Big, toothy sharks may not be the animals that most immediately comes to mind when you hear the word Africa, but a visit to South Africa presents an opportunity to actually come face-to-face with this terror of the deep. The lion may be king of the jungle, but South Africa's Great White Sharks may instill more fear into visitors. If you go to South Africa, you owe it to yourself to make like Richard Dreyfus when the cage goes into water with the shark. Several companies operate in South Africa that specialize in cage diving so that you do actually crawl into a cage and get lowered into the ocean for a safe and protected up-close encounters with Great White Sharks. You won't get this same opportunity to get as close to the leopards and lions that call this country home.
Africa Shark Dive Safaris
Klipfonteyn nr 711
Kleinbaai, Western Cape, South Africa
+27 (0) 86 52 44 391
It's strange that lions are called the kings of the jungle when Africa doesn't really offer jungles. South African lions are like other lions of the continent in that they prefer open grassy plains and savannahs. The chance to see these gorgeous felines in their natural habitat doesn't come easy because there is little place to hide, and your only security is the gun. The best place in South Africa to safely view these kings is at the Kruger National Park where you can go on both walking and driving safaris.
The largest living land mammal on Earth calls South Africa home. The massive and ancient-looking elephant can grow to stand over 11 feet tall and may weight as much as six tons. Although there is an almost Zen-like stillness and elegance to these animals, you don't want to be in their way when they get the blood up. Elephants can upend trees and destroy vehicles when things don't go their way, but taking advantage of the safaris that place atop their backs is a magical experience that brings you closer to other African wildlife than you can get otherwise. From atop these amazing elephants, you can see rhinos and giraffes in their natural habitats. The view puts even the best zoos to shame.
Of all the big cats in Africa, the leopard may be the most mysterious. This cat doesn't have the cache of lions, nor is it the fastest land animal like the cheetah. What sets the leopard apart, however, is that no other big can climb a tree as high or with such stealth as this spotted panther. Another interesting aspect of leopards is that they are solitary animals and eschew the social behavior that other cats exploit.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.