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.
Big 5 Pilanesberg Accommodation
The park is served by 3 luxury lodges and 2 resorts:
Bakgatla Resort Accommodation offers 5 Bed Chalets, Executive Safari Tents, Caravan Sites, Camping Sites (Electrified & Non-Electrified). Accommodation is on a Bed &
Breakfast or Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis only;
Sites & Caravan Sites are on a Site Only Basis.
Bakubung Bush Lodge
Bakubung Bush Lodge Accommodation offers 76
air-conditioned hotel rooms. Rooms have doors which lead onto either a balcony or a patio. Your
wildlife experiences are best shared at a blazing campfire, while
you marvel at the spectacle of innumerable stars at our exclusive
Boma Lapa in the park.
Black Rhino Game Lodge
Black Rhino Game Lodge Accommodation offers 10 Luxury Suites, all equipped with air-conditioning, television, tea station and mini bar fridge have patios which open out into the bush, as does the bathroom to its own private outside shower.
Buffalo Thorn Lodge
Buffalo Thorn Lodge Accommodation has 5 Luxuriously appointed Chalets which accommodated a maximum of 10 guests. This Lodge has to be booked by one party at a time. You will have Exclusive Use of the Lodge whose staff will help you make the most of your visit to Pilanesberg.
Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Ivory Tree Game Lodge Accommodation comprises 56 Standard Rooms which include twin beds, en-suite bathroom and outside shower, air conditioning system and a covered patio. 4 Executive Suites include a standard room, a lounge which can accommodate 2 children, fireplace and a private plunge pool.
Kwa Maritane Lodge
Kwa Maritane Lodge Accommodation comprises of 90 Luxury
Rooms. All rooms have individual aircon, bathrooms with shower,
DStv, direct dialling phone, electric shaving plugs, coffee/tea
making machines and a hair dryer.
Manyane Resort Accommodation offers 2 Bed Studio Rooms & 4 Bed Chalets. Exclusive Safari Tents and Camping Sites & Caravan Sites. Accommodation is on a Bed & Breakfast or Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis only; Camping Sites & Caravan Sites are on a Site Only Basis.
Pilanesberg Private Lodge
Pilanesberg Private Lodge Accommodation comprises of 5 Luxury Suites with extra length King-sized beds.The Suites are all equipped with air-conditioning and ceiling fans, a tea station and mini bar fridge and each have private patios.
Shepherd’s Tree Lodge
Shepherd’s Tree Lodge Accommodation comprises of 13 Family Suites and 4 Executive Suites. The Family Suites consist of 2 bedrooms with a shared lounge and patio. The Executive Suites have their own lounge with mini business centre.
Tshukudu Bush Lodge
Tshukudu Bush Lodge Accommodation offers
6 Luxurious Cottages with bathrooms and lounge areas, with open fires which
open onto balconies with views of the plains and wildlife.
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