Mohavi Orient Restaurant Fourways

3 picturesque parks (other than Kruger), that can be reached in less than a day from Jozi

Golden Gate National Park Clarens

Hello January. Hello New year. Hello new you.

As South Africans we love our wildlife so we thought we would suggest three beautiful South African National Parks (SANParks) you can visit and they’re all less than a day’s drive from Jozi!

And who says we can only travel in December? Hello January holidays…

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park

203kms from Johannesburg
Golden Gate National Park Clarens
Photo: Rudolph de Girardier

Located in the north eastern Free State, at the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, Golden Gate is close enough to Joburg for a weekend getaway. There are a wide range of hikes available in the park, and horse riding is available, including pony rides for children aged 3-6.
You can also visit the Basotho Cultural Village by booking one of the cultural tours available.

The Golden Gate Highlands National Park offers a wide range of accommodation. The park-run Glen Reenen Rest Camp has 60 campsites and 32 thatched self-catering houses. In the midst of the national park, the Highlands Mountain Retreat is a collection of eight self-catering family cabins, and the Golden Gate Hotel caters for those looking for high-end comfort.


Marakele National Park

260kms from Johannesburg
SAN Parks image with people on gaem drive
Photo: Rudolph de Girardier

Marakele is a 70 000 hectare park in the Waterberg region of Limpopo Province. Divided into two sections, one section holds the Big Five and can be viewed from your vehicle or on an early morning or sunset game drive. The land was previously used for game farming and has been rehabilitated in an effort to restore the pristine natural environment.

Accommodation ranges from the Bontle and Tlopi rest camps, tented camps with two bed and four bed units and full self-catering facilities, to the 38 campsites with power and shared ablution blocks.

A secluded favourite is the farmhouse turned guesthouse, Motswere, a comfortable 4 bedroom house with two bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. The house is fenced and secure, but be aware that you will need a 4×4 vehicle for access and allow enough time to travel the 27kms from the entrance gate. There is also a lodge situated on a 23 thousand hectare private concession within the park, and this can be booked directly at


Mapungubwe National Park

536 kms from Johannesburg
National park with people going for a walk
Photo: Rudolph de Girardier

There are a host of activities available in the park, including game drives and guided walks, and a tour of the award-winning building, the Museum and Interpretation Centre where the famous Golden Rhino and other archeological artifacts can be found. You can also walk to the viewing decks to see the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, where Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa meet.

Mapungubwe’s main camp, Leokwe Camp, is situated in the beautiful sandstone hills in the eastern side of the Park. Limpopo Forest Tented Camp is the second camp in the park, and it’s in the park’s western side.

Tshugulu Lodge, a luxury lodge with 6 bedrooms, a bath, an en-suite swimming pool, and an exclusive eco-trail, can accommodate up to 12 people. Vhembe Wilderness Camp and Mazhou Camping Site are two of Mapungubwe’s camping options.


#HelloRecommends The Discover Africa Group has developed a National Parks Explorer site, an easy guide to all 19 SANParks with interactive information and videos. You can also visit the SANParks website for more detailed information and to make bookings.


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