Mammals in PilanesbergFor a park of its size Pilanesberg has a fascinating diversity of large mammalian species. Much of Pilanesberg’s diversity is owed to Operation Genesis of 1979, in which the reserve was fenced and many species were reintroduced to their natural habitat. Today Pilanesberg National Park has more than 50 species of large mammals and many smaller species.
The game viewer’s wish list is topped by the Big Five consisting of lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard, but Pilanesberg has much more to offer. The African wild dog is threatened by loss of habitat and hunting and Pilanesberg is a good place to see this social predator. The cheetah is a delicate creature that hunts at a speed of well over 100 km/h in the open plains. Other mammalian predators include the African wild cat, caracal, serval, jackal, bat-eared fox, brown hyena and the nocturnal aardwolf.
Situated in the transition zone of the Kalahari and the Lowveld Pilanesberg offers a unique and varied habitat that is home to 15 species of antelope. The species range from the hardy Oryx to the shaggy-coated waterbuck. The sable antelope and the kudu with its spiral-shaped horns are popular sightings, while springbok, impala and wildebeest are important prey species.