an African Safari in a Malaria free Big Five Game Reserve with
luxury Lodge accommodation and guided open vehicle game drives,
the Pilanesberg offers the best in a true wildlife Safari experience.
The crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting
of Pilanesberg National Park - a fascinating alkaline complex
produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg
is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world.
Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological
feature. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous
Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park.
The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills
- the formation rises from the surrounding plains like a bubble.
The structure of the park is termed the "Pilanesberg National
Park Alkaline Ring Complex". Ancient, even by geological
time scales, this extinct volcano is the most perfect example
of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily
economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg
National Park rates high amongst the world's outstanding geological
phenomena. 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 park.
The park exists within the transition zone between
the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred
to as "Bushveld". Unlike any other large park, unique
overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this
transition zone. Springbok, brown hyena, the red eyed bulbul,
and camel thorn trees usually found in arid areas are found cohabitation
with moist-area-limited impala, black-eyed bulbul and Cape chestnut
trees. The colourful hues, varied habitats and panoramas will
delight and entertain photographers and visitors. The very topography
makes the area a feast for the eye. Here are syenite koppies,
thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld and also rolling grasslands
and lightly wooded areas.
The Park ranks among the largest of the national
parks in South Africa (it is in fact the fourth largest park)
and covers an area of 55 000 hectare. The beauty of Pilanesberg
is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam. Over time,
wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape with rocky
outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets. The creation
of the Pilanesberg National Park is considered one of the most
ambitious programmes of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in
the world. The Operation Genesis, which involved the game fencing
of the reserve and the reintroduction of long-vanished species,
began during the late 70's. Today, Pilanesberg National Park accommodates
virtually every mammal of southern Africa.
An abundance of wild life proliferates in 580 km of diverse and
arresting bushveld terrain. The park is home to healthy populations
of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo
- Africa's "Big Five". A wide variety of rare and common
species exist with endemic species like the nocturnal brown hyena,
the fleet-footed cheetah, the majestic sable, as well as giraffe,
zebra, hippo and crocodile, to mention but a few.
Bird watching is excellent with over 300 species recorded. Some
are migrants, others permanent inhabitants; some eat carrion or
live prey, others eat seeds, fruit or tiny water organisms. There
is a self-guided trail in the Walking Area at Manyane Complex
in the east, which offers environmental education whilst enjoying
game viewing and bird watching on foot. Also at Manyane is a walk-in
aviary with over 80 species of indigenous birds. Numerous hides
and scenic picnic sites enable the tourist to experience "out-of-car"
experiences as well.
The park is served by 3 luxury lodges and 2 resorts:
Tshukudu Bush Lodge - offers
unsurpassed accommodation in the heart of the African bush and
has earned a reputation as being one of the most luxurious in
Bakubung Lodge - surrounds a
hippo pool and offers you comfort and tranquility only minutes
away from Sun City.
Kwa Maritane Lodge - the luxurious
Kwa Maritane Lodge offers you views over the infinite plains of
the Pilanesberg National Park
Manyane Resort - nestles at the
Gateway to the Pilanesberg. Set in unspoilt natural surroundings
are thatched African-style chalets studded in a tapestry of indigenous
Bakgatla Resort - offers colonial
styled chalets, executive safari tents, rolling lawns & conference
facilities for up to 250 delegates.
Visitors are offered many opportunities to experience the wonders
of Pilanesberg. There are nearly 200 kilometres of excellent quality
roads for either self-drives or guided drives, and professional
guides operate within the park. Numerous hides and scenic picnic
sites enable the tourist to experience "out-of-car"
experiences as well.
How to get there
The 55.000 hectares Pilanesberg National Park borders on the entertainment
complex of Sun City and is situated north of Rustenburg.
Health & Climate
Pilanesberg National Park is situated in a in the malaria-free