The Pilanesberg National Park

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The Pilanesberg National Park has an unique blend of wildlife and plants. Here you will find an interesting overlap of animal, bird and plant species that occur in both the Lowveld and drier Kalahari regions.

This mix of habitats makes it a very popular birding and game viewing destination. The scenery and landscapes are quite impressive as well.

The Pilanesberg National Park is situated in the crater of a 1500 million year old extinct volcano.

The crater is now a grassy plain and is surrounded by four rings of hills. The views from the Lenong viewpoint on top of one of the hills are magnificent.

This malaria free National park is easy to reach by road from Johannesburg and Pretoria. There is an airport close by should you prefer to travel by air.

Accommodation ranges from Luxury 5 star hotel and safari lodges to caravanning and camping.

What are the top 5 attractions of the Pilanesberg National Park and surrounds?

rhino,pilanesberg A family of Rhinos in the Pilanesberg

  • Game viewing and Birding including the Big 5
  • The magnificent and diverse scenery found in the park
  • The excellent Lodges and Camps
  • Adventure Activities such as Elephant Safaris and Balloon safaris
  • The Sun City Hotel and Casino complex right next door to Pilanesberg.

Mankwe Dam and other Waterholes and Hides of the Pilanesberg National Park

mankwe,pilanesberg View from
Mankwe Bird Hide

Mankwe dam is the largest body of water in the Pilanesberg National Park. There is a lovely Bird Hide close to some dead trees in the water. This is an excellent place to view and photograph all sorts of birdlife. There are always kingfishers about their business. Fish Eagles ply their trade and cormorants are sunning themselves.

Also keep an eye out for crocodiles and leguans (water monitor) sunning themselves while you are crossing the walkway to the hide. There is always the opportunity for a photograph.

Waterbuck, blue wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, impalas and springbuck are among the wildlife that frequents the open grassland along the edges of Mankwe Dam. Elephants and Rhino come here to drink.

Read more about Mankwe and the other waterholes...

Pilanesberg Game Reserve Wildlife Guide

giraffe,pilanesberg Giraffe taking
a drink

The unique habitat of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife, birdlife and plants with the Big 5 probably on top of most visitors must see list.

According to the official park guide there are 50 species of large mammals over and above the big five, Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino.

From a birders perspective there are 354 different bird species to be found here. There are also 65 reptile species, 18 different kinds of amphibians and thousands of other small animals.

Find out more about the Wildlife of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve...

Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Birding

crested-barbet Crested Barbet

The Pilanesberg Nature reserve is home to 354 different bird species. One of the most spectular birds in Africa, the Fish eagle with its beautiful call and white and brown plumage is found here. With plenty of water around and excellent bird hides hides there are opportunities to take some great photographs of this magnificent bird.

A good pair of binoculars and a good Bird Guide Book is a must in this great park. I personally prefer the Roberts Guide to Birds in Southern Africa but the Sasol Bird Guide is another excellent resource to use in Southern Africa

Pilanesberg Mountains

The Pilanesberg Mountains were formed during volcanic activity approximately 1500 million years ago. The entire National park is situated in the extinct volcano crater. From the air you can see the concentric circles of the Pilanesberg Mountains around the grassy plains of the old crater.

You can have a look at the stunning scenery and wildlife at our Pilanesberg National Park Picture Gallery

Pilanesberg Safaris and other Adventures

Pilanesberg safaris and other adventure activities can be booked at any of the game lodges and hotels in the area as well as with Mankwe Safaris or Game Trackers

Pilanesberg Game Lodges

Pilanesberg boasts of several luxury Safari Lodges and resorts where you can stay. These range from 5 star hotel accommodation to self catering chalets and time share. There are also two excellent caravan parks and camping sites at Manyane and Bakgatla.

Pilanesberg Hotels

The famous Sun City complex and the fabulous Lost City are the landmark hotels in this region. These luxury hotel and casino complexes are well known internationally. The annual Sun City Golf Challenge is one of the biggest sporting events on the local calendar and the world's top golfers make the annual pilgrimage to Sun City for this tournament.

Pilanesberg Accommodation

There are various other accommodation options available over and above the Game Lodges and resorts in the Pilanesberg National Park and the Hotel Complexes at Sun City

Pilanesberg Airport

The Pilanesberg Airport is situated between Kwa Maritane and Sun City just outside the Pilanesberg National Park. The airport is run by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA). The airport has an international licence allowing direct flights to and from international destinations to be arranged.

There are daily flights to and from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cape Town is 2.5 hours away and Johannesburg is 30 minutes away by air.

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