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Pilanesberg Game Reserve big 5 Malaria Free Zebras South Africa Pilanesberg Game Reserve big 5 Malaria Free Hippos South Africa

Pilanesberg Game Reserve
West of Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa

Located in the North West Province, about 2 hours drive west of Johannesburg and Pretoria - Pilanesberg Game Reserve offers a true wildlife experience. The Reserve is well situated in a malaria free area adjacent to the entertainment complex of Sun City and is home to an abundance of wildlife including Africa’s ‘Big Five’.

The road network within Pilanesberg, although not all surfaced is well maintained and can be accessed with standard 2 x 2 vehicles. There are a number of lodges within the park (Bakubung Bush Lodge, Ivory Tree Lodge, Kwa Maritane, Shepherds Tree, Tshukudu Bush Lodge) as well as several accommodation camps serving the park from outside (Bakgatla, Manyane).

Operation Genesis
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is the fourth largest Reserve in South Africa, boasting a spectacular landscape of rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets all reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam.
The creation of the Pilanesberg National Park is considered one of the most ambitious projects of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in the world. Pilanesberg was once farmland and Operation Genesis which got underway during the late 70’s involved not only the fencing of the reserve and re-introduction of long-vanished species, the land also had to be rehabilitated. Alien plants were removed, eroded land was restored, houses and windmills were knocked down and an old fluorite mine was dismantled. Nearly 6000 animals of 19 different species were introduced to the reserve – at the time this was the largest game translocation in the world. Today the Park is hugely successful and accommodates virtually every mammal in southern Africa.

Pilanesberg Game Park covers an area of approximately 580km2 and is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its type in the world providing not only an abundance of wildlife but also rare rock types, minerals and formations as well as numerous and various sites dating back to the Iron and Stone Age, showing the early presence of man in the area.

The ‘Pilanesberg Alkaline Ring Complex’ is the park’s primary geological feature – ancient, even by geological standards. It is the crater of a long extinct volcano, resulting from eruptions some 1,200 million years ago and is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its type in the world.  The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills, which have survived ages of erosion and still stand high above the surrounding plains like a bubble. A number of rare rock types and formations occur within the park, adding to its unique geological importance.  

The Park is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo – the “Big Five”.  A wide variety of rare and common species also exist with endemic species like the nocturnal brown hyena, cheetah and sable antelope as well as many others including giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile, to name but a few. Bird watching is excellent with over 300 different species of birds recorded within Pilanesberg, including both permanent inhabitants and migratory visitors.

The park exists within a transition zone between the dry Kalahari and the wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as ‘Bushveld’.  Unique to this Reserve is the overlap of mammals, birds and vegetation occurring because of this transition zone. Springbok, brown hyena, red eyed bulbuls and camel thorn trees usually associated with arid areas are found co-habiting with impala, black-eyed bulbul and Cape chestnuts trees found in the wetter areas.  Over time, wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape and the variety of colours, habitats, topography and landscape will entertain visitors and delight photographers.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve offers visitors numerous and varied opportunities to experience the natural beauty and wonders of the bush.  There is a varying and fascinating combination of geology, landscape and rainfall which give rise to different patterns of vegetation – wide open grasslands, steep hill slopes, rocky outcrops, wooded valleys, thickets and thickly wooded gorges.

Accommodation options vary from budget to extreme luxury and guests can either drive themselves through the reserve or enjoy guided open vehicle game drives with experienced and knowledgeable rangers. There are self-guided walking trails, numerous ‘hides’ and scenic picnic sites enabling visitors to enjoy  an ‘out of car’ wildlife experience as well.


  Accomodation in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa
Bakgatla Resort
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Budget Holiday Bakgatla Resort Pilanesberg Game Reserve Malaria Free South Africa
Situated on the edge of the malaria free, Big Five Pilanesberg Game Reserve, Bakgatla Resort offers affordable accommodation in colonial style chalets or safari tents. There are also caravan and camping facilities available.

Accommodation is on a Bed & Breakfast or Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis only.
Camping and Caravan Sites are on a Site Only basis.
Bakubung Bush Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Budget Holiday  Bakubung Bush Lodge Pilanesberg Game Reserve Malaria Free South Africa
Bakubung Bush Lodge is a luxury private lodge, fully hosted and catered – rates include dinner, bed & breakfast with one guided game drive in Pilanesberg per day. There are 76 thatched studio rooms all with air-conditioning and private en-suite bathrooms. The lodge is situated in breathtaking surroundings and offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city living.
Black Rhino Game Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Luxury Game Lodge Black Rhino Game Lodge Pilanesberg Game Reserve Malaria Free South Africa
Black Rhino Lodge is situated on the western side of Pilanesberg National Park, at the foot of an ancient volcanic crater that today comprises one of South Africa’s most exciting Big 5 eco-tourism destinations- the greater Pilanesberg National Park. The main lodge has a dining and viewing deck which looks out into the bush. Evening meals can be enjoyed in the boma, around a crackling fire, under an open starlit sky.
Buffalo Thorn Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Buffalo Thorn Lodge Luxury Game Lodge Self Catering Pilanesberg Game Reserve Malaria Free South Africa
Exclusive Self Catering Lodge
Buffalo Thorn Lodge
has five luxuriously appointed chalets which can accommodate a maximum of 10 guests. The lodge has to be booked out by a whole party at a time and a minimum stay of 2 nights is required. The main lodge has a Dining room, fully equipped kitchen, TV lounge with DSTV and home theatre centre and a Games area with snooker table and Reading lounge.
Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Ivory Tree Lodge,Pilanesberg Game Park big 5 South Africa
Ivory Tree Lodge offers guests an easily accessible, malaria free destination, exclusivity and luxury in the midst of true African bushveld. Ivory Tree Lodge consists of 60 Standard Rooms each with en-suite bathrooms and outside showers and a covered patio. In addition, the 4 Executive Suites include a lounge which can accommodate 2 children, television, fireplace, private plunge pool and Zen Garden.
Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge big 5 Pilanesberg Game Park South Africa
Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge offers luxurious accommodation. There is a hide at the lodge, accessed by a tunnel from the main lodge and floodlit in the evenings, which offers excellent opportunities for quietly watching the array of animals during the day and night. There are many activities to you entertained, including children’s playground, outdoor chess, mini golf, swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball, table tennis, indoor pool tables and a water slide.
Manyane Resort
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Budget Holiday Manyane Resort Safari Tents Pilanesberg Game Park big 5 South Africa
Manyane Resort is ideally situated on the border of the malaria free Pilanesberg Game Reserve, 10 minutes from Sun City - it offers visitors a variety of affordable accommodation in unspoilt natural surroundings. There are also camping and caravan facilities available.
Please Note: Allocation of the campsites is on a first come basis. 
The Pilanesberg area is semi desert with grass cover very limited. In the rainy season the area will possibly become muddy.
Pilanesberg Private Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Pilanesberg Private Lodge Luxury Safari Game Lodge Pilanesberg Game Park Black Rhino Private Game Reserve South Africa
Pilanesberg Private Lodge is an exclusive lodge situated within the Black Rhino Private Game Reserve, adjacent to the malaria free Pilanesberg National Park. The five luxury suites have extra length King-sized beds, all are equipped with air-conditioning and ceiling fans and their own private patios. Each of the five suites is connected to each other and the communal areas via paved pathways and bridges.
Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Luxury Game Lodge Shepherds Tree Lodge Pilanesberg Game Reserve South Africa
Shepherd’s Tree Lodge comprises of 26 Standard Rooms and 4 Executive suites situated adjacent to the magnificent main lodge. The Family suites consist of 2 en-suite master bedrooms with a shared lounge and patio. The Executive suites have one en-suite master bedroom with their own lounge, patio and mini business centre. The placement and design of each suite ensures both privacy and uninterrupted views.
Tshukudu Bush Lodge
Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Luxury Safari Game Lodge Tshukudu Bush Lodge Pilanesberg Game Reserve South Africa
Tshukudu Bush Lodge is possibly one of Africa’s most romantic bush lodges and with only 6 luxurious cottages, personal service is guaranteed. The lodge is renowned for its bushveld experience, its high standard of service, the nowledge and experience of their Game Rangers and Field Guides.The five star, the Lodge situated within the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, approximately two hour’s drive west of Johannesburg.

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