When the trees are decked in fresh green leaves, all the more reason to travel with your Wild Card. This spring our special Green Issue helps you pick the top spots that are helping to save the planet. By Romi Boom

We asked some of our favourite parks and reserves: How green are you? The take-home message from Wild Card’s much-loved properties is that they provide fresh water, clean air, natural splendour that refreshes the soul … and more.

Expect the spring issue in your postbox before the end of September.

Time out in spring

• We visit Addo after the storm and discover that the park, which is a-seasonal, doesn’t have a spring renewal as happens in the east and north. Rain can fall at any time of the year, and if precipitation is high enough, a wondrous transformation takes place.
• At De Hoop Nature Reserve wellness has many handles: inner peace, a brand new eco-friendly lodge and even a wannabe penguin colony.
• Sosyskloof, a refreshing pocket of indigenous forest in Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, is the perfect place to stretch legs with friends.
• Feeling cash-strapped? When every buck counts, buy a weekend of leisure (and activity) in the Cederberg Wilderness, camping and fuel included, for R1 000.


Wildlife

• With the weather warming and the mating season beginning, snakes will be more active so be on the lookout. These green-coloured species especially are well-camouflaged.
• A photographic census of wild dogs and cheetah starts in the Kruger National Park this spring. Your pictures can help assess the size of the park’s population.

Birding

They’re green and blend in with their leafy environment, but it’s the flamboyant hues underneath that dazzle. Some of the most eye-catching birds in Wild Card parks and reserves are not only gorgeous, but surprise with cuddlesome – even manic – habits.

Photography

Symbolic of Mother Nature at her most ‘alive’, green provides a serious dose of lush to the eye, but it is tricky to photograph. Here’s how to emphasise this most vibrant of colours in your shots.

Kids

The environment needs all the help it can get. Teach young nature lovers to be eco-warriors – they can make a difference.

People in parks

• For one mobility challenged Wild Card member, his first trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was more adventure than holiday when the rain poured down and the Nossob River started flowing.
• These folks travelled 7 920 km with a Wild Card! To celebrate his mother’s 50th birthday, Bheki-Mfundo Makgabo took her on a road trip across the country. In five weeks they visited 30 parks – almost a park a day. Click here to find out how you too can participate in the Wild Card Parks Challenge.
• A culinary school inside Kruger National Park trains candidates from the local community to work in some of the world’s best kitchens.

Photo by Karin Schermbruker

Photo by Karin Schermbruker