It’s winter, and for many South Africans that means heading to the bush. To get us into the mood, we revisited a Big Five destination near Gauteng, and from there it was all throttles wide open! Take a look at where our road trips took us.
Parks in the spotlight
- The Grey Go-away-bird is a raucous mobster. It is also synonymous with the bushveld.
- Large brown raptors are immensely popular, yet tricky to tell apart. If they’re so big, why are they so hard to identify?
Wild 34 Autumn preview
What a wonderful time of year to explore our parks and reserves! Sunny days still abound and somewhat cooler temperatures make for perfect hiking weather. Draw inspiration from Wild for your next trip – you’ll see there’s no end to the exciting experiences on offer.
Secluded kloofs filled with flowering proteas, mountain paths carved out by donkeys, historical cottages that will transport you back in time … Swartberg and Gamkaberg nature reserves are a world onto their own. Pack the car, grab your Wild Card and follow our itinerary to explore this remote corner of South Africa.
For culture vultures
- Stay in a Basotho hut and learn how traditional healers use medicinal plants.
- Attend a Shangaan festival on a cross-border hiking trail from Kruger.
- There are more wild dogs in northern Kruger than you might think! Wild joins the researchers tracking their movements.
- What do lions mean for Karoo National Park? Mitch Reardon sheds light on the park’s big cats.
The magic of mushrooms
More animal than plant, these incredible organisms play a vital role in the ecosystem.
Pitch your tent
Is camping at De Hoop the ultimate family holiday? Think pristine beaches, mountain-bike trails and a vlei buzzing with birdlife.
Hit the road
- See a different side to Knysna Forest on this self-drive route.
- Our pick of five 4x4 trails to try this year.
New places to stay
- Cederberg: Charming cottages at Algeria are easy on the eye and the pocket.
- Kruger: You’ll feel like you have the park all to yourself at Pafuri Border Camp.
Wild 33 Summer preview
Since the holidays are upon us, do you know where to find the quietest beach in the country? Or if you’d rather visit one of South Africa’s three favourite tourist destinations, first read our insider info.
Parks in the spotlight
Everybody loves the Garden Route, Table Mountain and Kruger National Parks. Chances are you’ll soon be visiting one of these three iconic destinations.
- To get the most out of your Garden Route stay, we have compiled the ultimate 14-day detailed itinerary. From west to east, we explore the lakes, the rivers, the hikes, the forest and the coast. We even show you where to go scuba diving on what must surely be the only designated underwater trail in the world.
- For those of you who will be spending time on Table Mountain, we go behind the scenes to look at two charismatic species you may encounter in the park. What should you do if you see the apex predator?
- In Kruger, we go on a cross-border adventure from Mopani rest camp into Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. Plus we hitch a chopper ride to soar with vultures.
To give the crowds the slip, we suggest you go camping in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. In December? No, we’re not suffering from sunstroke! It is solitary bliss. Read our stories about pitching a tent on the deserted beaches alongside the Gariep, and enjoying the scenery on a leisurely paddle.
African Oystercatchers: We are positively thrilled that they’ve made a remarkable comeback.
Terns: Our picture portfolio will take your breath away. We look at their amazing survival strategies.
If you don’t have a super wide-angle lens to capture a panorama, don’t despair. It’s easy as pie to stitch a series of shots.
Sun-up cycle in Hlane
Karoo morning walk
Riel dancing in Tankwa
Botany: Camel thorn
How this desert superstar shapes the environment
Why South Africa lost the right to the name “acacia”
With so much on offer, thanks to the Wild Card programme, all one needs is a really long vacation. May you be so lucky!
Wild 32 Spring preview
This spring we're celebrating nature in all her finery and paying tribute to the rich heritage preserved in our parks. Let Wild inspire your next holiday – you'll see there are a wealth of wonderful reserves to choose from.
Park in the spotlight
Augrabies is famous for its magnificent waterfalls, but there's lots more to see. We highlight the top 10 reasons to visit this arid park – why not try to tick them all off? It's extra special to see the wilds through the eyes of a child and on a youth outreach programme in Augrabies, Wild learns the value of the Kids in Parks programme.
Treasure hunt in nature
- Wild goes flower-hunting with four botanists in Kruger. The prize? A white flower last seen in 1954.
- In search of champion trees, we explore Mapungubwe National Park.
The 1000km road trip challenge
Where would you go with two tanks of fuel and your Wild Card? Our intrepid adventurers explore three wilderness destinations within a student budget.
Learn more about the mysterious past from rock art, ancient dwellings and remarkable artefacts. Wild chooses three beautiful wilderness destinations where heritage is yours to explore.
Black harrier in focus
This beautiful raptor isn't a common sight, but thanks to a camera project in West Coast National Park, researchers are learning more about their behaviour and biology.
Let's go camping
What better way to connect with nature and your family? Jacques Marais and kids put Grootvadersbosch to the test.
PLUS: Win the Grootvadersbosch Adventure!
Wild 31 Winter Preview
Winter is traditionally time for the bush and the winter issue of Wild is packed with articles to help you make the most of your time in our premier game parks. If you’re not travelling this season, take an armchair holiday and be transported to the wilds with our buffalo photo portfolio.
Park in the spotlight
Many Kruger regulars believe you see even more when you stay put and let the wildlife come to you. That’s why zoom in on two of Kruger’s most special hides.
- Hike the Rim of Africa, from the Cederberg to the Outeniqua mountains.
- Pedal back roads across the Agulhas Plains on an MTB tour.
- Explore abandoned mines in Knysna’s atmospheric Millwood forest.
- Birds are impressive architects, using novel building materials and ergonomic designs. Feast your eyes on these intimate pictures of some of the best nests.
- How do Kgalagadi birds cope with extreme heat? New research reveals interesting insights.
- Winter is breeding time for the wattled crane, one of South Africa’s critically endangered birds.
Wild 30 Autumn Preview
The autumn issue of Wild has plenty of hold-your-breath surprises! For those of you who can’t bear the suspense, here’s a sneak peak at some of the amazing places we visited, from a phoenix-out-of-the-ashes game reserve to a houseboat on an idyllic lagoon.
This past summer, Wild’s lucky photojournalists travelled far and wide to explore destinations that should form part of your year’s planning. If you are a photographer, birder or adventurer, we tell you where to go next and how to satisfy your urges.
Park in the Spotlight
Our wanderlust took us to remote Ithala Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and we are so happy to report that it offers plenty of wildlife action on an exquisite landscape. Yet just forty years ago there was nothing.
Flowers Road Trip from Cape Town
On a West Coast safari, treasures beckon across all seasons. Few places on the planet offer galaxies of stars at night, and gazillions of flowers by day. Just a few hours’ drive from Cape Town, along our amazing west coast, the Namaqua National Park, the newly proclaimed Knersvlakte Nature Reserve and the West Coast National Park lie within easy reach. These three sites are hotspots of global importance and home to the richest bulb flora of any arid region in the world, with an estimated 3 500 plant species having been recorded to date.
Five Star Luxury in Kruger
Wild’s editor visited four of Kruger's private concessions, some of which make a serious dent in your pocket. All of them offer memories that money can't buy.
The Stuff of Thrills
There’s plenty of white-knuckle action in our parks. We pick five derring-do adventures.
- If you had to identify a bird based on one wing only, would you rise to the challenge? Even skilled birders agree that it is a formidable challenge to identify a species by an unknown feather alone. Test your own ID skills.
- A relatively common summer visitor, the Amur falcon now faces a return journey of over 11 000 kilometres to its breeding grounds in eastern Asia, Mongolia and Siberia.
- A new, self-guided birding trail is on the cards at Albert Falls. Wild joins a conservation team on the recce.
- It’s not the grandest, largest and most expensive lens that will change your photography dramatically, but using artificial light in a creative manner.
- Unusual sighting: A Wild Card member was present when a lioness and a crocodile were feeding on a zebra carcass. Although the twosome did not quite snuggle up to each other, they did not seem to mind the companionship either.
Wild 29 Summer 2014/5 Preview
The next issue of Wild is due out just before the start of the holiday season. It may well be our most beautiful issue ever!
Our lineup of great features includes a number of coastal parks and reserves, since that is where many South Africans traditionally spend their summer holiday.
Peace and quiet on the Garden Route
Just a stone’s throw from the N2, at Knysna’s Forest Timber Camping Decks and Goukamma Nature Reserve, Wild gave the crowds the slip.
Exodus from the Mother City
- There’s a forest of wild escapes within an easy drive of Cape Town. Four coastal reserves, three days – just join the dots.
- Head no further than Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, where the latest attraction – ziplining – offers a bird’s eye view of hidden places.
- The eco-cabins at Rocherpan Nature Reserve are proving so popular with birders and those looking for a peaceful chill spot on the West Coast that CapeNature is building more.
- Bontebok National Park: Lang Elsie’s Kraal Rest Camp now boasts new family chalets that are spot-on for a weekend retreat.
- The martial eagle is in trouble, with populations across Africa in decline. Scientists are trying to understand what’s happening in the Kruger National Park.
- Why do birds sometimes attack windows or car mirrors? Are they demented?
- Golden jewels: With their bright yellow coats and cheerful call, orioles personify the joy of summer.
- Photographing in the harsh mid-day sun can lead to excessive contrast and washed out colours, but with a little creativity it's still possible to produce great images. We show you how.
- Witness the kill: Our predator and prey portfolio is a brilliant selection of split second shots. The best wildlife photographers are ever ready, camera on motor drive, for a dramatic encounter.
Wild 28 Spring 2014 Preview
The next issue of Wild is due out early in September. We take a peek between the covers.
Where to go and what to do? If you are yearning for the outdoors, just look where our talented writers and photographers have been.
Karoo National Park
Much more than a stopover, it is the heart of our heartland. We travel to its furthest reaches.
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland
Adventure, adrenalin, ambiance, affordability – Mlilwane gets straight A’s as an action-packed playground.
Need to recharge your batteries? Look no further than one of these five havens of calm.
Only a handful or indigenous forests remain in South Africa, and most of them are situated on Wild Card properties.
Lions in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are facing a potential population crash. A husband and wife team of researchers is spending two years with these famous predators to figure out what’s going on.
- Spell-binding photos of newborns.
- Rain clouds – don’t pack away your camera. Tips to make the most of wet conditions.
Plus Bumper Birding
- Finfoot Trail: To spot a finfoot is a birding dream for many. Imagine seeing them close to city comforts.
- Follow the leader: Large birds often fly in specific formations. How do they avoid collision?
- Name changes: Who gets to make the decisions?
- The sound of spring: The voices of cuckoos are a sure sign that winter is over.
Wild 27 Winter 2014 Preview
To discover the best of nature – in unlikely places – look no further than the winter issue of Wild.
Eco-tourism: Blend in with nature
We give you our pick of 5 Cosy Camps for a closer connection to nature, and introduce you to the new bush lodges at Buffalo Valley.
Garden Route Adventures
Pedal Wilderness, Harkerville and Storms River amidst ancient forests with fern-ringed swimming holes. Catch your breath at cliff-top panoramas overlooking hideaway beaches.
Slackpack with an expert on the Garden Route Trail (5 days, 60 km). You will be indulged by the scenery and learn to understand the language of nature.
Hidden! The secrets beneath Namaqualand's flower feast
Of all the world's deserts, Namaqualand offers the richest diversity of life – plus a food bonanza in spring. We zoom in on the flower carpets to find out what hides in the under-storey.
Visit Mokala NOW
- There's more land for rare animals
- Enjoy gourmet bush meals
- Camp with private facilities
- Stay in the romantic tree house
- Hot pursuit at Tankwa. Throughout the year, flocks of birders descend on our national parks for a friendly weekend competition. Wild played the game at the Tankwa event and while we keenly ticked endemic specials of that arid area, we were in for a surprise.
- My life with Verreaux's eagles. On a stormy day in the Cederberg, two soaring eagles caught themselves a human prey. Over the next three years, zoologist Megan Murgatroyd hiked all over the mountains pursuing them, and witnessed spectacular never-seen-before behaviour.
- When you tackle that next boiled egg for breakfast, pause awhile to reflect on nature's miracle of packaging. With so many shapes, sizes, textures, colours and patterns in birds' eggs, each species has a unique signature.
Also in the line-up
- Photo school: when dust is your friend
- Kruger: report your sightings of wild dogs, tuskers
- See the Big 7, and much more, at Addo
- Know the rules: sightings, hides, lookouts and offroad
Wild 26 Autumn 2014 Preview
When we were putting together the autumn issue of Wild, the notion of “Wilderness” was our inspiration. We visited remote places where the tourism footprint is slight, places where eight best friends can book out the camp, and places where rare animal sightings are likely.
Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Beyond the rugged and remote campsites and chalets, a jaw-dropping world awaits. Make the most of our finest wilderness destination and venture where few have gone. Scott Ramsay shares his pick of hiking trails, 4x4 tracks and viewpoints.
Cape Road Trip
Measuring only 120km from end to end, this small pocket of the southwestern Cape incorporates five very diverse Wild Card parks. It’s fun all the way on a week’s road trip to Vrolijkheid, Grootvadersbosch, Boosmansbos, Bontebok and Marloth.
- Hike Venstervalle in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
- 4x4 in Mapungubwe National Park
- When next you offsaddle at Karoo National Park, make a reservation at Afsaal, a century-old shepherd’s cottage. Then wait for the surprises.
- At Sondzela Backpackers in Swaziland’s Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, you can enjoy tolerant game in one of the most scenic hostel settings in Southern Africa. All you need are a few days, a tank of fuel and as little as R80pp per night.
- In the Garden Route National Park, plug in to life and plug out the devices. Our pick of easy day trails will put a spring in your step.
Fauna & Flora
- Wild goes in search of the elusive brown hyenas of Mountain Zebra National Park.
- Antelopes essentially developed horns for one reason – for males to fight each other. While the girls don’t usually get into brawls, they are sometimes equipped for combat.
- With their XXXL girth and colossal size that dwarfs even elephants, the most impressive silhouettes in the veld belong to the upside-down trees known as baobabs.
- People use the term ‘bird brain’ to imply someone is not very clever, but recent studies have shown that some birds are at least as intelligent as chimpanzees or dolphins.
- Not all swallows and swifts pack their suitcases as summer comes to a close. Several species are practically resident throughout the year.
- Kgalagadi’s many waterholes are the setting for plentiful wildlife interactions and offer excellent opportunities for predator and prey photos. Even when there is no obvious action, keep an eye on the birds – they are ever alert to danger.
- When a cold front moves in, and raindrops start falling, don’t pack up your gear. With a little prep, you can still take award-winning images.
Wild 25 Summer 2013/4 Preview
Whether you are going to the bush or the beach, it’s summer and the outdoors beckons. From guided game drives to the allure of mountains, this bumper issue takes you to the action – and away from it!
Swimming beaches in Wild Card parks
Pack boardshorts, bikinis and towels, then give the crowds the slip. For seclusion, we give our pick of the Cape’s most pristine Wild Card seashores.
Instead of maps, use the books of great writers for guidance when next you visit two of our best loved mountain ranges: Eugène Marais’s Waterberg and C Louis Leipoldt’s Cederberg.
- Hike Kogelberg
- 4x4 Swartberg
- Namaqua National Park – camping along the 50 km coastal stretch of Groen-Spoeg coastline, we explore the coves and bays: Delwerskamp, Kwass, Skuinsklip, Koringkorrel Baai, Skuinsbaai Noord.
- A new overnight option in Mokala National Park puts you centre stage. Stofdam bird hide is perched on stilts and overlooks a large waterhole in the heart of the park.
Fauna & Flora
- Our case study reveals the secret lives of elusive otters in Table Mountain National Park.
- Rhino update: What do you say when your children get emotional about rhino poaching?
- When the fire season ends in the bushveld, it starts in our fynbos landscapes. Should we try to tame the flames, or just go with the flow?
- The shade of a sausage tree is the perfect spot for a picnic – we take a look at what happens to the sausage before and after the hefty 12 kg fruit plummets to the ground.
- Loved by some and hated by others, is the kelp gull a seabird pest or an extremely adaptable opportunist?
- It’s little and it’s brown, like almost a quarter of Southern Africa’s 964 recorded species of bird. We show you how to identify those tricky ‘Little brown jobs’.
- When someone has keen vision, we say they have eyes like a hawk. In fact, we should be happy to have eyes even as good as a sparrow’s. Astonishing info about a bird’s eye view.
- After a lion hunting morning, don’t discard your camera. Peel away the vegetation in the rest camp and see what’s out there, or rather “in there”.
- To take your photographic skills one notch higher, reserve a seat on a night drive. You may even want to book the entire safari vehicle if you are really keen and want to do your own thing without testing the patience of other passengers.
Wild 24 Spring 2013
Children of all ages, this issue is for you! Family escapes that max out on fun – this was our motto for the spring issue of Wild. Our roundup of exceptional destinations for you and the kids celebrates the wonders of nature, to coincide with new life everywhere in September.
A family escape to Anysberg is a chance to reconnect with nature and each other.
A sleepover at Fountain Shack, the fisherman’s cottage on Robberg Peninsula’s wild and windy side, is heaven for young and old.
Waves, blowholes, beaches and mountain fynbos – the Whale Trail has it all, plus it’s kind on a hiker’s back.
Our pick of parks where kids can learn about nature and culture while having a good time.
There’s challenge aplenty when you hike the lower slopes of Rhebokkop in Golden Gate National Park. Your reward is to overnight in the Rhebok hut, nestled in a valley beside a mountain stream.
Explore Kruger on 4x4 trails from Pretoriuskop and Satara. It’s far from the madding crowds…
Notoriously aggressive, cunning and secretive, they are apex predators in some arid areas. Our featured species is a born survivor.
A burst of bright butterflies will reward visitors to the Karoo or Namaqua National Parks in spring.
Billiant aerodynamic design gets and keeps birds airborne.
Extraordinary hyaena and meerkat behaviour.
Two striking portfolios, including perfect photos of landscapes.
Wild 23 Winter 2013
It’s time to gear up for unforgettable wintertime escapes! We take a sneak peek at what’s inside the covers of the latest issue of Wild. Our winter issue is hot of the press at the beginning of June.
We imagine that a road trip is on the cards for many Wild Card members. For a stopover in your journey, look no further than these national parks and nature reserves. Each and every one allows you to take a breather when you’re on the road, and what’s more, there’s ample reason to dwell longer.
ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK
From affordable to ultraluxe, there’s something for everyone at Addo. We sampled it all, from budget to break the bank – and concluded that it’s an all-round safari destination with a wealth of outdoor activities in the malaria-free Eastern Cape.
WEENEN GAME RESERVE
Way off the beaten track, Weenen Game Reserve is the wild heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Much of the park is open savanna with grasslands which makes for good landscape photography, while the craggy Bushman’s River Valley is simply spectacular.
NAMAQUA NATIONAL PARK
Famed for its flowers, Namaqua National Park also has pristine beaches and endless views. Wild explores the new Heaviside Dolphin Trail, and finds that the park is blissfully tranquil in the off-season.
4x4 IN GAMKABERG
For 4x4 enthusiasts on the laid-back Zebra Crossing Trail, the overnight destination is picturesque Oukraal. Four new shepherd’s huts are being constructed at the campsite to blend in with the wilderness surroundings.
Other highlights in the lineup:
- We hike up Table Mountain’s (easy) Orange Kloof route.
- When lions and other predators, or herds of antelope are introduced in our parks, it is never for their own sake – they have an important job to do.
- Everyone loves a graceful springbok, and they deserve admiration too – especially for the clever adaptations that allow them to flourish in hot and dry climates.
- Just 30 minutes from Durban lies Shongweni, a little gem of a reserve set in verdant hills around a tranquil dam.
- Birds of a feather stick together – but occasionally they form mixed-species groups, for very good reasons.
Wild Autumn 2013
School holidays, out-of-season vacations, short breaks, long weekends – we’ve got plans for all your downtime this year. To visit our amazing parks and reserves, get your Wild Card today!
Join us on our journey through a select lineup of Wild Card parks and reserves. To discover the best of it, just follow our tracks.
Wild goes on a road trip through the thirstland of the Karoo, which covers two-thirds of South Africa and is the country’s defining landscape. Within a distance of 1000 km, you can see the best of the Karoo National Park, Camdeboo National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and Anysberg Nature Reserve.
Garden Route National Park
In the ancient Diepwalle forest, we pitch our tent on the camping decks amongst yellowwoods, Cape pear and alders. Along the rugged coast, we explore Harkerville, renowned for its hikes and mountain biking trails, and work up a sweat on the Kranshoek coastal hike, one of the area’s star attractions. At our next home base – a log cabin at Storms River Rest Camp, overlooking the sea – it’s a toss up between restful contemplation and pulse-racing activity.
Kruger’s Top 10 Hikes
What makes Kruger’s well-trained trail guides so special? With more and more Kruger visitors lacing up their hiking boots, trail guides are rising to a bigger challenge – to convey not only their vast guiding expertise, but inspire a profound understanding of the wilderness. Wild hikes with the best and attends the annual Kruger Park Backpack Trail Guides workshop.
New 4x4 trail at Tankwa Karoo National Park
Soul-expanding space, soothing silence, and now a newly launched 4x4 route to add a little adrenaline to the mix. We go where eagles dare on the Watervlei 4x4 route and the shorter Leeuberg Eco 4x4 route.
It’s raining flowers at Mapungubwe National Park
After the first summer showers, the usually dry bushveld is infused with colour. We find about 70 different species on a day trip.
More great reads:
- Notuli Game Park at Msinsi Albert Falls Resource Reserve: be prepared for the unexpected.
- Zululand’s Umlalazi and Amatigulu are pocket rocket nature reserves. Both offer plenty of family activities, plus concentrated birding.
- Photo portfolio: How animals use their whiskers.
- Big Five: Campsites where you can feel closer to nature, not your neighbours.
Wild Summer 2012/3
In the Summer issue of Wild magazine you will find plenty of wonderful and wild destinations. As a special treat for fans of our national parks and reserves, we invite you on a unique journey through South Africa and Swaziland.
Road trip, from the Cape to Kruger – and back via the Drakensberg and the coast. Wild has selected all-green destinations that pack in our premier assets, from coastal fynbos to old-growth forests and of course, wildlife. Whether you’re looking for action or simply to escape into the wilds, it’s time to tank up and hit the road!
Fly-fishing in a mountain paradise Most South Africans have driven through the Limietberg Nature Reserve – the Huguenot tunnel and the Dutoitskloof pass on the N1 near Cape Town bisect it – but few have stopped to enjoy what it has to offer. For the best trout-fishing in the province, look no further.
Animal behaviour: What happens in burrows? It’s a topsy-turvy world for these creatures that make their homes under our feet.
Species in the spotlight: Hippo Known for being neurotic and unpredictable, hippo are also portrayed as jolly and frolicking. Can it be that these so-called rogues are misunderstood?
Portfolio: Lions & their prey The sight of a lion stalking prey, painstakingly creeping up on it through the long grass, is a quintessential African image. Our photos take you inside the hunting pride.
Birding: Phil Hockey explains why birds are supreme opportunists. Many species use mammals (and man) for benefit dinners and other charity events.
Seabird conservation: South Africa’s offshore islands – amazing and wild places – play an important role to protect our dwindling seabird species. In many cases they are the last breeding strongholds.
Environmental issue: Thatching grass, mopane worms, sour figs, timber – these are some of the resources that may be harvested sustainably from our parks. It also means that neighbouring communities can partner SANParks in conservation.
Wild Spring 2012
The Spring issue of Wild magazine has a fascinating lineup of articles. We take a sneak peek at the highlights.
Park in the spotlight: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi. On the Primitive Trail, hikers find their true place on this planet. The spirit of the wilderness also permeates the rest of the game reserve, the continent’s oldest.
Bontebok National Park is a sanctuary for many species, a place where rare things are common. A very little park – the smallest of South Africa's 20 National Parks – and a very big achievement.
Environmental issue: Why do bontebok and blesbok interbreed? And blue and black wildebeest? Species who cheat on their own compromise their future.
Birding: Spring is show time! The start of the hot weather sees many migratory bird species arriving in our parks. Whatever their reasons, their route and their potential gain, over 130 bird species in Southern Africa are migrants. Migration is common in insect-eating birds, the most common being the aerial feeders – the swifts, swallows, bee-eaters and nightjars that feed in the open skies. But who’s the fairest of them all? PLUS Communication among birds – the subtle information conveyed by their calls.
Animal behaviour: Which butterflies are you likely to encounter in our national parks and nature reserves? Where should you look? We help you understand South African Lepidoptera.
4x4 Destination: We discover wildest Kruger on the Lebombo Eco Trail, an experience dreamt of by nature lovers everywhere.
Adventure: Hikers and adventurers take note – there's plenty to do at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park. We cover the different hiking trails and other active options such as rowing and fishing.
Camping: Are you a first time camper? Are you rigged for a 4x4 trail? Do you prefer to sleep rough on a hiking trail? Or do you make a home away from home in a well-appointed campsite? Our happy campers give us the low-down with tips and check lists.
Wild Winter 2012
The Winter 2012 issue of Wild magazine is hot off the press! We have a fantastic lineup of stories:
Take a family trip to Agulhas
At the southernmost tip kids can run free
Explore the bush on horseback, by mountainbike — or even on foot in search of rhino
Off road in Augrabies
Discover wide, open spaces framed by dramatic rocks
Take on the Lonely Bull Trail
Hike deep into the heart of Kruger
The Panorama Trail
A magical world awaits in the Jonkershoek Mountains in Stellenbosch
Why this majestic antelope is so rare
Amazing images of male animals fighting it out
An ode to owls
The night-time hunters we’re lucky to see
The pecking order
How birds determine who’s top of the pile
Polentswa waterhole, Kgalagadi
When a pro photographer waits 60 days for a unique shot
In love with Tankwa National Park
It’s a colour burst when flowering bulbs transform the barren veld
Get ready for the flower season and read all about the lengths plants go to to attract visitors
Citizen scientists in Kruger National Park
Bird atlassing is a fun way to contribute to research
Photo hot spot
Capture striking landscapes in the Richtersveld
Wild Autumn 2012
The lineup of stories in the autumn issue of Wild will surely tempt you to start planning your next holiday or weekend break. We also have incredible big cat scoops – a feast of felines! Here’s what we have in store for Wild Card members:
Park in the spotlight: Mountain Zebra
Read our cheetah diaries as we go tracking the spotted cats. Wild spends four unforgettable days in Mountain Zebra National Park to experience first-hand this recent addition to the park’s guided activities. We find a whole lot more than we had hoped for…
It’s calming (the stuff of poetry), legendary (the stuff of history) and mysteriously secretive (the stuff of adventure stories) – welcome to Spioenkop Dam and Nature Reserve, one of SA’s best value-for-money, away-from-it-all bushveld experiences. Stay in iPhika tented bush camp, and enjoy the water sports and day hikes which wind around the dam's southern shore, all in a scenic game reserve environment.
The Auob Riverbed in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is arguably the best place on earth to watch cheetahs hunting. Cheetah expert Gus Mills explains how the fastest mammal on earth has adapted to life in the arid Kalahari.
Adventure: Trail running
It’s exhilarating to run free in a place of exceptional natural beauty. We hit the trail in a few of our national parks and nature reserves.
4x4: Marakele Eco Trail
Wild discovers a secret wilderness experience and connects with the Waterberg while driving the trail and overnighting at remote and isolated spots. Many of the tracks used on the trail were specially designed for a broad spectrum of 4x4 challenges.
Birding: Check out the action in Kruger’s rest camps
Kruger National Park is one of the continent’s best birding destinations, with over 500 bird species having been recorded in the park to date. Novices and old hands alike will be thrilled – birding in the rest camps may even reveal a lifer! We tell you exactly where to introduce your kids to the wonder of nature at close range.
Portfolio: Leopards at night
The black of the African night is the preferred habitat of the leopard. Wild brings you a world first: unusual night-time images of Africa’s shyest cat photographed during an ambitious three-year project.
Wild Summer 2011/2012
The summer issue of Wild is packed with unspoilt places where you can escape the holiday madness. Discover new ways to explore your favourite parks and marvel at wildlife photography that takes you to the heart of the action.
Park in the spotlight: Mapungubwe
As you travel from east to west, you journey from sun-baked sandstone cliffs to dense, cool forests. This is a park that surprises again and again. Stories of a lost kingdom that once traded with India and China. A tree-top boardwalk that brings you eye to eye with birds. A sundowner spot that overlooks three countries.
Destination: West Coast
If you want to spend a lazy day on the beach, then head for Langebaan Lagoon. Visit sheltered bays perfect for swimming and braai spots with beautiful views of the lagoon. Plus: We take you on the Postberg Trail, the best way to see the strandveld’s flowers.
Day walks: 12 refreshing roadside hikes
Making your way to the coast? Stop off at a park en route and recharge your batteries on one of our family-friendly walks.
Researcher Francois Deacon shares his pictures from the field and reveals fascinating facts about these towering beauties. Find out how to tell the difference between a male and female giraffe and why it pays to have darker coloured spots.
People in parks: Marakele’s top tracker
Field guide Sidney Mikosi is fluent in the language of the bush. Under his gaze the empty veld offers up its secrets: fighting impala, zebra at a waterhole – and a crash of rhino.
Animal behaviour: Kidnapped!
Why would a pied babbler steal another bird’s chicks? Dr Amanda Ridley uncovers the reasons for this disturbing behaviour.
Adventure: Off the beaten track
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park has many rewards for those who dare to explore the wild side of the park. Wild Kate takes on the Nossob 4x4 trail and !Xerry wilderness walks.
Portfolio: Vultures vs jackal
Don’t miss these incredible pictures of a species showdown at Giant’s Castle vulture restaurant.
Wild Spring 2011
Take a peek at what you can expect in the spring 2011 issue of Wild. Card members who purchased the new Wild Card will soon receive this exciting issue in the post.
Park in the spotlight: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Peter Chadwick writes about De Hoop, where he was reserve manager for three years. His photographs reveal the beauty of its inhabitants, from whales to the endangered Cape mountain zebra.
What’s it like to sleep in a bush camp without a fence? Wild editor Romi Boom says: “There’s no better way to experience the Kalahari, one of Earth’s true wilderness places, than overnighting in the open, in the unfenced camps of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.” Romi gives a first-hand account of her experience.
Crocodiles are great ambush predators and have perfected this art. Warren Schmidt explains why crocs make such successful hunters and why our rivers need them. He also takes a fascinating look at crocodile reproduction. Did you know that temperature determines gender in crocs?
Behaviour: Vervet monkeys
Vervet monkeys are small but have big personalities. Megan Emmett looks at the ways that vervets use colour to raise the alarm or simply scare off fellow troopers.
Quick escape: Msinsi’s dams
Situated conveniently close to Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the Msinsi reserves offer verdant landscapes, game viewing and large dams for summer fun.
Flora: Pollen power
Spring is the time to see pollinators at work. Find out about the pollinating process and see exquisite images of birds, bees, butterflies and locusts.
People in parks
We meet the guides who reveal the magic of the bush, from Kruger to the Kalahari and KwaZulu-Natal.
For this and much more – from a 4x4 trail in Namaqua to birds with strange beaks – don’t miss the spring issue of Wild!
Wild Winter 2011
Find out what's in store for you in the winter 2011 issue of Wild. All card members who purchased the new Wild Card will soon receive this exciting issue in the post.
Lions in Addo
The handsome lions of Addo Elephant National Park make game watching at the popular Hapoor waterhole an even more exciting experience. Ann and Steve Toon observe these big cats introduced in 2003.
Our travel writers reveal the beauty of Golden Gate and the Royal Natal National Park.
The powerful and silent hunters of the sky surprise us with their nesting habitats. Birding expert Andrew Jenkins tells us more about martial eagles and why power lines are inadvertently benefiting them.
Professor Rudi van Aarde shares his exceptional photographs of baby elephants. Take a look at how baby elephants interact with their family.
The cleverly concealed camps of Table Mountain allow you to escape from the bustle of the city below. Deputy editor Magriet Kruger overnights on Table Mountain and tells us what it's like.
Don't miss this issue packed with exciting hikes, mountain bike routes, country cottages to visit this winter and much more.
Enjoy the read!
Wild Autumn 2011
In this new issue we discover Kruger's north, take a a walk back in time and get insights into Africa's most elusive cat.
Park in the spotlight: Kruger – the far north
When Wild ed Romi Boom ventures to Pafuri and beyond, she is overwhelmed by the incredible birdlife and biodiversity between the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers. Her article urges readers to explore this remote part of Kruger, the heart of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park.
Destination: Goukamma Nature Reserve & Marine Protected Area
Wild is based at Mvubu Bushcamp, nestled amongst the trees of the milkwood forest on the shores of the unique Groenvlei lake, which has no in-flowing river and no link to the sea. Dale Morris indulges in the spectacular views, rich bird life and diverse habitats, from fynbos to coastal dune forest, with some of the highest vegetated dunes in South Africa, the Goukamma River and estuary.
Wildlife: My life with … Leopard
The leopard is undoubtedly Africa's most beautiful cat, the most sought-after sighting on safari. Andrew Baxter’s poignant story about the enigmatic Cape leopard provides fascinating insights into its unique biology and behaviour. Our blog tells readers how to improve their chances of spotting a leopard in the wild and gives valuable photo tips.
Environment & people: Community Conservation – Cederberg Heritage Route
CHR is a community-based tourist facility which is bringing much-needed support and jobs to a previously disadvantaged area. Melissa Siebert and Karin Schermbrucker go slackpacking on one of hikes made possible through the participation of the Northern Cederberg communities of the Moravian Church.
Animal behaviour: Understanding … Spiders
South Africa’s spiders need all the friends they can get. Thousands are killed every year simply because they look scary, when in fact most are relatively harmless. Fortunately, unlikely expert Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman has spent most of her life studying - and championing - these fascinating creatures.
4X4 Destinations: The Nuweveld Trail, Karoo National Park
Connect with the soul of the Karoo and discover a secret world. Geoff Dalglish is based at the remote and isolated Besweni Cottage.
Ed’s Choice: New bird hides
Following her overnight stay at Sable Dam Hide in Kruger, Wild’s ed was inspired to compile a round-up of new bird hides at Wild Card parks.
Anti-poaching is a sensitive issue, with rhino slaughter on every conservationist’s mind. Scott Ramsay spends time with the KZN vet who has seen it all, and dedicates his life to saving endangered animals.
Wild Summer 2010/2011
This issue of Wild has been inspired by summer, with stories on the ocean and wild, watery places. Our thoughts are also in Namaqua National Park, the new home of numerous gemsbok and red hartebeest relocated from Mokala. I'm sure you too will be captivated by our game capture story, which reveals just how tricky it is to pull off an operation of this kind. Here's a look at what you can expect.
Zebras are playful, social and born to roam. We take an intimate look at these striking animals and their fascinating behaviour. Read more about zebras in our cover story and check out our blog on the unique pale rump zebra of Mokala National Park.
Follow the drama as 100 gemsbok and 75 red hartebeest are relocated from Mokala to Namaqua National Park. Battling veld fires and stubborn bulls, the capture team has one chance to get it right. The process is fast-paced and risky ...
TV presenter Ruda Landman takes a trip to the wild spaces of Nselweni bush camp in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. This newly opened camp is unfenced so you’re that much closer to the creatures of the bush – an experience Ruda says is exhilarating, and somewhat scary, too.
It’s the holidays – and we've found the best family friendly destinations. Adventure journalist Jacques Marais takes his kids on holiday and rates the parks that are best for family adventure.
A trip to Addo’s marine section can be very rewarding, as Dale Morris finds out. Visit the park’s unspoilt beaches where gannets circle the air and seals, dolphins and whales laze in the waters.
This issue is packed with ideas for the summer, from the best rivers for fishing and cooling off to exciting overnight hikes. As usual we have riveting animal stories and professor Phil Hockey explains the lure of city living for birds.
For this and much more, don't miss the summer issue of Wild.
Wild Spring 2010
Spring is here – an invitation to head out and enjoy everything our wild spaces have to offer. And what better guide than the latest issue of Wild?
An orange beak, bright orange legs, dark eyes and pale grey feathers: the southern pale chanting goshawk is an enchanting bird. Gerard Malan, a professor at the Tshwane University of Technology and raptorphile, tells us more.
Hyenas. They are mostly thought of as evil, bloodthirsty and sly. But are they really? The truth, according to those in the know, is rather different as writer Melissa Siebert discovers. We reveal more about the animals that clean up, bones and all.
This spring, we find solitude. Those places where a lone raptor swoops by as you sit in the mountains, far from the valley below. We choose five of the best places where you can have endless space under starry skies all to yourself.
Gamkaberg, our featured park, is also ideal for getting away from it all. You sit around glowing flames from a fire and sleep in tented rooms that blend into the surroundings. Gamkaberg is known for its rich flora and the Groenfontein section of the park where you can feed your eyes on plants – some no bigger than a jelly baby. Tucked away in the Klein Karoo, this park is remote and dreamy – a place to visit.
We then head out on horseback. In our parks you can ride past wildlife beauties or splash about in the waves on Noordhoek beach.
This issue is packed with stories, from a fascinating look at how birds go courting to intimate photographs of Africa's cutest cubs.
Wild Winter 2010
Do explore our parks this winter, and cherish those unforgettable encounters with the great outdoors. In this issue, which coincides with the 2010 World Cup, Wild’s specialist writers have compiled a Best of the Best overview of what our parks and reserves have to offer. There is something for everyone. If photography is your passion, we tell you where to go. Whether it is remote wilderness you seek, or romance or hiking trails, affordable or luxury accommodation, we’ve selected the finest, the greatest, the most interesting and stimulating experiences.
Read our story about the king of the animal world, written by Gerald Hinde and Paul Funston, both dedicated cat lovers. Find out what it’s like to spend a lifetime in the bush with lions, and what happens when rangers go looking for the ultimate predator. On the subject of rangers – Melissa Siebert speaks to a number of intrepid lady rangers, protectors of our wildlife and most beautiful spaces. The bush is their office, and they won’t hesitate to shoot if necessary.
Editor Romi Boom writes about the dreams and objectives of the Peace Parks Foundation. Through the creation of great wilderness areas, on a transfrontier scale, parks across borders are managed together. While the conservation benefits are obvious, for us, as tourists, consolidated parks also open up brand new routes with the added bonus of avoiding hectic border posts.
As a special treat for everyone who does not have the luxury of spending weeks, months and years in the bush, we publish a selection of breathtaking pictures from some of our favourite wildlife photographers. This magnificent portfolio depicts predator and prey in those touch-and-go moments that make us catch our breath.
Our lineup of stories will make you want to pack your bags and leave at daybreak tomorrow. Happy travels!
Winter 2010 contents
Best of the best: 22 Parks in the spotlight . There’s a park for everyone, from hikers to birders, 4x4 enthusiasts, romantics, photographers, adventurers – you name it, we’ve got it
Beyond borders : Transfrontier parks make it easier for animals to get around – and for you, too
Defenders of the earth: Woman rangers reveal what life in the bush is like
Explore in a day : Quick trips into the wild from World Cup soccer stadiums
Close encounters : Your guide to outdoor adrenalin
My life with lions: The incredible beauty and diversity of Africa’s fiercest hunter
In the lion’s den : An inside look at lion monitoring
Predator meets prey : Photographers share their favourite sightings
Strength in numbers: Why birds flock together
Kids: Cool by the Pool – animal escapades at the waterhole
Big five: Cosy cabins for the chilly season
Wild Autumn 2010
Whatever you do, you must read the latest Wild magazine. It’s packed with fascinating features on wildlife, gorgeous photography of our wild spaces and lots of ideas to help you make the most of the holidays. If the images alone don’t inspire you to travel, then surely our reports from the field will have you packing your bags ...
For this issue Lesley Stones went elephant tracking and was surprised to learn how similar these massive creatures are to us. She reports on bossy mamas, babysitters and what’s considered attractive in the elephant world. Another member of the Big Five making waves is leopards. Dale Morris writes about the leopard/farmer conflict and the surprising solution that’s keeping these stealthy cats safe.
If you are planning on travelling, we have a round-up of places that are definitely worth a visit. Ithala’s a great destination for first-class comfort and game viewing in a spectacular setting. Looking to get away from it all? Then the quiet spaces and rustic style of the Tankwa Karoo are just the ticket. We also reveal our most gorgeous gorges: places where you can stand in awe of magnificent waterfalls and rock formations.
World cup fever is on the increase, but there’s no need to stress about holidaying during the match period. With our 2010 guide to parks and adventures away from the madding crowd, your winter break is sorted!
Autumn 2010 contents
Park in the spotlight: Tankwa Karoo
Surrender to the endless vistas and tranquil days of this national park
Visitors can enjoy birding and big game, but it’s the dramatic landscape that steals the show
All in the family
How do jumbo families hang together? On a game safari Lesley Stones watches herds of elephants up close.
We’ve got a round-up of the best wild ways to enjoy the World Cup. Make this the year to try something new or head to one of our selected spots
Circles in the sand
Find out what lives in South Africa's only sand forest
Turning killers into keepers
How leopards can actually help farmers, and other inventive ways of putting nature to work
Birds: the mating game
Professor Phil Hockey looks at the lengths birds will go to for sex
Escape to some of our country's most gorgeous gorges
This marine protected area may be small, but it’s making a big impact on fish stocks
Kids: Night time
What animals come out after dark?
Wild Summer 2010
We put the spotlight on Agulhas National Park and uncover a world of treasures at the southernmost tip. From shipwreck trails and beach rides to whale spotting and hiking, Agulhas has all the elements for an unforgettable holiday. There’s also plenty for water babies to enjoy with our round-up of coastal activities, taking you from Langebaan Lagoon on the West Coast to Cape Vidal’s warm waters. Or escape summer’s sweltering days in the cool of a forest – check out the editor’s pick of five forests to explore.
This issue has plenty of fascinating reads on the natural world. Lion and buffalo face off in a contest where big risks bring big rewards and hyaenas are the surprising subjects of choice for research on the evolution of intelligence. Should you rescue that tortoise by the side of the road? We look at what happens when you take a wild animal home. Your own cubs haven’t been forgotten either. The kids’ section has been completely revamped with beautiful illustrations and a bedtime story for someone special.
Summer 2010 contents
Park in the spotlight: Agulhas National Park
Track down stories and treasures along this iconic shore
Lion vs buffalo: Fortune favours the brave
Two of the Big Five are formidable rivals in the struggle for survival
What makes this award-winning park so special
By acquiring knowledge our wild friends can adapt their behaviour – not just dumb animals, that’s for sure!
Explore our stunning coast with these easy adventure options and getaways
From zero to hero
The humble beginnings of Africa’s most impressive mammals
The editor’s selection of magical forests
Birds: Too hot for feathers?
Professor Phil Hockey investigates the impact of climate change on the region’s birds
Can wildlife be tamed?
The amazing plants and animals of the grasslands, plus a bedtime story
Wild Spring 2009
Wild dogs take centre stage in the latest issue of Wild, with an exclusive preview of Roger and Pat de la Harpe’s book on these elusive hunters. The photographers spent weeks in the field trailing the dogs – experience it for yourself on one of the tracking excursions we feature. Whether you go walking with rhino or end up stalking scorpions, you’ll emerge with a new understanding of nature.
In this issue we also uncover two of the secret treasures in the parks network. Lush and bursting with life, Kogelberg is a biodiversity hotspot for fynbos and leisurely pursuits from whale watching to mountain biking. The Richtersveld’s savage beauty is worlds removed but in the vast empty spaces you’ll find all sorts of plant and animal life. If you’re looking to get away from it all, check out the Wild editor’s pick of places to pitch your tent.
Nature reserve: Kogelberg Biosphere
This biodiversity hotspot is a fun place to work up a sweat
Tracking the wild
Follow the trail to get insight into our natural heritage
Wild dogs: Heart of the hunter
Find out how these formidable predators harness the power of the pack
Park in the spotlight: Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Take a soul safari to South Africa’s only mountain desert
Putting a price on nature
Bio-economics is all about valuing nature and paying a fair price for its services
Why do animals play?
Zoologist Dr Lynda Sharpe investigates possible reasons why mammals mess around
Rock formations give a glimpse into our country’s distant past
The editor’s pick of places to pitch your tent
What makes twitchers twitch?
The three steps to birding’s ultimate rush
Protective dads and animal sound systems
Wild Winter 2009
The Winter 2009 issue of Wild magazine goes in search of black rhinos in Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's fabulous Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. Author Dale Morris rekindled his childhood tree-climbing ability as he joined researchers in the field for an in-depth look at these rare and reclusive beasts. "Problem is black rhinos don't take to disturbances all that well," says Dale. The story and photos are riveting.
Also in this issue of Wild we head for Letaba Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park, don't miss our advice on getting more out of your visit to on one of the Kruger's best camps.
There are also stories on beetles (are we really living on the planet of the apes?), why some animal mothers kill their young, the editors choice of the best places to go for snow and, as per usual, kids pages packed with fascinating stuff for kids of all ages. You will also notice that the up-front pages have been completely redesigned and now offer you far more things to do and see when your out in the wild.
Lastly, look out for this month's scrapbook of a conservationist which takes a look at the incredible life of conservationists Ted Reilly and Petros Ngomane.
Park in the spotlight: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi
Go in search of black rhino in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi.
Go wild in Letaba
We get an indepth insiders view of Letaba, one of the Kruger National Park's best camps.
Scrapbook of a conservationist
Ted Reilly and Petros Ngomane - the lions of Swaziland.
Why some animal mothers kill their young.
For those who still believe we're living on the planet of the apes.
Professor Phil Hockey delves into mythical birds.
Ten awesome 4x4 off-road trails in wild areas.
The editor's pick of the best places to go for snow.
Animals got there first - inventions from the animal kingdom.
Wild Autumn 2009
The latest Wild takes readers to the heart of the Kgalagadi, to go tracking across the red dunes with the original inhabitants, the Bushmen. Leonie Joubert investigates what happens when wildlife invades the suburbs. We have a round-up of the best inland paddling spots and the editor reveals his pick of spectacular places to spend the night. There’s a fascinating look at puff adders and why they’ve got a reputation for being lazy, but deadly. And if you’ve ever marvelled at a pair of monkeys leisurely picking ticks off each other, you won’t want to miss our feature on grooming.
Explore the endless dunes of the Kgalagadi with our team and the best trackers in the business. We uncover mysteries of the natural world – from the importance of grooming for animals to the reasons why some birds have brightly-coloured feathers. Puff adders win us over with their fearsome beauty and bugs impress with their cunning defences. If you want to spend more time in the wild, why not try your hand at paddling or stay the night at one of our editor’s exotic picks? Let Wild be your guide to enjoying nature.
Park in the spotlight: Kgalagadi
Read the stories in the sand and discover how life thrives in this arid wilderness.
Portrait of a people
The Bushmen of the Kalahari live in harmony with nature.
Life on the edge
When wild animals move into the suburbs, there are bound to be some unhappy neighbours.
Puff adders are feared for their deadly strike and admired for their beauty.
Birds: The story of colour
Professor Phil Hockey reveals why some birds are brilliant, others drab.
Get so much closer to nature in a kayak.
Touching me, touching you
Grooming is about more than just getting clean.
The editor's pick of exotic places to stay.
Zulu baskets impress with their bold designs and delicate colours.
The funky hairstyles animals sport and the deadly defences bugs employ.
Wild Summer 2009
The summer 2009 issue of Wild magazine is packed with wonderful features that will entice you into planning your next trip.
We go in search of the rare antelope of Southern Africa and find out what conservationists are doing to help species such as roan and tsessebe return. We look at the important roles birds play in the environment. And animal behaviourist Dr Justin O’Riain reveals some of the remarkable reasons why animals form groups. Once you’ve read our article you’ll look at a herd of impala in a whole new way!
If you’re planning to get out there, Wild has plenty of ideas on where to go and what to do. Join us as we explore the national parks and nature reserves along the Garden Route, from the dramatic Tsitsikamma coastline to the cool, deep forests at Knysna. Or find out where you can go swimming with penguins, marvel at giant redwood trees or fish one of 21 scenic spots.
And as always there’s something for the kids: the funny places animals choose to sleep and the wonderful worlds hiding in rock pools.
- Parks in the spotlight: Garden Route
- Wildlife: Rare antelope
- Animal behaviour: Group living
- Environment: Invasive plants
- Ed’s choice of parks: Boulders, Grootvadersbosch, Mokala, Mountain Zebra, Royal Natal
- Activities: Fly-fishing
- Map: Routes on Table Mountain
- Scrapbook: Nature photographers the Van den Bergs
- Kids: Animal naptime, rock pools