Experience big 5 country, only 2 to 3 hours from Johannesburg with our famous Pilanesberg Safari. Located in the North West province (Bonjanala region) adjacent to the world famous Sun City entertainment resort and casino in South Africa. Pilanesberg National Park is a 55000 hectare game reserve, the fourth largest in South Africa and is situated in a 1200 million year old extinct alkaline volcanic crater. Pilanesberg is one of only 3 such craters in the world. One in Greenland and the other in Russia. Pilanesberg was named after a Bakgatse Chief Pilane. Pilanesberg National Park is governed by the North West Parks and Tourism Board. Pilanesberg was established in 1979, with a restocking of wild animals called operation Genesis. A 110 kilometre peripheral Big Game fence was erected over extremely rugged terrain. 6000 Animals were introduced into Pilanesberg. This was one of the most ambitious programs ever to be undertaken in the world. There are nearly 200 km of roads to traverse, most are not tarred but are kept in a good condition. Of the 3 main roads that are tarred in Pilanesberg is Kgabo, Kubu and Tswene. Numerous hides allow you to get out of your car during the tour. Thabayadiotso, “the Proud Mountain” can be found in this park. Pilanesberg has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the Pilanesberg park. Several camps and lodges are established around the park, Manyane and Bakgatla just outside the Pilanesberg park and Lodges like Bakubung and Kwa Maritane just inside the Pilanesberg park. On the Pilanesberg safari we provide, lunch will normaly be enjoyed at either Bakubung or Bakgatla's Restaurant. At Bakubung animals can be viewed from your table as you consume a very delicious lunch.
The beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam. This is also where it is believed the centre of the volcano used to be. The area lies in a transition zone between the kalahari sandveld and the lowveld. Due to this transition zone, an overlap of mammals, birds and vegetation occur. For instance the red eyed bulbul and the black eyed bulbul which normally occur in separate areas overlap here. Syenite koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld, rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas can be seen.
Today, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve accommodates almost every mammal of southern Africa, including the big five. So called because they are the 5 most dangerous game animals. It is not an area where these animals would occur naturally, but so far it is a success. The Bird life diversity is excellent, with over 360 species having been recorded. Our tour to Pilanesberg offers some excellent game viewing opportunities. South Africa's national animal the Springbuck can also be viewed in Pilanesberg. You will not find any Springbuck in Kruger national park. One aspect that makes this area around Pilanesberg unique is due to the fact that it is a malaria free area. Being malaria free gives visitors the chance to do the Pilanesberg safari on short notice, as they do not need to get prescribed malaria medication that needs to be taken some time before entering a malaria area. Plans are under way to create a heritage park. The Heritage Park will be a major area where Pilanesberg and Madikwe will be joined together by filling up the space between them to form another super-large big five game and nature park comparable to the best in the world! A recent study has shown that Pilanesberg has jumped to the number one spot of the most public game reserve in South Africa after being second to Kruger National Park for many years. This is because of the close location to Johannesburg as well as the fact that it is malaria free.
Pilanesberg Safari / Tour depart at 06:00am from your location of choice. This could be either Pretoria, Johannesburg, OR Tambo airport or anywhere from the West Rand area. It will be no problem to pick you up for the safari from any hotel, guest house or air b&b of your choice. Whem contacting us, please specify your pick up details. Also it is advisable to ask the hotel to pack you a breakfast pack as the restaurants does not always serve breakfast so early. We prefer such an early start to the Pilanesberg Safari, as the chances are much better to view unforgetable sightings when it is early in the morning and the surrounding temperature still cool. You will be travelling in an airconditioned vehicle, with the necessary road transport permit required by law. Departure from Pilanesberg back to your destination will be anywhere between 15:00 to 16:00. Vehicle, Transport to Pilanesberg game park and back to you destination, refreshments on vehicle, guide and lunch at Bakubung Lodge is included in this tour price. Our Pilanesberg safaris are a favourite among clients wanting to see animals as well as great sightseeing opportunities. The Pilanesberg Safari is suitable for everyone. Please do not forget your cameras, sunglasses and suncreen!