A great wildlife getaway or add-on trip from Johannesburg to Pilanesberg National Park, and back.
Encounter a profusion of wild African animals, including healthy populations of the Big Five, and a remarkable diversity of birds. Explore the scenic Pilanesberg Park on game drives conducted by expert local guides using open-sided safari vehicles.
Stay at an affordable tented safari camp within the Manyane Resort Camping Grounds in Pilanesberg, enjoying a simple back-to-nature experience, with a touch of extra comfort. An authentic, malaria-free bush adventure, under three hours from the largest city in South Africa.
This short Pilanesberg Safari starts in Johannesburg where you are collected from the international airport or arranged pick-up locations at about 10h00. Leaving Johannesburg (Jo'burg) in our air-conditioned microbus, we travel north to collect passengers joining us in Pretoria if required.
It only takes about three hours to reach Pilanesberg from Johannesburg so we should get to the resort by about 13h00. Our safari camp is located at Manyane Resort in Pilanesberg National Park. Arriving at Manyane we enjoy lunch (own expense) at the resort restaurant, checking into our tented rooms at 14h00. Then you can freshen up, take a siesta or swim in the pool, before we meet for tea and coffee.
We take our first game drive in the late afternoon in the Big Five Pilanesberg Park. The game drives (lasting about three hours) are all conducted by local guides who know the bush inside out and can therefore tell you all about the flora and fauna of the region. Pilanesberg Park is one of the best known game reserves in South Africa, boasting excellent big game sightings. While out in the African bushveld we stop to have sundowners (own drinks) in a scenic spot, before continuing as the light fades.
Returning to our tented camp we have dinner at about 20h00 and spend the rest of the night chatting around the campfire, or taking it easy at the resort bar in the main building.
Today we are up early, starting the day with tea, coffee and rusks at the camp. After our refreshments, we set off on an early morning game drive. This is an excellent time of day to be in the bush as many of the diurnal animals and birds are waking up and moving about before the heat of the day.
After exploring for a while we stop for a tea and coffee break in the wilderness. Then we keep driving, scanning for the wildlife and birds inhabiting Pilanesberg Park, where the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) roam freely.
Return to camp at around 08h30 and have breakfast at Manyane Resort Restaurant, between 08h00 and 11h00 over weekends; and 10h00 on weekdays. Breakfast is followed by free time until lunch (own expense) at the restaurant beside the main pool. After lunch you have time to snooze in your safari tent or loll by the pool until we reconvene for tea and coffee. Then in the late afternoon, it is back into the untamed bush we go. Heading out in our open safari vehicles we keep our eyes peeled for large mammals and the variety of other creatures found here. Again, we stop for sundowners (own drinks) in the bush and take in the beautiful wild scenery. After watching a tranquil sunset over the bushveld we continue our game drive. Your guides help to find and point out animals and birds as you return to camp.
After about three hours of game viewing we return to the tented camp and at 20h00 dinner is served. Then you can sit back under starry skies, recounting tales of the day's wildlife adventures around the campfire.
On day three we get up early and have tea, coffee and rusks before embarking on our morning game drive.
Heading into the bush we are immersed in the fresh morning air as the bush begins to come alive. See how much your wildlife spotting skills have already improved as we search out interesting sightings and any elusive members of the Big Five we have missed so far.
During our last game drive, we stop for tea and coffee surrounded by unspoilt nature, keeping an eye out for birds and animals. We explore Pilanesberg National Park in the open-sided safari vehicle until it is time for breakfast back at the Manyane Resort Restaurant. Then we check out of our tented rooms (by 11h00), followed by free time to relax in the communal lounge of the resort, take a swim or shop for curios. You can also enjoy lunch (own account) in the restaurant before our departure at 14h00.
Leaving the tented camp we return to Johannesburg, journeying from game-rich African wilderness to bustling metropolis. This Pilanesberg Tented Safari ends at about 16h30 with drop-off at arranged locations or the O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Accommodation is at a Tented Safari Camp on the Manyane Resort Camping Grounds, set in the Pilanesberg National Park of the North West Province of South Africa. The tented camp is at a resort where impalas, warthogs and banded mongoose are often seen in the vegetation.
Sleep in twin beds and enjoy the added comforts of the safari tents - electricity, fans, electric blankets and linen. There are eight safari tents, each with a small outdoor porch and two camping chairs for enjoying nature. The tents are simply furnished but more spacious than dome tents. Each tent has large windows with mosquito netting and canvas flaps.
Meals are served in the tented dining and lounge area, where guests are welcome to relax. The communal bathrooms are shared with the resort camping grounds and are serviced daily. Facilities at Manyane Resort include a large swimming pool, bar, restaurant, shop, spa and fire pit.
Pilanesberg is home to healthy populations of the famous Big Five of Africa. Plus, almost every mammal species native to South Africa is found here, including around 24 large mammal species. Pilanesberg hosts cheetah, jackal, brown hyena, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wild dog and a many antelope species such as tsessebe and springbok. Over 360 species of birds have been counted in the reserve. Covering 55 000 hectares, Pilanesberg is an excellent place to see numerous animals and birds.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a haven for diverse species of flora and fauna as it falls in a transitional vegetation zone (between Kalahari and Lowveld biomes). Pilanesberg also features an extinct volcano dating back about 1.2 billion years, making it a unique geological site. This pretty national park thus offers a unique mix of terrains, vegetation types, animals, birds and habitats.
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This tour does take children.
Children over the age of 6 years old are allowed on this tour.