African Wildlife

Lion are one of the Big Five, along with buffalo, elephant, rhino and leopard. Photo courtesy Arno Meintjes

wildlife in the cape 

Although Cape Town and the Western Cape are probably not the best places to experience a safari (Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces are better known for that), it is possible to have an encounter with South Africa’s big game not far from the Mother City.

Aquila Private Game Reserve

Located in the arid Little Karoo, the four-star Aquila Private Game Reserve enjoys year-round sunshine, making it ideally suited to game viewing. Several safari options cater for even the most demanding travel itinerary:

* Day game drive safari – morning and evening in open 4x4 vehicles with rangers
* Day horseback or quad-bike safari – two hours
* Day combo safari
* Standard overnight safari
* Fly-in safari (one day)
* Fly-in safari (two days)

Accommodation options include:
* Premier luxury chalets
* Luxury chalets
* Bush cottages

Over the years, Aquila Private Game Reserve has reintroduced wildlife to the Cape region. Today it is proud to offer visitors an opportunity to experience the magic of a Big Five safari (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant). The reserve also educates visitors about the plight of free-ranging cheetah and their endangered status. Aquila’s cheetahs were bred in captivity and do not feature on the game drive.

For accommodation and safari combos, please call Cape Town Tourism on +27 (0)21 487 6800 or email us at to make a booking for you.

Fairy Glen

The closest Big Five, malaria-free safari venue to Cape Town is Fairy Glen, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. This private game reserve is set amid indigenous fynbos vegetation, and offers visitors game drives, bush safaris and the opportunity to view Khoisan rock art.

Complementing the famous Big Five at Fairy Glen are blue wildebeest, giraffe, eland, zebra, lynx, oryx and the endangered bontebok. Smaller species include klipspringer, nyala, rhebok, steenbok and a variety of African birds species like the endangered Verreaux’s eagle (also sometimes known as the black eagle or “aquila”, after its scientific name, Aquila verreauxii.

Game drives, nature walks and horseback safaris take guests closer to resident wildlife and a provide a memorable African bush experience. Meals are included in basic game safari charges. Overnight guests may choose between standard and luxury accommodation in combination with game drives. Children aged 5-12 are catered for at half price.

Why not combine business and pleasure by making use of Fairy Glen’s conference facilities and team-building programme, which caters for a maximum of 80 delegates?

Inverdoorn Game Reserve

The four-star Inverdoorn Game Reserve is set at the gateway to the Karoo, a vast expanse of arid South African landscape in the hinterland.

Inverdoorn’s air-conditioned bungalows come with mini-bars and private terraces, while thatched guesthouses are better suited to families. Inverdoorn also offers a shop, quad bikes, a golf range, pool, internet access, television, visits to rock art sites, conference facilities and a helicopter pad.

Drakenstein Lion Park

At Drakenstein Lion Park visitors are afforded the once-in-a-lifetime experience of sleeping among the lions! The park provides lifetime care to captive-born lions and takes in lions in distress.

The park lies half-an-hour from Cape Town and is open daily from 9h30-17h00, but is closed on Christmas Day. Admission is R45 for adults and R25 for children. Group rates are available on request for pre-booked groups.

Lions generally spend a great deal of time sleeping. However, they do become quite active at feeding times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 16h00. After spending time with Africa’s largest felines, you may feel the urge to help these beautiful creatures. With this idea in mind, Drakenstein Lion Park will gladly accept donations that contribute towards a portion of the care costs for your adopted lion. Each adoptive “parent” is acknowledged on the information board at the park and on the park website. Adoption fees are R1000 (approximately: $US135, €95, £85), renewable annually. A once-off donation allows you to adopt a lion for the rest of its life.

Clara Anna Fontein

Clara Anna Fontein private game reserve and country lodge stakes its unique claim as the only game reserve within the greater Cape metropolitan area.

This 20ha private game reserve in the Durbanville wine valley is 30 minutes away from Cape Town. It’s home to some of the Western Cape’s last remaining indigenous renosterveld vegetation, where zebra, bontebok, wildebeest, eland, ostrich, blue wildebeest, springbok, African wild cat and grey rhebok are found.

Game drives depart at 10h00 and end with a brunch in the bush deli.

You could opt to spend a few nights in one of the reserve’s 18 luxury tents in the camp and watch the game grazing a stone’s throw from your “front door”. All tents have en-suite bathrooms too! Four country cottages or eco-cottages with spectacular views over the dam and vineyards are provided for those who prefer more sturdy accommodation. The venue is also perfect for corporate functions, conferences and team-building activities.

Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park in South Africa’s south-western corner takes its name from the iconic Table Mountain, backdrop to the city of Cape Town.

Table Mountain National Park hosts 4-million visitors every year and stretches from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south. It operates as an open-access park and conservation fees are only payable at Cape Point, the penguin colony at Boulders and Silvermine.

The park’s Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point region is home to a variety of pelagic birds, zebra and eland, reptiles, baboons and smaller mammals. The marine biodiversity on each coastline is distinctive and governed by the difference in temperature between the warmer Indian Ocean and colder Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Point offers visitors a choice of quaint bays, beaches, hills and valleys to explore. For a bird’s eye view, take the funicular railway to the top of the point and walk to the lookout point. There are many hiking trails around the point where a host of bird species and flora thrive.

Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre

Stellenbosch’s famous Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre is home not only to giraffe, but also offers shelter to more than 50 other African fauna species, providing visitors with instant access to a variety of wildlife and bird species.

Privately-owned Giraffe House is an ideal venue for outdoor family outings, during which children and adults are educated about indigenous animals and the importance of protecting them. School groups and guided tours are catered for by prior arrangement.

Jungle gyms and a jumping castle make Giraffe House perfect for kids’ birthday parties. A refreshment kiosk and vending machines provide snacks and drinks, but picnic baskets are always welcome.

Giraffe House is open from 9h00-17h00 seven days a week. Entry fees are: R45 for adults, R30 for pensioners and R25 for children aged 2-15.

Khoisan rock art is a central part of South African heritage. Photo courtesy of moron noodle

A zebra gets up close with one of the Big Five. Photo courtesy of Crouch 24/7

The eland is one of the many animals that call the Table Mountain National Park home. Photo courtesy of ralph pina

Quenti Alpaca & Mill ( incorporating Cape Alpaca Products)

Alpaca Farm / Mill & Studio , come visit our beautiful herd of gentle and inquisitive alpaca and then see how their luxurious fleece is converted into knitting yarn and garments.

Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary

Do you want to get up close and personal with our beautiful lions, tigers, black leopard and caracals? Get to experience their unique nature, learn their individual stories, and help us to make a difference for animals worldwide.

Pete's Adventure Farm

Horseback riding in a wildlife sanctuary with zebras, giraffes, sprinkbok, eland, kudu, gemsbok and many more.

Great White Shark Experiences

Great White sharks are some of Cape Town’s most famous and respected marine inhabitants. Love them or fear them, getting up close and personal with a great white is one of the most adrenaline-fueled experiences you can encounter while visiting the Cape.

African Wildlife

Although Cape Town and the Western Cape are probably not the best places to experience a safari (Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces are better known for that), it is possible to have an encounter with South Africa’s big game not far from the Mother City.


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