Things to Do in Pilanesberg
2 Day Luxury Pilanesberg Private Lodge Safari
2 Day Luxury Tented Pilanesberg Safari
2 Day Luxury Bakubung Bush Lodge All Inclusive Safari Package
2 Day Luxury Black Rhino Game Lodge Safari
2 Day Luxury Ivory Tree Game Lodge Safari
2 Day Luxury Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge All Inclusive Safari Package
2 Day Luxury Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge Safari
2 Day Luxury Tshukudu Bush Lodge Safari
3 Day Luxury Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge Safari
4 Day Luxury Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge Safari
3 Day Luxury Tented Pilanesberg Safari
3 Day Luxury Bakubung Bush Lodge All Inclusive Safari Package
Malaria-free zone Pilanesberg National Park is South Africa’s fourth largest national park and located in the North West Province only a few hours’ drive from Pretoria and Johannesburg.
This park is ideal for adventure, with forested ravines and bush veld set in the crater of an extinct volcano.
Many people dream of going on a big-five African safari, and whether you are a tourist from another continent or a local visiting South Africa’s Pilanesberg game reserve, you want to return home having had a good time.
The Big Five, as well as over 300 bird species, can be found in Pilanesberg. With so much wildlife to see, the most difficult decision of the day will be deciding whether to see it on horseback, on a self-drive safari, in a hot air balloon, on elephant back, or on a guided wilderness hiking trail.
After you’ve had your fill of the bush and wildlife, continue the adventure on the golf course, the water park, or any of the many other activities available in this famous resort that is part of the Pilanesberg crater complex.
A Pilanesberg safari combines old traditions with a celebration of being together. Different cultures can learn from one another here and visiting a village or experiencing African music can teach you more about their traditions.
Top Things to Do in The Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Here is a list of top things to do when visiting the Pilanesberg:
Many tourists prefer self-driving trips because they give them more freedom in terms of privacy, when they go, which route they take, and how long they linger at each sighting. The park’s small size and unusually diverse ecosystem, both of which contribute to its status as a biodiverse area, increase your chances of seeing the “Big 5” in their natural habitat.
All Pilanesberg lodges and resorts offer morning and afternoon guided game drives. The guide brings coffee and rusks in the morning and cool drinks and beer/wine for sundowners in the afternoon, depending on which lodge you are staying at.
Close encounters with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo, as well as a plethora of other game, including rare species such as wild dog and cheetah, are possible on an open safari vehicle game drive in Pilanesberg.
Game drives are usually scheduled for early mornings or late afternoons since wildlife is more active during the cooler hours of the day. Predators, in particular, prefer to hunt at night or in the early morning hours. Experienced rangers and game trackers lead game drives.
The rangers are always eager to share their environmental knowledge and will gladly help you with your wildlife photography.
Guided Bush Walks
Most of the lodges offer guided bush walks.
Walking through the park allows you to immerse yourself in the beautiful, unspoiled wilderness while learning about the natural world.
These walks are thrilling because they provide you with an entirely new perspective on nature. You might see a rhino or a buffalo, but these walks are more about the details that you might miss while driving around the park.
Within the Park, there are several guided hiking trails to choose from. All hiking trails are led by a qualified guide who will share their extensive knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Pilanesberg with you.
Your guide will explain the various types of vegetation, insects, and birds, as well as the differences between the Kalahari and the Lowveld. Walking with big game will give you a new perspective on the size and grace of African wildlife.
The guided hikes are available year-round, 7 days a week, rain or shine.
Picnics in The Bush
Throughout the park, there are five picnic areas. Three of them are exceptional because they are situated on hills and offer breath taking views of the plains or lake below. The first is the Fish Eagle picnic area, which looks out over the Mankwe Dam, and the other two are located on Baile Drive. Every picnic area is fenced and equipped with braai (barbeque) facilities, water, shade, and toilets.
Birdwatching From Strategically Placed Bird Hides
Seven hides are located throughout the park. Many visitors associate the Pilanesberg with sitting in these bird hides rather than driving around for hours.
You can get some great photos if you visit these hides at the right time of day: the hides facing west have good photographic lighting in the mornings (Rathlogo and Mankwe), and the hides facing east are great in the afternoons (Mankwe, Ruighoek and Malatse).
The hides are all secure and have toilets.
Some of the most beautiful scenery in the park can be found in the Mankwe Dam region. The dam is the largest body of water in the game reserve. As a result, it is ideal for spotting a wide variety of animals.
Among the animals that visit the dam’s grassland are waterbuck, wildebeest, zebra, and impala.
The bird hide is located close to the water’s edge. Keep an eye out for fish eagles, kingfishers, and cormorants as they circle the dam. All of these locations provide numerous photographic opportunities due to the abundance of fauna and flora.
Enjoying Spa Treatments
Spas that cater to both health and beauty are becoming increasingly common in high-end safari lodges. You can spend your days being treated in this clean atmosphere, which also features sights that are soothing to the eye. Your mind and body will thank you for taking advantage of the break in the action that occurs between the morning and evening game drives.
Self-guided Walks in the Camp
Manyane Lodge has a large, enclosed area where zebras, tsessebes, ostriches, wildebeest, impalas, and warthogs can roam freely. No reservations are required, and maps are available at the information centre. This walk is enjoyable for us because it allows us to get up close and personal with the animals. Bring a hat, comfortable walking shoes, a flask of water, and, of course, a camera!
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning is going to be an even more thrilling adventure! The balloon takes off from Mankwe Dam before the sun rises, and once it’s in the air, you spend the next hour floating above the Pilanesberg National Park.
This is an incredible opportunity to shoot Africa’s “super-seven” (the big five plus cheetah and wild dogs) from the air, and when you arrive, the table will be set for a beautiful champagne brunch in the veld.
A Visit to Sun City
This well-known resort is located within the Pilanesberg crater complex and offers a variety of entertainment options to guests. Restaurants, a water park called Valley of Waves, a cinema, a health spa, a golf course, live shows, a casino, and a variety of sports, ranging from tennis to quad-biking, are available to guests.
Abseiling is possible in Pilanesberg. Abseiling is the skill of performing a slow and controlled drop while attached to a rope. Initially, it was only a technique used by climbers to safely descend after a climb, as well as by firefighters, special forces personnel, and James Bond-style spies.
Learning the Ancient Art of Archery
One can receive instruction in archery at one of the local archery clubs in Pilanesberg. Participation in the sport is open to anyone, regardless of gender, age, or level of physical ability, and it can be carried out at any time of the day or year.
Enjoying Boat Trips
An outing on the water, whether it be a public tour or a private charter, is a wonderful opportunity to take in the scenery and get up close and personal with a wide variety of marine creatures. This can be done at a number of venues in the Pilanesberg National Park.
Mastering Jet Skiing
A fun way to experience the feeling of total freedom is to ride waves on a jet ski or wetbike while the wind blows through your hair and the spray hits your skin. This can be a very exhilarating activity.
Finding Your Way Through a Maze
One of the most elaborate and permanent mazes in the Southern Hemisphere can be found at the opulent Sun City Resort. It has been said that navigating a maze is analogous to finding one’s way to enlightenment. You can forget about your surroundings and the stresses of the outside world as you travel through the route.
Parasailing is just one of the many family-friendly activities available in Sun City. After a brief run, you will be effortlessly hoisted into the air to a height of approximately 35 metres. You’ll enjoy this one-of-a-kind and thrilling flight around the lake, with the stunning Sun City Resort nestled beneath your feet, before gently landing back into the water.
Take a Segway Tour
A Segway Tour will take you around Sun City in a unique way. There is incredible fauna and flora to be discovered, and the slow pace of a segway allows you to take it all in at leisure.
Try out Zip Lining
Anyone with a spirit of exploration would enjoy participating in a zip line excursion because it is a fast and entertaining activity. Sun City is home to the world’s longest and highest zip line, measuring in at 280 metres in height and spanning a distance of 2 kilometres.
Quad Bikes and Mountain Biking
Quad bike tours are led by knowledgeable guides and are appropriate for even novice riders. You can have fun while racing through breath-taking scenery with the wind in your face.
Our mountain bike route, which includes bumpy roads, rivulets, and mountain terrain, will also get you sweating. The game park spans 9.7 kilometres and can be cycled through.
Visit a Walk-in Aviary with Your Camera
One aviary is found in the Manyane complex, and the other in the Sun City complex. Thanks to this wonderful opportunity, you will not need a telephoto lens to take photographs of a variety of bird species, including kingfishers.
Participating in Interactive Drumming
African drumbeats are mesmerising and impossible to resist once you get caught up in them. The resonant quality of the ancient instruments conveys the splendour and vitality of the African continent. Nonetheless, picking up a drum and getting caught up in the beat and dynamic of the group is an exhilarating experience that will leave you wanting more.
Go On a Photographic Safari
In terms of popularity, wildlife photography has long outsold game hunting. Today’s game vehicles will be specifically designed to capture African animals. The rangers and guides are not only knowledgeable about the fauna and flora, but they are also avid photographers who are always eager to help you capture the perfect shot.
Visit one of Pilanesberg’s hidden photographic hides to immerse yourself in nature. These well-constructed hides, scattered throughout the park, provide a comfortable place to wait for that perfect shot. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to see wildlife and birds in their natural habitat, safely hidden from view.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the top things to do in Pilanesberg?
With its forested ravines and bush veld set in the crater of an ancient extinct volcano, Pilanesberg offers visitors an abundance of top things to do, such as: Guided wildlife safaris, Self-driving safaris, Thrilling, educational guided bush walks and Self-guided walks in camps, a Picnic at one of 5 popular picnic areas with breathtaking views, Spa treatments, Hot air balloon rides, a Visit to the world-renowned Sun City, Boat Trips, Abseiling and Archery, Riding the waves on a Jet Ski of Wetbike, Parasailing from a height of approximately 35m, Zip lining, Quad biking and Mountain biking, a Visit to a walk-in aviary, Interactive drumming participating and photographic excursions in one of the Pilanesberg’s hidden photographic hides.
What cultural experiences can visitors enjoy in Pilanesberg?
Pilanesberg offers opportunities to learn about the local culture and history of the area. Visitors can visit the Manyane Cultural Village, which showcases traditional South African village life and culture, or attend a performance of traditional African dance and music.
Can I do a hot air balloon ride in Pilanesberg?
Yes, hot air balloon rides are available in Pilanesberg and provide a unique perspective of the park and its wildlife. Balloon rides usually take place in the early morning, allowing visitors to witness the sunrise over the park and see animals from a bird’s-eye view. It’s recommended to book in advance to secure your spot.
What child-friendly activities are available in the Pilanesberg?
There are several child-friendly activities available in the Pilanesberg to keep children entertained and engaged during their visit. Here are a few examples:
Game Drives – Many lodges and tour operators offer game drives specifically tailored for families with young children. These game drives are generally shorter in duration and allow children to learn about and spot wildlife in a fun and safe way.
Guided Bush Walks – Guided bush walks are an excellent way for families to experience the beauty of Pilanesberg up close and personal. These walks usually take place in the company of an experienced ranger and can be tailored to the family’s preferences and fitness levels.
Junior Ranger Programs – Some lodges and tour operators offer junior ranger programs that allow children to learn about wildlife and conservation in a fun and interactive way. Children can participate in activities such as tracking, bird watching, and learning about animal behavior.
Swimming – Many lodges have swimming pools, which can be a great way for children to cool off during the hot summer months. Some lodges also have water slides and other fun water-based activities.
Other Activities – Other child-friendly activities available in the Pilanesberg include horseback riding, bird watching, stargazing, and hot air balloon rides (depending on the age and height restrictions).
Can I do a night safari in Pilanesberg? Yes, some lodges in Pilanesberg offer night safaris, which provide a different perspective of the park and its nocturnal wildlife. These safaris usually take place in open safari vehicles with spotlights, and visitors can see animals such as hyenas, lions, and leopards hunting and moving around in the dark.