5 alternative SA wildlife favourites and where to find them

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 13 August 2019

While South Africa is teeming with wildlife and there are plenty of game-viewing experiences available, it isn’t always about the Big Five.

Here are five animals that get a lot less attention than lion,leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, however they are equally remarkable.

1. Sable antelope

These majestic creatures, a species in which both males and females have impressive, grooved horns, are often hunted for sport by foreigners and aren’t as easy to spot roaming wild or free. The Kruger National Park is now one of the places you’ll be able to see them where they aren’t bred to be hunted as on some private game reserves.


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2. Meerkat

These little suricates tend to tug on our heartstrings, a mischievous icon of the African landscape. They pop up in arid scrub, open woodland and grasslands. The Northern Cape town of Kuruman is the home of the famous Kalahari Meerkat Project.


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3. Gemsbok

Also known as an oryx outside of SA, the gemsbok is not limited to stark and picturesque Namibian dunes. South Africans are fortunate to find the gemsbok just within our borders, although larger populations do reside with our northwestern neighbours. As with the curious little meerkat, the gemsbok can be found in South Africa’s portion of the Kalahari and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where the red dust still makes for a beautiful backdrop for photos of this majestic buck, with its erect horns pointing straight to the heavens.


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4. Samango monkey

The agile samango or Syke’s monkey is well worth visiting in KwaZulu-Natal. Hang out with them inside the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in and around St Lucia and Cape Vidal. In KZN’s Dargle Valley you can even go samango slackpacking along the Midlands Meander.


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5. Aardwolf

Caught somewhere between a hyena and a furry, cute wolf likeness, this termite-loving mammal is quite widespread around SA and the southern parts of the continent. Aardwolves enjoy open habitats and can be spotted from the Kalahari to Limpopo’s Waterberg and in the Eastern Cape’s Mountain Zebra National Park.

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Featured image: Binty/Getty

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