The Pilanesberg National Park
by Caroline and Thorsten, Germany, Frankfurt

The Pilanesberg National Park is situated in the North West Province and you get there by a 2.5 hour northeast drive from Jo’burg. It’s located right next to Sun City and the visit of both spots can be easily combined.

You should spend at least one full day inside the park and you’ve seen it all after three days.

What to expect there and why Pilanesberg?

A visit to South Africa definitely will be incomplete without taking a trip to one of the National Parks. We highly recommend everybody to see at least one of them and Pilanesberg National Park is an excellent choice.

You can encounter the Big Five and several other species at Pilanesberg. You’ll meet them in a beautiful landscape which is dominated by hills; some even consider them to be mountains which go up to 1,700 m.

These mountains actually are volcanoes which fortunately agreed to call off a general strike a long time ago.

In between these hills the woodland and the grassland give stage to zebras, cheetahs and the like.

During droughts you can observe dramatic hunting scenes at the two major waterholes. Pilanesberg offers you untouched nature at its’ best and we were especially pleased to not find any litter at all.

Pilanesberg is a rather small game reserve. Its’ area covers about 500 km2 which appears to be tiny compared to the size of the Kruger National Park (20,000 km2).

Overlooking the wide open though we highly dought that anyone will suffer from claustrophobia. We believe that this comparably small size can in fact be an advantage.

The grape-vine functions pretty well; if you are at one end of the park desperately looking for lion you may meet someone telling you to go look at the other end. Try to do that in the Kruger Park!

Pilanesberg is hardly ever crowded (you may experience difficulties during high season only). Most visitors prefer the central zone of the Park, so those of you who take the outer tracks will be left alone with the game.

Another nice thing about Pilanesberg National Park are the prices. The admission ticket costs a few Rands; accommodation can be as much as R2,000 per night, but there is a variety of affordable and convenient accommodation (starting at R150 per person).

Have fun, Caroline and Thorsten

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