Fresh mountain air, the sound of waves crashing against cliffs, a baby elephant taking its first steps … Sound appealing? Here are our top trips and attractions in the Western Cape for nature and wildlife lovers.
Find the Big 5 and more at Aquila Private Game Reserve
Located a mere two hours from Cape Town, Aquila Private Game Reserve is the perfect getaway for a quick escape from the city. Whether you’re jetting in for a short visit or leisurely weekend, the reserve offers full-day, half-day and overnight safari packages to fit any type of time constraints.
Added offerings that make Aquila Private Game Reserve a perfect getaway for nature lovers is that guided safaris don’t only happen on game drives, but with quad bikes and even on horseback. Imagine the thrill of seeing a pride of lions in the wild without being stuck in an air-conditioned car. Exciting, isn’t it?
Apart from the 10 000ha-conservancy on which elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino and leopard – as well as a significant amount of other wild game – roam freely, the reserve is also deeply committed to animal rescue and conservation. The Aquila Animal Rescue and Conservation Centre (ARC) acts as a sanctuary for injured animals or those that need special care before being released into the wild again. It also serves as a home for animals who won’t be able to be released again, such as lions saved from canned hunting projects.
The ARC is also home to an education centre aimed at sharing information about ecosystem synergy systems as well as rhino conservation.
Learn more about Aquila Private Game Reserve, their offerings and initiatives here.
See the southernmost tip of Africa where two oceans meet at Cape Agulhas
Located about three hours from Cape Town, Cape Agulhas is home to Africa’s southernmost tip as well as the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
Although of great ecological significance, the tip of Africa isn’t marked by plunging cliffs or raging waves. It features a curving coastline upon a rocky beach, with a survey marker identifying the official dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
This doesn’t mean the surrounding area doesn’t offer breathtaking scenery. The Agulhas Plain (about 2 411km2) is believed to have been part of Antarctica some 900-million years back. Today the region characterised by vast sand plains, wetlands, and extensive limestone and calcareous sand dunes allowing indigenous fauna and flora to flourish. In recent years, winemaking has proven an extremely successful industry to the region due to the mineral-rich soil and a moderate climate.
Plan a getaway to one of the picturesque towns in the region, and discover a few fun activities enroute to the meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean at the tip of Africa. Visit Cape Agulhas Tourism here to learn more.
Visit Cape Point, World Heritage site and nature enthusiast’s paradise
Cape Point Nature Reserve, only an hour from Cape Town, is a nature enthusiast’s paradise and offers visitors some of the most breathtaking mountain and ocean scenery in the world.
Spanning across 7 750ha the area is so rich in indigenous fauna and flora, it is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. The reserve alone features 1 100 plant species that don’t grow anywhere else in the world – an incredible feat for biodiversity. The area is also home to various animals such as antelope, baboons, ostriches, Cape mountain zebras and more than 250 species of birds.
When visiting Cape Point, be sure to visit the viewing point below the old lighthouse. Using the Flying Dutchman funicular up the steep slope, the viewing point towers about 200m above the ocean below.
There are also a number of short walking trails leading to beautiful beaches and viewpoints promising dramatic views from sheer cliffs. For longer hikes, there are overnight hikes or a full-day shipwreck trail at which you can see a few of the 26 recorded shipwrecks around Cape Point.
Cape Point may be considered as one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, but it offers a hive of activities for nature, animal and adventure lovers alike. Read more about all activities and plan your trip to Cape Point here.