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Pilanesberg National Park

One of the game parks in South Africa, where you have great chance of spotting the Big Five is the Pilanesberg National Park in the province of North West. The park is located about 2.5 hours' drive north-west of Johannesburg / Pretoria. This 55 000 hectare park is part of the larger game parks in South Africa and has excellent wildlife with a variety of species including the famous Big Five. The park is situated on the crater of a volcano which was active millions of years ago and reminds us today that this area is geologically special with strangely shaped rocks. Pilanesberg is in the transition area from the Kalahari to Lowveld which means it is an excellent habitat for many different animal and plant species.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve was founded in 1979 and it was a huge project called "Operation Genesis". There was no less than 110 km fences placed and 188 km was applied to paved roads. The biggest challenge was replacing 6000 animals in the area where they originally lived. It proved a very successful project and today about 7000 animals live here. There is a passable road network of 200 km and it is one of the most popular game parks in South Africa. Bird watchers come here to see more than 300 species, among them migratory species that are not found in this region throughout the year.

The area has a large dam, Mankwe dam where many animals come to drink. This is a good place for spotting wildlife and a look-out hut made connections to the ospreys, kingfishers and cormorants can be seen circling above the dam.

Because of the good condition of the roads in the park you'll be fine here with your own car on a game drive. But if you want to know more about the different animals then a game drive is recommended with a safari vehicle and a knowledgeable guide. Often guides know well where the less easy to find animals are hiding. For those who these options are too ordinary, there is also the opportunity to ride on the back of an elephant through the park (Elephant Back Safaris), or a balloon flight over the area. Just a short distance from Pilanesberg you will find Sun City, a tourist resort which combines well with a visit to Pilanesberg.

Want to treat yourself to a wonderful luxurious stay in this sanctuary? Then a night in Black Rhino Game Lodge is an absolute must!

Pilanesberg National Park is a malaria free area.

Your South Africa holiday begins at the South Africa specialist.