Top 10 National Parks in South Africa

South Africa's National Parks (SANParks) are home to some of the country's best and most endangered plants and wildlife, making them a popular tourist destination for international and local travellers. SANParks manages a system of the country's Parks, all of which represent the indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage of the country.

Most of the Parks have overnight tourist facilities with an unrivalled variety of accommodation in arid, coastal, mountain and bushveld habitats. To help you experience the splendour of these natural resources we've put together a list of the Top 10 National Parks in South Africa.

  • Kruger National Park

    1. Kruger National Park

    The Kruger National Park is the second-largest game reserve in Africa and the largest in South Africa. Stretching over nearly 2 million hectares of pristine landscape, the Kruger National Park is the flagship of South African National Parks offering a wildlife experience that ranks amongst the best in the world. This park is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the best of South Africa's wildlife and nature.

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  • Addo Elephant National Park

    2. Addo Elephant National Park

    Addo Elephant National Park is situated on the banks of the Sunny River Valley, just a one-hour drive from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. It is the third largest national park in South Africa and is home to the largest populations of elephants with over 600 elephants living in the park.

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  • Garden Route National Park

    3. Garden Route National Park

    Situated on South Africa's South Coast, and along the most beautiful stretch of coastline in the world, is the Garden Route Park. This park was developed through the amalgamation of the Tsitsikamma, Wilderness Park and the Knysna Lakes Section.

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  • Table Mountain National Park

    4. Table Mountain National Park

    The Table Mountain National Park forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and stretches from the north of Cape Town down the Cape Peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope. The park includes the Kirstenbosch Botanical garden, the only botanical garden included in a National Park.

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  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park

    5. Golden Gate Highlands National Park

    Located at the foothills of Lesotho's Maluti Mountains and close to the town of Clarens in the Free State, the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is renowned for its extraordinary landscape and abundance of caves and shelters. It is equidistant from Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein making it a central and accessible destination for guests.

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  • Mapungubwe Botanical Gardens

    6. Mapungubwe National Park

    Located near the Kolope River in the heart of Limpopo, the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is rich in history and scenic beauty. It is the ideal location for anyone interested in the park's wildlife and birds, to those in search of serenity, identity and the extraordinary history of this World Heritage Site.

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  • Augrabies Waterfall National Park

    7. Augrabies Waterfall National Park

    Augrabies' name is derived from the Khoi word "Aukoerebis", or Place of Great Noise. The Augrabies Waterfall National Park is one of South Africa's six national parks in the Northern Cape and is popular for its majestic 56-metre waterfall, which cascades to a thundering sound that is unforgettable, and is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge.

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  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier National park

    8. Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park

    Launched in 2000, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park is Africa's first formerly declared trans-border conservation area. Situated on the border of South Africa and Botswana, this park is the coming together of two countries where the red dunes and scrub fade into infinity and herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland and blue wildebeest, and where imposing camel thorn trees provide shade for huge black-mane lions and vantage points for leopard and many raptors.

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  • Karoo National Park

    9. Karoo National Park

    Just 12km from the town of Beaufort West in the heart of the Great Karoo in the Western Cape, is the Karoo National Park, which is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains. The Great Karoo is a vast and unforgiving landscape of which the Karoo National Park is but a small portion. Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions.

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  • Namaqua National Park

    10. Namaqua National Park

    Namaqua National Park is in one of only two arid biodiversity hotspots. Proclaimed in 2002, the park was created to conserve the rich diversity of succulent plants. The parks' distinctive flora, like the daisies and the Namaqua Flower, attracts visitors during blooming season. In August and September, the dusty valleys are transformed into a wonderland, carpeted with wildflowers. With its winter rainfall, it houses the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world, and more than a 1000 of its 3500 plant species unique to the park only.

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First Car Rental has branches conveniently located across South Africa, at major airports and in cities, within easy proximity to the Top 10 National Gardens in South Africa. Get a car hire quote online now, and enjoy South Africa's spectacular parks.

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