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Bucketlist South Africa: The best wildlife encounters

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By @OL_tours, September 8, 2014

It’s no secret that South Africa is a paradise for up-close wildlife encounters. You’ll be able to see the Big 5, the oceans are full of live such as whales, sharks and dolphins.
Our tours are full of unforgettable experiences, below is the ultimate bucket-list of the most extraordinary encounters with the most unique animals you can find in South Africa and Mozambique.

Camping in Kruger Park

Spot the Big 5 & camp in the Kruger National Park

Go on a spectacular game drive and spend the night in a tent in the middle of Kruger National Park, this is the best and most enjoyable way to experience the African bush, because this way you can hear the sounds of the bush at night; howling hyenas, roaring lions and the deep rumble of communicating elephants. Closer to nature you can not get!

Cage diving with crocodiles

Go cage diving with crocodiles

At the Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn you can go cage diving with crocodiles. These massive crocodiles swim straight at you, staring you in the eyes as they poke their noses in the cage. It’s as if they are challenging you to touch them to see what will happen! The way they lie still and silently stare at you is really creepy!

Baited shark dive – Aliwal Shoal

Dive with sand tiger sharks – without a cage!

Aliwal Shoal is best known as one of the best places in the world where you can safely dive outside of a cage with several species of sharks, including tiger sharks, zambezi sharks, hammerheads, blacktip reef sharks and sand tiger sharks (ragged tooth shark). The “baited shark dive’ is an experience not to be missed. In one single dive you can be surrounded by up to 15 to 20 sharks.

Rhino walk in Swaziland

Go on an exciting Rhino Walk in Swaziland

In Hlane Royal National Park, it is possible to get up close with the white rhino on a very exciting safari, called a ‘Rhino Walk’. Tracking a rhino is not an easy thing to do: they can smell people from a distance of 800m. But because they have very bad eye-sight, you can get much closer to them (within a few meters) under the guidance of an experienced guide. During the walk you can also encounter elephants, giraffes and antelopes. Truly an experience not to be missed!

Swim with walvishaaien

Swimming with whale sharks

On an Ocean Safari you can snorkel with the giant plankton-eating whale shark. The village of Tofo in Mozambique is one of the best places in the world to do this. The sight of a 10 meter long dark spot just below the surface is already impressive, but to jump in the water and snorkel next to this giant, is much more intimidating. A truly unforgettable experience! During the right season, you could also see dolphins and even humpback whales.

Diving with mantas in Tofo, Mozambique

Scuba diving with manta rays

The dive site Manta Reef is listed several times as one of the top diving destinations in the world. Here you can dive among dozens of mantas. With a wingspan of up to 7 feet makes these mantas giant animals. They come up very close to you as they soar gracefully through the water.

Riding an ostrich :-)

Ride on an ostrich in Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world, with thousands of these special birds here. Visit an ostrich farm where you can watch them in their natural surroundings, or even take a ride on the back of an adult ostrich. Or bake a super large omelet and stand with your full weight on an egg without breaking it!

Swimming with pinguins

Swim with African penguins

Visit the comic colony of African Penguins at Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town. You can watch penguins waddling and swimming from a distance, or you can jump into the water yourself and swim with the penguins, which is of course much more fun than just watching them! This is a wonderful place to swim; where gigantic rocks have created natural pools.

Playing with lion cubs

Play with lion cubs

Play with little lion cubs at the Lion Park, near Pretoria. This is a unique experience that you will never forget, they are so cute that you would want to take them home afterwards! It is also possible here to go into the park on a mini-safari where you can see many African animals up close and even feed giraffes by hand.

Cage diving in Hermanus

Cage diving with great white shark in Hermanus

Cage diving with the infamous great white shark is on the bucket list of many people, and it is also an experience that is not to be missed when visiting South Africa. Most cage dives are done between the islands that creates the narrow channel called ‘Shark Alley’. The sharks come here for hunting seals. The day starts early with breakfast in the port of Hermanus where you then step aboard the boat. After a short drive you will climb into the cage where you will feel the adrenaline pump through your veins as a huge shark comes straight at you with a gaping mouth full of razor sharp teeth!

Whale watching in Hermanus

Spot whales from shore

Between July and November you can see whales up close without even having to step onto a boat. The cozy harbour town of Hermanus is known as one of the best places in the world for whale watching from the shore. The whales migrate all the way from Antarctica into the bay her, to breed. So, when you hear the bugle bellowing in town you know that the whales have been spotted! Often you can see dozens off the coast. They constantly spray air from their blow holes as they wallow in the water and occasionally jump in the air as they breach.

Turtle watching in Sodwana

Sea Turtle Hatching & Nesting

During the nights of November and December, the leatherback and loggerhead turtles leave the safety of the sea to lay their eggs on the beaches of Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. Two months later, the hatchlings scramble from their nests and scurry to the ocean, where only two out of a thousand will survive to grow into an adult where they will return to the exact same beach where they were born to produce the next generation.

  • September 8, 2014