Pilanesberg National Park


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Weekend retreat.

Written on: October 05, 2013   |   I visited in March 2013 I had the opportunity to visit the Pilanesberg National Park for a weekend in March earlier this year. I was in South Africa on business for two weeks and my colleagues and I were looking for a chance to get out of the city and see a bit of the 'real' Africa.

We were able to book last minute lodging at the Ivory Tree Game Lodge. We rented a car and drove up Saturday morning. There was an excellent lunch buffet waiting for us when we arrived. We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool. Including in the lodging are two game drives a day at dusk and dawn. The evening game drive was excellent. We had a local guide that was experienced and was able to work the radio between the other guides to quickly (within the first 10 min) get us near a lioness and her cubs. We had an excellent view of the group as they sauntered past the jeep. We quickly lost sight of the cubs and then the lioness, but moments later we heard the squeal of what our guide suggested was a baby warthog. While it was amazing to see this scene familiar to National Geographic viewers play out in front of us, it did perhaps set unreasonable expectations for the rest of the game drive.

We worked our way through the park and saw hippos, both black and white rhinos, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich and impala. We heard the lions later, but didn't see them again. As the sun set, a storm moved in and we had an exciting trip back down from the highlands watching lightening crack all around us.

The morning game drive was an excellent drive as well. The guide was able to quickly work the spot light to point out giraffe, owls and fox like creatures.

Our time was short, but I would recommend a stay at the Ivory Tree Lodge and/or a drive through Pilanesberg. Many of the locals drive through the park on their own which I think would be a fine experience. But if your time is short, I believe the experienced guides and their radios dramatically increase your chance of spotting the rarest and most exciting fauna.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Nov 13, 2014   |   Visited: Apr 2010.
With only a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, the Pilanesberg National Park offers an excellent quality of game drives (safaris) and good accommodation is found inside the park. Kwa Maritane and Bakabung properties of Legacy Hotels and the Ivory Tree Game Lodge are some of the lodges that offer full board and two game drives per day in an open vehicle.
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 16, 2014   |   Visited: Dec 2012.
Pilanesberg is my favourite game reserve in South Africa – and I have been to most. Yes, Kruger is lovely and sure, there is much to be said for Kgalagadi. But Pilanesberg has so much counting in its favour.

To begin with, it’s really close to Pretoria and Johannesburg and you don’t need hours and hours to drive there. There are so many accommodation options to ... read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 09, 2014   |   Visited: Feb 2012.
Like a few of the other folks who have reviewed this park, I was on business and had a small window of time to see the beauty of South Africa's nature. I ended up going to Pilanesberg and it was a good trip. It's very manageable and I did get to see lions, rhinos and many elephants. I have also been to the Serengeti and, in my opinion, this doesn't touch it in term... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Oct 13, 2013   |   Visited: Apr 1999.
This is one of the smaller, lesser known game parks, but it was probably our favorite. In 99 we lived in Lobatse, Botswana close to the South African boarder. Whenever we would get a chance we would travel to Rustenburg and drive our Hilux through the Pilanesberg game park. It was one of the more affordable reserves. Despite it being smaller, the park was never... read more
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(3/5 stars) Written on: Sep 23, 2013   |   Visited: May 2012.
The Pilansberg National Park is only 2.5 hours out of Joburg. It's easy to get to, and best of all it's in a malaria free area.

I took my family there last year and we had a great time. It's a great way to introduce children to the bush. We stayed at a nice safari camp in the reserve (Bakubung Bush Lodge). It had a great vibe and was very comfortable. Kids staye... read more

I saw

Lion
Elephant
Zebra
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 23, 2013   |   Visited: Sep 2013.
This is one of the worlds best kept secret parks and has a beauty that only nature can provide. You can see some of the big 5 on a one day visit or spend some time at one of the lodges around the park. Animal sightings are really good and the beauty of the mountains and valleys in the park is a sight to see. read more
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Sep 21, 2013   |   Visited: Sep 2012.
I recently found myself with a day to spare on a business trip to South Africa. I didn't have ample time, but I had enough to merit me hiring a car and spending a day in Pilanesberg. They say it's about a three hour drive from Joberg, but I made it in around two. I liked the fact that I could do this in my two-wheel drive car. I did not like the fact that everyone ... read more
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Experienced guides and their radios dramatically increase your chance of spotting the rarest and most exciting fauna.

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African buffalo
African buffalo
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Giraffe
Giraffe
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Game drives
Game drives
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