Discover Pilanesberg National Park
Among Southern Africa’s fascinating game reserves, Pilanesberg National Park is possibly the most accessible. Situated in the transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, this vast area offers thrilling big game viewing in a malaria free environment. A wide variety of accommodation is available depending on your needs.
Big 5 game viewing
Some of the most beautiful scenery within the entire park can be viewed in the Mankwe Dam region. The dam is the largest body of water in the game reserve. This makes it the perfect place to spot a wide variety of animals. water-buck, wildebeest, zebra and impala are among the animals that make a stopover on the grassland bordering the dam. For bird lovers, there is a bird hide very close to the water’s edge. Make sure you take note of the fish eagles, kingfishers and cormorants circling the dam. All of these places provide many a fantastic opportunity to photograph the plentiful array of fauna and flora.
Pilanesberg National Park, or Pilanesberg Game Reserve as it is often called, is located in the Bojanala Region, within the North West Province and relatively near Johannesburg. With an area of 550km², it is the fourth largest park in South Africa. The volcano crater in which the park is situated erupted 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg was originally owned by 3 of the local tribes. Many of the Stone Age and Iron Age sites around the reserve show proof of the presence of man.
Abundant wildlife in Pilanesberg
In 1979, Operation Genesis was launched. Operation Genesis was designed to reinforce the homegrown game population in the area. As part of the initiative, 110km of game fence was put up, as well as the 188km of roads that were established. Another plan of action put into place involved 6000 animals being introduced to the area. In the years that followed, Operation Genesis has been expanded on. Today, there are over 7000 animals, 300 bird species, and more than 200km of excellent quality roads.
Facts about the game reserve
- Park Area: 550km²
- Currency: South African Rand
- Seasons: Dry season in the winter months (April to September), and wet season in the summer months (October to March)
- Popular attractions: Big 5, hot air-ballooning, elephant back safaris, day trips, Lost City at Sun City
- Nearby airports: O.R. Tambo International (220km)/Pilanesberg International Airport (inside the park)
- Nearest cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg
Did you know?
- Recent polls conducted by the South African Tourism Board have shown that Pilanesberg is now the most popular game reserve in the country.
- Pilanesberg was formerly know as Pilandsberg and is often misspelt. Here are some common misspellings: pilansberg, pilanesburg, pilansburg.