4 Fun Places to See African Wildlife Up Close in South Africa

Along the Garden Route that runs along the coast of South Africa, there are many animal parks where visitors have the chance to go on educational tours and get up close to many beautiful African animals. We had a fantastic experience driving along the Garden Route for 2 weeks and stopping at many parks along the way. It was a big check off my bucket-list to finally get up close to cheetahs, lions, monkeys, and so many other wild animals. So here are my favorite 4 parks that we visited!


Tenikwa is a rehabilitation center for big cats where you can learn all about the animals and how we must protect them. They have cheetahs, lions, leopards, and many more incredible cats that you can get right up close to. We loved our tour and learned so much about how these cats are endangered and need to be protected. We even had the chance to go into the cages with some of the smaller cats and the cheetahs!


Monkeyland is a big forest that houses about 550 monkeys of so many different species. You get to go on a tour through the forest and experience the monkeys in their habitat –  swinging from trees, eating fruits, and interacting with each other. They are such cheeky animals and we had to watch our belongings otherwise they might just snatch them. My favorite monkeys were the gibbons which enjoyed their time swinging in the trees and saying hello to people. We loved it so much that we visited it 3 times!


At the Knysna Elephant Park, we had the chance to meet the great African elephants! Inside the vast park, they take care of the elephants and protect them from poaching.  We got to feed the elephants, pet them, and walk around with them. I loved being so close to them and having special time by myself.


We had such a great time exploring the enormous Birds of Eden sanctuary, one of the biggest aviaries in the world, and seeing all the amazing and exotic birds that we have never seen before! At the park, you can roam around freely and see all the birds through the trees and flying around you. At first we thought that we would not be able to see the birds up close, but when we stared walking around we realized that they were not afraid of humans.  In fact, they were super friendly –  one bird even tried to bite our camera lens.

We had such a fantastic time exploring all the parks on the Garden Route and seeing all the animals! There are too many other amazing places along the Garden Route and throughout South Africa to write about in one post, so stayed tuned for more!

Have you ever visited the Garden Route? Share your experience!

This post was originally posted on DANDELION MOMS 

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