Visit These 4 Safaris Near Cape Town For Epic Views Of South Africa’s Big Five

By Kelsey Marie


Getting to South Africa is now easier than ever before since United Airlines announced they would be launching direct flights to Cape Town from Newark this December. 

Usually, travelers wishing to get to Cape Town from the tri-state area would have to fly into Johannesburg and then transfer flights to Cape Town. 

This also means venturing to safaris near Cape Town is more accessible to travelers. This way, you can get the gorgeous views of beaches and mountains in Cape Town while also going on a game drive and seeing the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and Cape buffalos).

These 4 nature reserves in Cape Town offer epic safari experiences:

Aquila Private Game Reserve

Only a two-hour drive from Cape Town, Aquila Private Game Reserve is perfect for travelers who don’t have lots of time to spare. 

You can choose from half or full-day safaris but it’s best to check in overnight if you want to see the Big Five.

If you’re interested in seeing the animals up close and personal, you can visit the Animal Rescue Center located on the reserve to spend quality time with rehabilitated animals.

Gondwana Private Game Reserve

Gondwana is a bit further out but totally worth it. Take a four hour drive from Cape Town and enjoy the coastal Garden Route along the way. 

Upon arrival, check into Kwena lodge where you can stay in one of its modern huts or solar-powered tented camp. 

Wake up early for a safari drive and a chance to see the Big Five. You can also go mountain biking and hiking at this reserve.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

If you’re looking for lions or cheetahs, Grootbos isn’t for you. Instead, you’ll find marine life on the 6,200 acres of wilderness. 

To get the full experience, spend a day or two at the Forest Lodge where you can observe over 800 different plant species like proteas, which are found nowhere else in the world. 

Visit in November to spot whales in the bay nearby.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Take a 3.5-hour drive from Cape Town and you’ll experience one of the only reserves on the planet where free-roaming white lions just live in the wild amongst cheetahs, elephants, and zebras.

Travel Noire

Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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