Animals and plants

South Africa's wildlife wonders

There's more to South African wildlife than the celebrated "Big Five". From big to small, meat eater to ant eater, primate to reptile ... our animals (and birds) are wild, varied and abundant.

Elephants, Kruger National Park

South Africa's plant life

South Africa's large areas of semi-desert scrub and grassland might suggest a certain poverty of plant life. Aside from the fact that a tract of pristine grassland can hold up to 60 grass species, nothing could be further from the truth.


South Africa's bird life

South Africa ranks as one of the top birding destinations in the world, offering an unbeatable combination of variety of birds, well-developed transport networks, and a user-friendly and supportive birding tourism industry.


From Big Five to Little Five

Visitors to South Africa are always keen to see the country's celebrated Big Five neglecting a wealth of smaller wildlife. To remedy this, some clever people came up with another must-see list, the Little Five: elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise!


The Cape Floral Region

The Cape Floral Region, one of South Africa's eight World Heritage sites, comprises eight protected areas stretching from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape, cutting across spectacular mountain and ocean scenery and containing some of the richest plant biodiversity in the world.


iSimangaliso: South Africa's coastal jewel

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is one of the jewels of South Africa's coastline, with a unique mosaic of ecosystems - swamps, lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands - supporting an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life.


Exploring the world of biodiversity

Whether you're looking for information on a seaslug named after Nelson Mandela or advice on how to deal with fig tree-eating beetles, Museum Online South Africa's Biodiversity Explorer will answer all your questions - and a lot more.

South African wildlife experiences

Wildlife experiences

Some of the ways you can experience South Africa's extraordinary wildlife and wilderness for yourself. >

World heritage

We're home to eight World Heritage sites, places of "outstanding value to humanity". >
South Africa's World Heritage sites
Sustainable development in South Africa

Sustainable development

South African initiatives for "people, planet, prosperity". >

South Africa photo galleries

Gallery: South Africa's 
wildlife

Wildlife

The famous Big Five - elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo - and more. >

Gallery: South Africa's national parks

National parks

Kgalagadi's desert, Kruger's wildlife, Mapungubwe's ancient heritage, and more. >

Gallery: South Africa's birdlife

Birdlife

Some of the more striking of the 850 or so bird species recorded in South Africa. >

Gallery: South Africa's plant life

Plant life

Five major habitat types, and some 10% of the world's flowering species. >