the land of
Being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, South Africa is a perfect location for wildlife enthusiasts. About 10% of all known bird and fish species and 6% of all known mammal and reptile species live here.
Over 800 bird species are found here and a large number of those are (near) endemic. Most of these endemics live in the Fynbos or Karoo regions. On land the Big 5 are one of the major attractions, but there are so much more to look out for. An abundance of antelope species, 5 different monkey species, 8 cat and 6 dog species and many more mammal species.
Even on the reptiles, South Africa has the highest diversity on the African continent, boasting over 350 different lizard, snake, crocodile, tortoise, turtle and chameleon species. In fact, the Cape has the richest diversity of tortoises in the world.
The many national parks, game and nature reserves offer excellent venues to experience this richness in biodiversity.
With over 800 different bird species, South Africa hosts about one tenth of all the species in the world. Many birds of prey, Sunbirds, Bustards, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, Hummingbirds, Flamingos, Parrots, Weaverbirds, Woodpeckers and many more. The most iconic of all are the African Penguins, Ostriches and the Hornbills.
SHARKS & RAYS
Over 60 sharks and rays, one tenth of all species, can be found in South Africa. The two ocean currents provide rich waters, filled with live. When cage diving, you are most likely to see the Great White, Bronze Whale Shark, Cow Shark and Mako Shark. And in the kelp forests you will find smaller, rarer shark and ray species.
Insects usually have a not-so-pleasant reputation, mostly because we thing about many legs, strange-looking animals that bite and sting. And yes, some of that is true, but there is also an enormous beauty to be found in insects. With almost 6000 different species, this is a numerous group. Take a moment, get a closer look and discover there overwhelming beauty.
About 250 different mammal species roam the South African land and seas. The most iconic are the Big 5, the big cats and the big antelope. Very impressive to see up close or in big herds. But many species are shy, small and/or nocturnal and hard to spot, like the Pangolin, Aardvark, Brown Hyena, Aardwolf and Black-footed Cat. Half the fun is the search.
Here you will find the richest diversity of reptiles on the African continent with over 350 different species. With just one crocodile and two dozen turtle species, the majority are lizards and snakes. Some of which have absolutely beautiful colorations. Greens, reds, yellows and all sorts of patterns. Careful though, some are poisonous and pack a mean bite.