In just two days, travel from the megacity of Johannesburg into the ancient crater of Pilanesberg National Park where we see an incredible array of African wildlife and birds in the wild, before returning to the bustling city.
Encounter all kinds of fascinating wild animals and birds on late afternoon and early morning game drives in open safari vehicles. Experienced local guides take you in search of the Big Five and share their knowledge of the flora and fauna with you out in the bush.
Accommodation is at a tented camp on Manyane Resort Camp Grounds in the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park, where you stay in basic safari tents with comfortable beds and a few extra comforts. This is an ideal short break into the scenic and wildlife-rich wilderness, only three hours from Johannesburg city.
This morning we leave the megacity and head into the African bushveld. Departing Johannesburg from 10h00 onwards we drive to Pilanesberg in an air-conditioned microbus. Collection is from O.R. Tambo or selected points in Johannesburg, as well as Pretoria.
About three hours later we reach our tented camp on the grounds of Manyane Resort in Pilanesberg National Park, aiming to arrive by 13h00. Freshen up and have lunch (own account) at the restaurant near the main swimming pool of the resort. Take a quick dip in the pool and rest in the shade, then we have tea and coffee before our first game drive. Setting off at about 16h30 in winter and 17h00 in summer, we make our way into the game-rich Pilanesberg Park, one of South Africa's most renowned safari destinations.
Our experienced local guides take you out in open safari vehicles, tracking down animals and birds using their finely-tuned skills. The guides are there to tell you more about the marvellous creatures found in Pilanesberg and offer insight into life in the wild. While searching for the Big Five and other wildlife, we stop for sundowners (bring your own drinks) in the bush. After watching a beautiful sunset we drive on, making our way back to camp. Dinner is served in the tented dining area at around 20h00, followed by an evening of relaxation around the campfire.
This morning we wake up early and have tea, coffee and rusks at the camp. Once we have topped up on refreshments we head into Pilanesberg National Park for a morning of game viewing, entering the reserve at about 05h30 in summer and 06h00 in winter.
Driving through the bush in our open-sided safari vehicle we spot our first wild animals and birds of the day. Mornings are ideal for game viewing, so stay alert for the wildlife action! Along the way we stop for tea and coffee in the scenic bushveld. Our local safari guides are there to answer questions and share their intimate knowledge about the flora and fauna of Pilanesberg. We continue exploring the Big Five Pilanesberg Park returning to camp at about 08h30. We have breakfast at the Manyane Resort Restaurant, between 08h00 and 11h00 over weekends; and before 10h00 on weekdays.
Check out of the tented camp by 11h00 and enjoy the facilities of the resort - take a swim, shop for curios or treat yourself to a spa treatment (extra cost). Later, you can have lunch (own account) at the restaurant and then it is time to hit the road. By 14h00 we are on the road back to the big city and bright lights. Arriving back in Johannesburg we drop you off at your post-tour accommodation or the O.R. Tambo International Airport, where we part ways.
Our intimate Tented Safari Camp is located on the Manyane Resort Camping Grounds in the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park of the North West Province. The resort is set on a leafy property where impalas, warthogs and banded mongoose are often spotted.
We stay in safari tents fitted with twin beds, linen and basic furnishings that make them more comfortable than regular camping accommodation. Each of the eight tents has big windows with mosquito proofing and small patio areas with two camping chairs. This authentic camp takes you back to nature, but the tents do have electricity, fans and electric blankets in winter to ensure a good level of comfort.
The tented camp has a dining and lounge tent where guests dine together and unwind between game drives. The communal bathrooms are shared with the Manyane Resort camping grounds and are serviced daily. Facilities at Mayana Resort include a big swimming pool, a bar in the central building, restaurant, shop, spa and fire pit.
Pilanesberg is home to healthy populations of the Big Five (lion, leopard, black and white rhino, buffalo and elephant), hosting members of almost every animal species native to Southern Africa! There are about 24 large mammal species inhabiting this 55 000 hectare reserve, including cheetah, jackal, brown hyena, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wild dog and a variety of antelopes such as tsessebe and springbok. Over 360 species of birds have also been recorded here. Given the relatively compact size of the game reserve, Pilanesberg offers excellent game viewing and bird watching.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is situated in a transition zone between Kalahari and Lowveld vegetation zones, and as such encompasses a rich variety of habitats that support a unique diversity of flora and fauna. The park is also of geological significance as it is situated in the crater of an extinct volcano formed some 1.2 billion years ago. This volcanic complex, set around Mankwe Dam in the Bojanala Region, is one of the biggest of its kind. The topography and vegetation of Pilanesberg thus form an unsual and scenic setting, where woodlands, grasslands, rocky outcrops, bushveld and thicket meet.
This tour does take children.
Children over the age of 6 years old are allowed on this tour.