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Pilanesberg National Park reviews

8 reviews

Why Pilanesberg is my favourite park

Andrea
Visited: Dec 2012 Reviewed: Jan 16, 2014

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 choose from so you don’t have to put up with the national park chalets, although these are perfectly fine. There are luxury tents as well as stunning hilltop bush camps. If you only had little time for SA and you wanted to cram it full of attractions, you could for instance do your Big Five safari at Pilanesberg, see Sun City, do some shopping and catch your plane out – all in the space of two days.

But even better is that Pilanesberg is malaria-free, something you don’t have at the Kruger National Park. So no meds, no risk, no extra worry – and it’s safe for the kids. We drove around with a 1-year-old in the back of the car and he was entranced by the elephant crashing through the bushes right next to our car!

But perhaps the best thing about Pilanesberg is the stunning landscape - the 55 000 hectare reserve is situated in an extinct volcano, so think hills and rocky outcrops, stunning bushveld and savannah. It really is beautiful. The sunsets are glorious and very photogenic. We had a couple of self-drive game drives and saw plenty of game; lions, elephant, zebra, hippos etc. I have been to Pilanesberg a few times and I plan to go many, many more times before I die.

Quality of wildlife
Crowdedness
Quality of lodging
Overall rating

* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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Pilanesberg another malaria-free park

Marco
Visited: Apr 2010 Reviewed: Nov 13, 2014

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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Good but small

Visited: Feb 2012 Reviewed: Jan 09, 2014

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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One of our favorite spots

Shilohnowlin
Visited: Apr 1999 Reviewed: Oct 12, 2013

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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Weekend retreat.

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 Satu... read more

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Great for families - a taste of Africa

Porcupine
Visited: May 2012 Reviewed: Sep 23, 2013

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

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Pilanesberg National Park

Visited: Sep 2013 Reviewed: Sep 23, 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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Great safari destination for those with limited time

Visited: Sep 2012 Reviewed: Sep 21, 2013

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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