What would winter be without bush breaks and wilderness holidays? Our favourite escapades right now leap off the pages in the latest issue of Wild magazine.

From special outings in the West Coast and Namaqua National Parks to enjoy a unique flower season, to a glam eco-escape in the Klein Karoo – our team visit unusual places and have the time of our lives. For those truly active weekend warriors, how about a mountain hike in the Boland and a trio of trails in Swaziland to get the blood circulation going?

If you’re heading to Kruger we fill you in on dynamic wild dogs and enigmatic bushbabies. Managed to get a booking for Kgalagadi? Look out for those chirpy white-browed sparrow-weavers, they’ll make your day.

Flowers special

  • Just like the flowers in Namaqua National Park, luxury safari tents pop up during spring to charm and delight, before disappearing for another year.
  • On the Steenbok Trail in the Postberg section of West Coast National Park, it’s a challenge to keep moving. Think photo-stops, picnic lunches and breaks to lap up the floral splendour.
  • Postberg is open from August to September only, when flower season peaks. We showcase a stunning portfolio by a conservation photography initiative based in Rome, who spent 30 days on an expedition in the park.

Our other favourite destinations right now

  • Swaziland is smaller than Gauteng, but its trio of Big Game Parks display an extraordinary diversity. Lace up your hiking boots on a foot safari and feel the wildness dial go up to ten.
  • Gamkaberg Nature Reserve’s reputation as one of Africa’s finest is well deserved. High spirits are guaranteed whether you indulge in a sky-high picnic, scramble up a forested gorge or simply chill in Tierkloof Eco Lodge.
  • We explore the 70 000-hectare Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and the formidable Boland Hiking Trail. On the Orchard Route, from Nuweberg to the Boesmanskloof Hut, we have a daunting encounter.
  • A musical weekend aims to raise the profile of Golden Gate Highlands National Park, and show it has the beauty and majesty of the Drakensberg – without the crowds.

Insider’s look at nature

  • Wild dogs are highly endangered and the rarest carnivore in South Africa. They are dynamic and go where they will. How do we protect them?
  • With their large glowing eyes and wailing cries, bushbabies are creatures of myth. The little nocturnal feeders (yes, they do look like furry gremlins!) are cute and often spotted in rest camps such as Skukuza, Letaba and Punda Maria in Kruger National Park.
  • Table Mountain National Park is one of the easiest and most rewarding places in Africa to see the charismatic peregrine falcons of the Cape peninsula. What makes these birds so special?
  • Happy chappies: The cheerful chatter of White-browed sparrow-weavers is highly entertaining at many a picnic site in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. By singing their shared song in chorus, they also drive trespassers away.

PLUS: Exclusive interview

How does SANParks see future tourism and how does the organisation aim to get more people into parks? Wild talks to the woman in charge of visitor experience. Her take-home message: we manage the best real estate in the world. Once seen, you’ll always want to come back, says Hapiloe Sello, the Managing Executive for Tourism and Marketing.

Read more online.