"Pilanesberg, a great way to see the Big 5" Top 5 Page for this destination Pilanesberg by tompt

Pilanesberg Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 198 photos


Pilanesberg is located in a crater of an extinct volcano. You will find the park in the North West Province, next to Sun City. It is the fourth largest park of South Africa and covers an area of 55 000 hectare.

In the middle of the park is a large lake, formed by the Mankwe Dam. There are always animals around the water. Pilanesberg National Park hosts almost every mammal of southern Africa. It is home to the Big Five, but you can also see the wild dog or brown hyena.

As Pilanesberg is located next door to Sun City and only 4.5 hours drive of Johannesburg it is always crowded in weekends. And weekends or holidays are not the best times to visit as the animals are sometimes frightened by the many cars with shooting people.

The camps


We stayed here several times and in different camps. So far we liked Bakubung the best. The atmosphere there is great, the personnel is very friendly and the food is absolutely excellent. Never encountered such a variety in a breakfast buffet before. And although we stayed here more than once we still didn't taste every item on the dinner buffet.
Rooms are spacious and clean and there is internet connection in your room.

See the tips for more on Bakubung, Kwa Maritane and Manyane, the three camps we stayed at over the years.

What to do?

- The first thing you have to do is a self drive safari. It is best to have a car in which you sit a bit higher (a 4x4 or minivan for example). By sitting a bit higher you can look over the grass instead of in the grass, it is easier to spot animals.

- Drive to one of the hides at a waterhole and sit there for a while waiting to see

- If you like to have some expert info you can also make guided tours, every camps offers tours in open jeeps.what animals come to drink.

- For something special you can go for an hot air balloon. Tours in a balloon are made in the early morning when the sun rises. It is a great way to see the animals (from the air), but is also a very expensive option.

- There are also elephant back safari's in a part of the park. This also not on the cheap side...

  • Last visit to Pilanesberg: Aug 2010
  • Intro Updated Oct 24, 2010
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