

Spread out on both sides of the border between Namibia and South Africa, the 6,045 sq km Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park with its vast mountain desert landscape is where the Richtersveld World Heritage Site and the Fish River canyon, second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, can be found.

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Experience the beauty and diversity of the National Parks in South Africa, the following is a playlist of videos comprising 23 national parks, showing their unparalleled diversity of adventure tourism opportunities including game viewing, bush walks, canoeing and exposure to cultural and historical experiences. Enjoy!!

View the play list by clicking on the menu sign in the left-hand top corner of the image, next to the title.

Our world renown National Parks truly are places of thrilling wildlife encounters, Just watch this unbelievable video "Battle at Kruger".

Millions of people have seen it. It's about a battle between a pride of Lions, two Crocodiles and a herd of Buffalos about a baby Buffalo calf.

It was witnessed and video'd by tourists Jason Schlossberg and David Budzinski in September 2004 at a watering hole near Pretoriuskop Camp in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

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General information,...

South Africa 's national parks offer visitors an overwhelming diversity of Africa experiences, such as guided game viewing safaris, self drive safaris, game viewing drives at night, guided bush walks, bird watching, 4x4 trails, culinary delights under an open all stars African night sky, and cultural and historical encounters, to name but a few.

Game drive versus Rhino in one of South Africa 's national parks
copyright © South African tourism
Game drive versus Rhino in one of South Africa 's national parks

You can even learn how to become an honorary ranger, or how to take part in organized conservation events within the Parks. Many game and nature reserves offer special courses under the guidance of trained guides and rangers.

Characteristic landscape of the Golden Gate Highlands National park
copyright © South African tourism
Characteristic landscape of the Golden Gate Highlands National park

Most of the national parks in South Africa offer a wide variety of accommodation types and standards, from the grassroots adventure type tents to self-catering chalets and five star luxury lodges, in either arid, coastal, mountain or bushveld habitats, depending on which National Park you are visiting.

The semi-arid habitat of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the southern Kalahari desert
copyright © South African tourism
The semi-arid habitat of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the southern Kalahari desert

Accommodation facilities of all the national parks combined, comprise a total of 6,000 beds and 1,000 camping and caravan sites, which can accommodate almost 12,000 overnight guests. Accommodation, ablution and self catering facilities are serviced and cleaned by staff of the Park on a daily basis.

The Augrabies Falls, second largest in Africa after the Victoria falls
copyright © South African tourism
The Augrabies Falls, second largest in Africa after the Victoria falls

Most of the rest-camps in the National Parks have retail and restaurant facilities. Fuel is usually available in all the main rest-camps or on the Park periphery. You can visit the parks with any brand or make of car, the roads are usually well maintained, including the gravel roads.

Quenching a great thirst
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Elephant quenching a great thirst

Apart from the National Parks, there are other important nature and wildlife conservation areas and projects in the form of Nature / Wildlife parks controlled by provincial and municipal authorities and the many privately owned game reserves.

The unforgiving and yet so awesome and dazzlingly beautiful landscape of the Great Karoo
copyright © South African tourism
The unforgiving and yet so awesome and dazzlingly beautiful landscape of the Great Karoo

Kruger National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park and Table Mountain National Park are three of the best known and most visited national parks in South Africa. Proclaimed in 1898, Kruger National Park is the oldest and largest one, covering an area of approximately 20,000 sq km.

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