On 3 March each year we commemorate World Wildlife Day. And there’s no better way to appreciate our incredible wildlife than with a Wild Card. Make beautiful memories with your own personal passport to southern Africa’s most remarkable parks and reserves. Here are five great ways a Wild Card helps you treasure our wild animals. By Gaynor Siljeur

1. Free entrance to 80+ parks and reserves

When it comes to seeing wildlife roam free in their natural habitat, you can’t beat the national parks and nature reserves of South Africa and Eswatini (Swaziland). The Wild Card is your entry ticket to more than 80 protected areas, each offering a different experience. Just imagine watching a brown hyena picking its way across a Kgalagadi dune or an aardvark sniffing out a meal in Addo. You could travel to Mountain Zebra to track cheetah or swim with penguins at Table Mountain’s Boulders Beach. We all know and love Kruger’s Big Five, but have you considered looking for South Africa’s shy and elusive Secret Seven? With a Wild Card, these wildlife adventures are yours for the choosing.

Picture courtesy of SANParks

 

2. Award-winning Wild magazine

Did you know that bushbabies give 25 different calls to communicate the situation and their emotional state? Or that porcupines are born with short quills and incisors in place, ready for action? As South Africa’s foremost conservation and wildlife publication, Wild magazine sheds light on the magnificent creatures that make our parks such compelling places. We talk to researchers about animal behaviour, showcase fascinating animal interaction in pictures and learn about the steps taken to protect our precious animals. There are even fun animal facts to help the kids learn more about the natural world. Mailed to Wild Card members every quarter, each issue of Wild is also packed with destination features and trip ideas to help you plan your next wildlife exploration.

 

3. Contribution to conservation

With your Wild Card, you won’t only have a pass to visit some of southern Africa’s wildest places for free. The Wild Card Programme also raises millions each year for the conservation of our wildlife. The current onslaught of poaching is putting the resources of our conservation agencies under tremendous strain. That makes your contribution through your Wild Card fee all the more important. This was brought home to us last year when Wild experienced first-hand what it takes to protect South Africa’s critically endangered rhinos (Watch: Inside Kruger’s anti-poaching campaign).

4. Thrilling photo sequences

Wild travellers always seem to be at the right place, at the right time – and luckily for all wildlife lovers, with camera in hand. The highlight of our monthly Wild newsletter is the action-packed photo sequences, from lions battling it out to ellies slip-sliding away. You’ll be inspired when you see fellow travellers’ magnificent photos of animal interactions and fantastic action sequences. Not a recipient of the Wild newsletter? Subscribe now!

This dramatic lion showdown is one of the thrilling sequences featured in the Wild newsletter. Every month brings readers a new action sequence.

Do you have photos of nail-biting animal interactions? Share them with us at [email protected].

Also read: Leopard devours prickly prey for breakfast

5. Talks by experts

Throughout the year Wild brings you presentations on animal behaviour, biology and conservation. Learn from experts in the field at our regular talks co-hosted with Cape Union Mart – during school holidays we run fun and informative kids’ events. Wild is also the media partner of the Wild Shots Wildlife Photography Symposium, an insightful and inspirational event for professional and amateur nature photographers. For the next Wild talk, taking place on 28 February 2019, CapeNature’s Vicki Hudson will reveal how conservation detection dogs are saving tortoises. Book your seat now!

The first Wild talk of 2019 looks at how CapeNature’s conservation detection dogs are tracking down endangered tortoises.

Ready to explore our wildlife riches? Get a Wild Card now. Be part of the Wild community and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

World Wildlife Day 2019

The theme for World Wildlife Day this year is Life below water, putting the focus on marine species. In October 2018, the South African cabinet approved a network of 20 Marine Protected Areas, enlarging the protected area in our waters from 0.4 to 5%. Explore our magnificent marine life with a beach walk, go rock pooling or dive below the surface.

Also read: Stay alone by the water