Pilanesberg Nature Reserve

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Pilanesberg Nature Reserve: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Sun City: Pilanesberg National Park 3-Hour Game Drive

1. From Sun City: Pilanesberg National Park 3-Hour Game Drive

Discover the exquisite Pilanesberg National Park, located in an extinct volcanic crater. Departing from Sun City, enjoy a 3-hour game drive to experience the pristine flora and wildlife, offering some of the best game viewing in South Africa.   Come face to face with the unspoilt beauty of the bush. From a 25-seater open vehicle you could encounter Africa’s big five animals and many other natural inhabitants at close range. Bring your binoculars and a camera, to capture the incredible sightings.

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Pilanesberg: Open-Vehicle Safari

2. Pilanesberg: Open-Vehicle Safari

Set off on a full-day safari in Pilanesberg National Park. This one-day safari in an open-top jeep will give you the opportunity to not only see, but also to snap close-up shots of some of the most famous inhabitants of the African savanna. The park covers an area of 55,000 hectares. More than 7,000 animals live in the park in a free and unobstructed environment. Pilanesberg is also home to all Big 5 (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo, and lion). Other animals you can find are zebra, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, hippopotamus, crocodile, jackal, wild cat, several antelopes, in addition to more than 300 species of birds; the list is endless. Pilanesberg offers more than 200 kilometers of safari roads and the excursions are guided by experienced guides who are always at your disposal, not only to answer your questions, but more importantly to ensure you have an incredible safari experience.

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Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Full-Day Safari from Johannesburg

3. Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Full-Day Safari from Johannesburg

Visit Pilanesberg Game Reserve on a full-day safari from Johannesburg. More than 7000 animals roam freely through Pilanesberg, and the park is home to all of the big five game animals (elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalos and lions). You may encounter zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, jackals, wild cats, various antelopes, as well as over 300 species of bird. On your tour you will enjoy 2 extensive game drives, conducted by an experienced tour guide. After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM, you will travel to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Upon arrival, your guide will take you on an exciting 2.5-hour morning safari in search of animals that inhabit the park.  During the heat of the day, you will enjoy lunch at one of the many rest camps in the Game Reserve. After lunch, you will depart on another 2.5-hour afternoon safari drive in an open vehicle. Ask your knowledgeable guide any questions you might have about the animals and the natural environment. You will leave Pilanesberg between 3:30 PM and 4:00 PM in order to arrive back in Johannesburg before sunset, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

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Pilanesberg, Sun City and Valley of the Waves Waterpark

4. Pilanesberg, Sun City and Valley of the Waves Waterpark

Sit back and enjoy the two hour journey to Pilanesberg, passing by the scenic Magaliesberg Mountains and the picturesque Hartbeespoort Dam. The Pilanesberg National Park lies in a caldera of an extinct, ancient volcano and is dramatically beautiful with mountains, plains, wooded valleys and dams. Look for over 7000 animals that roam freely across the spectacular volcanic landscape. Try and spot the Big Five and a large variety of antelope.  Journey to Mankwe Dam, at the centre of the reserve, a large watering hole that draws animals and birds to it on a daily basis. After a three hour morning game drive in a closed minibus at Pilanesberg, you will be transferred to Sun City, an oasis of leisure, flamboyance and relaxation that shimmers in the heat of the African sun. Spend the afternoon at leisure at the Valley of Waves, a fun family destination where you can swim, enjoy water rides and sunbathe. The 70 meter slide and two body slides are sure to be a hit with the whole family. Stroll through the tropical forest surrounding the Valley of Waves and discover rare plant varieties. 

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Johannesburg: Private Pilanesberg National Park Safari

5. Johannesburg: Private Pilanesberg National Park Safari

Discover the “Big Five” of South Africa on a full-day safari tour of Pilanesberg National Park, just 2 hours from Johannesburg. Located in the Bonjanala region, adjacent to Sun City, Pilanesberg National Park is a 55,000-hectare game reserve, making it the 4th largest in South Africa. Depart from Johannesburg (or Pretoria) at 06:00 for the journey to the northwest province. Upon arrival at the 1,200-million-year old extinct alkaline volcanic crater (one of only 3 in the world) discover the beauty of Pilanesberg reflected in the Mankwe Dam. 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 occurs. For instance, the red-eyed bulbul and black-eyed bulbul, which normally occur in separate areas, overlap. Marvel at the syenite koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld, rolling grasslands, and lightly wooded areas. Today, the Game Reserve accommodates almost every mammal of southern Africa, including the “Big Five,” so called because they are the 5 most dangerous game animals in Africa. Home to over 360 species of bird, Pilanesberg is also an ornithologist’s delight. Enjoy excellent game viewing opportunities in a malaria free climate. Plans are under way to create a heritage park that will link Pilanesberg and Madikwe to form another super-large “Big Five” game and nature park.  Lunch will be enjoyed at the famous Bakubung Lodge. Depart Pilanesberg at approximately 16:00 for the return transfer to your accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria.

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Pilanesberg Full-Day Shared Safari with Sun City Visit

6. Pilanesberg Full-Day Shared Safari with Sun City Visit

Depart at 6:00 AM from Johannesburg for a full day excursion to explore Pilanesberg National Park and Sun City Resort. Sit back and enjoy the two-hour journey to Pilanesberg, passing by the scenic Magaliesberg Mountains and the picturesque Hartbeespoort Dam. The Pilanesberg National Park lies in a caldera of an extinct 1200 million-year-old volcano and is dramatically beautiful with mountains, plains, wooded valleys and dams. Over 7000 animals roam freely across the spectacular volcanic landscape, including the Big Five, predators and a large variety of antelope. Mankwe Dam, at the center of the reserve, is a large watering hole that draws animals and birds to it on a daily basis. See all this beauty and more on a 3-hour morning game drive through the Park in a minibus. Then, you will be transferred to Sun City Resort, an oasis of leisure, flamboyance and relaxation that shimmers in the sun, only 1 km away from the National Park. The world’s most unique resort is internationally renowned for its glamorous casinos, gourmet restaurants, extensive sports facilities and star-studded spectaculars. After an orientation tour, enjoy some free time to have lunch or stroll through the beautiful gardens. In the afternoon, return to Pilanesberg for another exciting 3-hour 4x4 game drive. Feel the wind in your hair and the thrill of getting closer to nature in an open-air safari vehicle. As the sun starts to set, keep your eyes peeled for stealthy predators such as wild dog, Cape fox and spotted hyena. After your game drive concludes at 6:00 PM, depart for your return trip to Johannesburg, where you will arrive between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.     

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Johanessburg: 3-Day Pilanesberg Camping Adventure

7. Johanessburg: 3-Day Pilanesberg Camping Adventure

Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa’s fourth largest game park, is situated in a crater in the Bojanala Region of the North West Province. This crater is the product of a volcano that erupted many millions of years ago, and has evolved to become one of the most fascinating landscapes for you to visit. Pilanesberg offers over 200 kilometers of roads for guided or self-drive game viewing. Throughout your tour you will enjoy an extensive game drive, conducted by an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who will answer all your questions about the fascinating wildlife and environment. Day 1: After being picked up in Johannesburg, you will depart for Pilanesberg. You will enter the park for a morning game drive in a closed, air-conditioned vehicle. At around midday you will be provided with some free time for lunch, followed by check-in at your camp. In the afternoon you will continue to explore in an open 4x4 vehicle safari drive. You will later have dinner, which will be prepared by your guide at Bakgatla or Manyane Camp. Day 2: You will start your day with an early morning game drive in an open-roof vehicle. You will then return to the lodge for breakfast. At midday you will have some time for relaxation and lunch, before enjoying another afternoon open-roof vehicle drive. You will later have dinner, which will be prepared by your guide at Bakgatla or Manyane Camp. Day 3: Begin your day with an early morning game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle. You will then depart to Johannesburg where you will later be dropped off at a location of your choosing.

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Sun City & Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Full-Day Tour

8. Sun City & Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Full-Day Tour

Go in search of the 'Big Five' (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros) and other animal species on a guided closed vehicle game drive in the malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve. This will be followed by a guided orientation tour of the famous Sun City complex, nestled deep in the rugged Bushveld, in the heart of an ancient volcano. The Sun City resort complex captivates visitors with its combination of golf, game and gambling. Enjoy this glamorous oasis with its world-class bars and restaurants and have time to explore and enjoy the many attractions this resort has to offer. Bordering this entertainment complex in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, you will find one of the world’s outstanding geological phenomena, a crater of a long extinct volcano and the result of eruptions some 1,200 million years ago. 

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Sun City: Pilanesberg National Park Bush Walk

9. Sun City: Pilanesberg National Park Bush Walk

Learn more about Pilanesberg National Park and the wildlife that lives there with an early morning walk in the bush. Follow your professional field guide on this walking safari and see the park from a different perspective. Explore both the flora and fauna of the park along various hiking trails. This bushwalk experience focuses on locating and observing the wildlife of the park on foot. Listen to the first-hand knowledge and experience of your field guide.

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Pilanesberg to O.R. Tambo International Airport Transfer

10. Pilanesberg to O.R. Tambo International Airport Transfer

Travel from Pilanesberg to O.R. Tambo International Airport with this comfortable and reliable airport transfer. Enjoy a private transfer service from your chosen location in Pilanesberg to the airport in Johannesburg. Choose this transfer for groups of up to 17 people. The driver will collect you from your pickup location in a branded vehicle and drive you to the airport. Take the stress out of your journey and travel in air-conditioned comfort. Provide your flight details when booking, and you’ll be dropped off at the departures hall in good time for your flight.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Pilanesberg Nature Reserve

Want to discover all there is to do in Pilanesberg Nature Reserve? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Pilanesberg Nature Reserve

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 505 reviews

Incredible experience! We got to see all the big 5 in a single game drive. We feel extremely lucky and grateful to our hosts for their deep knowledge and experience in tracking these majestic animals so we could see them in the wild. 10/10 unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Great day. The day before, contact from driver Jason to finalize the pick-up time. Pick up then 100% on time, a lot about the country and things on the way from Johannesbur to Pilanesberg. On the safari then a lot of animals z. T. seen very close. 100% recommend.

Alex was an incredible tour guide, very knowledgeable and excellent vibe. The tour was amaizing we could never guess we could see so many animals. We were happily surprised.

Was a very fascinating experience. My first time getting close to these animals. Saw the big five except the leopard.

Excellent guide well knowledgeable and perfect day as we spotted 4 of the big 5