African Safari: Pilanesburg National Park

Ever wanted to do an African Safari but didn’t know where to start?  Pilanesburg National Park is situated just outside of Sun City South Africa. (2 1/2 hrs drive from Johanesburg near the city of Rustenburg) This game reserve has all the big 5 that you would hope to see on a South African Safari.  It is also close to Sun City Casino Resort, so you can have a luxurious holiday at the same time!  The Park is made up of over 55 heactres of rolling plains and it also situated inside an extinct volcanic crater.  Pilanesburg National Park is known as the biggest game resettlement project in the history of South Africa, and is also one of the top 5 in conservation in the world.

The park offers many different safaris including early morning, afternoon and night safaris.  I went on one morning, one afternoon and one evening safari and would recommend the early morning safari as this is when many of the animals are most active.  We saw 4 of the big 5 on our early morning expeditions.

Safari Vehicles are big and animals are used to them so you can get quite close.

Safari Vehicles are big and animals are used to them so you can get quite close.

 

As soon as you enter the park you see the amazing rolling plains.  There are many different roads around the park and some are only for 4wds.  The Safari park also has a self-drive option. We saw many people in their own vehicles driving around the park, however it felt much safer in the park vehicles.  We first spotted Wilderbeasts and Zebras playing in groups.  Then as we got close to the water we saw Hippos and Crocodiles.

Wilderbeast on Safari

Wilderbeast on Safari

 

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Hippos frolicking in the water

 

As we drove through the park we saw an array of other animals including Zebras,Kudus, Springboks, Impalas, Elephants, Lions, Rhinos and even a Leopard! Everywhere you looked you could spot different animals enjoying their freedom. It was amazing that the animals were only a few metres away and we got to see them in their natural habitats.   The Safari Guides are also very knowledgable and as you encounter a new animal would impart some fun facts and information about that animal.    He told us of another Safari park in Africa earlier in the week where a self-drive tourist couple had gotten too close to an Elephant and it had sat right on top of their car!  The rangers will also be on their walkie talkies throught the Safari talking to other guides as they scout for the best views of the Big 5.

African Elephants are the Largest Land Animals on Earth.

African Elephants are the Largest Land Animals on Earth.

African Elephants are different from their Asian cousins.  They are much larger and can also be identified by their larger ears that sometimes look like the continent of Africa!  Both male and female African Elephants have tusks that they use for digging and stripping bark. Males will also use their tusks to battle other Elephants. In recent times their tusks have also attracted much attention by poachers who kill them to aquire their Ivory Tusks.

We spotted these Lions on the early morning Safari. They had just finished eating their kill and were keeping warm on the road.

We spotted these Lions on the early morning Safari. They had just finished eating their kill and were keeping warm on the road.

Rhinos out in threes

Rhinos out in threes

 

Giraffe in its natural habitat

 

The Safari goes for about 2.5 hrs, however time really does fly when you are having fun.  It was an amazing once in a lifetime experience.

African Safari: Pilanesburg National Park

 

 

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