10 Extinct Animals That Should Not Be Brought Back Pilanesberg Game Reserve – Ten Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

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Pilanesberg Game Reserve – Ten Things You Need to Know Before Visiting

If you are planning to visit the Pilanesberg game reserve you should know a few things about it before you arrive.

The game reserve is relatively new but offers many opportunities for game viewing, recreation, education and nature photography.

1. Difference – The game reserve is located on the remains of an extinct primary volcano that was active a few thousand years ago. It’s rare rock types and features make it a unique physical feature. It is known as “The volcano that gave birth to a game reserve”. It is different from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater in that the volcanic walls of Pilanesberg have collapsed into it, forming many small hills in the park in contrast to the Ngorongoro Crater which also has its walls. In addition, Pilanesberg is almost twice the size of Ngorongoro grassland.

2. Location and History – The game reserve is located in South Africa’s North West Province (Sun City is located on the outer edge of Pilanesberg). The reserve was established in 1979 after Operation Genesis fenced the reserve and re-introduced thousands of animals. The park is located within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and the humid Lowveld (Kruger), referred to as the “Bushveld”. This allows animals from both areas, to coexist. Springbok, brown hyena, red-eyed bulbul, and camel thorn trees that are often found in arid regions (such as the Kgalagadi and Etosha) are found living together with the colder area animals such as impala, spotted hyena, bulbul black eyes and a chestnut cape. tree, which is normally found in Kruger Park.

3. Size – 580 square kilometers (it can fit into the Kruger Park about 35 times!) North West Parks Board has, however, embarked on an 8 year plan to connect Pilanesberg National Park with 800 square kilometers Madikwe Game Reserve. This will create a 100 km corridor between the two parks creating a large park in an area of ​​1500 square kilometers. Pilanesberg is approaching 400 000 visitors per year and can receive many, especially during the holidays, so this expansion plan is most welcome!

4. Known for – Lake Mankwe, which tends to be a central focal point and a bird hide that allows wildlife photographers to get close to birds and animals.

5. Methods – There are about 200 kilometers of roads in the park, both tar roads and dirt roads, making Pilanesberg an ideal self-guided safari destination. Pilanesberg is about 150 kilometers from Johannesburg and the roads leading to the park are all tarmac in good condition.

6. The weather – Summers are hot with rain starting in October and ending in April. Winters are best for game viewing with short days but nights can be cold.

7. Residence – There are eight lodges in Pilanesberg, two budget (Manyane and Bakgatla), two with middle price (Kwa Maritane and Bakubung) and four above average price (Shepherd Tree, Ivory Tree, Tshukudu, and Buffalo Thorn Lodge). Manyane and Bakgatla offer camping and chalets. All lodges have braai (barbeque) facilities and/or restaurants as well as TVs with DSTV reception.

8. Services and facilities – Conference facilities and swimming pools are available in all lodges. There are seven bird hides in the park, and five picnic sites. All birdhouses and picnic areas are safely fenced and all have toilets but only the picnic areas have braai facilities. These shelters, picnic areas and viewpoints are great as they allow visitors to enjoy “out of the car” experiences. The Pilanesberg Center is in the middle of the park and has a restaurant and shops. You have a choice of self-drive safaris, guided safaris and/or night drives.

9. Safety tips – Please stay in your vehicles when in the park and do not speed for your own and the safety of the animals.

10. Things to find in Pilanesberg:

– The Big Five of Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino (black and white), and Buffalo

– Super-seven – Big Five with Wild Dog and Cheetah

– Brown Hyena

– Honey Badgers

– Sable, Eland, Tsessebe and Red Hartebeest

– Visit the bird hides especially in winter. Mankwe and Rathlogo are our favourites.

– Hot-air balloon safari

– Walk-in aviary at both Manyane camp and Sun City

– Have breakfast or lunch at one of the picnic spots on the hills – the views are amazing

– Rare black rhino – sightings can be regular in Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg Game Reserve is certainly one of the most spectacular places in South Africa. The density of rare species within the park, its impressive beauty and proximity to Sun City and Johannesburg with the absence of malaria, make it the most attractive safari destination.

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