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Pilanesberg National Park reviews

8 reviews

“Experienced guides and their radios dramatically increase your chance of spotting the rarest and most exciting fauna.” - Speermacartney

Weekend retreat.

Views: 524 Visited: Mar 2013 Reviewed: Oct 05, 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.

Quality of wildlife
Quality of lodging
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* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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