Just the thought of spring makes me want to overindulge in nature trips. Hence the long lineup of blissful inspiration in this (post-winter) issue of Wild magazine. Look for Wild 44 spring 2018 in your postbox from mid September. If you’re travelling, we’ll see you amongst the birds and the bees.

Parks challenge: 11 parks, 11 months

A Wild Card member asks whether anyone has beaten them in visiting more Wild Card parks and reserves in one year: Kruger National Park, Mapungupwe, Marakele, Wagendrift Nature Reserve, Mokala, Karoo, Storms River section of the Garden Route National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Albert Falls Dam and Game Reserve and Midmar Dam.

We’d love to know if you are a contender. Write to [email protected] with Parks Challenge in the subject line.

Top of our wish list right now

Agulhas National Park: twice as nice

Why choose between a beach trip and a hiking adventure? Combine the new Two Oceans Hiking Trail with beachcombing and swimming on a breakaway weekend.

Two Oceans Hiking Trail-Morgan Trimble-Agulhas-min

Picture by Morgan Trimble

Marakele National Park: in the moment

Marataba’s elusive location in a hidden section of Marakele makes it one of the most wanted safari destinations in Africa. Go totally off track to find nirvana in Mountain Lodge and Thabametsi Treehouse.

Thabametsi Treehouse-Marakele--min

West Coast National Park: B is for Beautiful

Jo Anne’s Beach cottage, a self-catering hideaway for eight people near Churchhaven, now has a baby version: the B cottage sleeps four and is also just a few minutes’ walk from the lagoon.

Inanda Dam: valley of a thousand adventures

Nestled between rolling green hills, Inanda is a playground for city kids who crave a wild fix. Looking for non-stop action? A mini bush break is yours within an hour’s drive from Durban.

Inanda Dam-Tate Drucker-min

Picture by Tate Drucker

|Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park: secret cathedral

Next time you visit, hike into the Amphitheatre and spend an unforgettable night under the stars.

Insider’s look at nature

  • Kruger’s K9 heroes: During a stay at unfenced Mokhohlolo Wilderness Camp, hidden between Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie rest camps, we experience first-hand how these extraordinary canines operate and how their fearless handlers brave the daily battle against poachers.
  • Pecking order: With woodpeckers, the trick is first to find them, then to ID them. Even keen birdwatchers are challenged when it comes to this enigmatic tree dweller. Use our straightforward guide to make your task easier.
  • Needle in a haystack: No more than a few hundred remain in the wild. Until a few years ago Anysberg Nature Reserve confirmed sightings, but now the quest is seriously on to find a riverine rabbit in the Karoo drylands.
  • Back on track: For the first time in 300 years, Bushmen return to Kruger National Park so that hikers on a wilderness trail may join the continent’s best trackers. Wild was invited along on this pioneering event in Nyalaland.
  • Touchy feely: Ibises have a secret life using a sense most of us never knew existed. And you thought they were just poking and prodding in the ground…
  • Storytelling around the campfire: Stories and fables have immense power to foster a love of nature. Some of the best storytellers can be found in our national parks, as our spellbound journo discovers in Kruger.
Kruger Storytelling-Ralph and Sibongile Sibande-min

Ralph and Sibongile Sibande interpret the world they’ve discovered in Kruger.

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Compiled by Romi Boom