Pilanesberg National Park – A Wildlife Retreat

The Pilanesberg Mountains are an absolutely breathtaking natural phenomenon. Created by a volcanic eruption which took place some 1300 million years ago, the Pilanesberg Mountains are one of the largest alkaline volcanic complexes in the world. Not only is this striking mountain range filled with rare rock types and structures, but it also the location of Pilanesberg National Park.

The 55,000 hectare Pilanesberg National Park, near Sun City in the North Western Province, is a wonderfully scenic area. The terrain is a fusion between the hot sands of the Kalahari and the semi-arid Lowveld, broken up by the brilliant and striking Pilanesberg Mountains. The Pilanesberg National Park was opened in 1979, and by the early 1980s it was the site of largest relocation project in the history of South Africa. More than 6,000 animals were brought to the new national park from parks all over the country and were settled into the area. This trend was taken to new heights in 1993 when lions from the Etosha National Park in Namibia were introduced to the Pilanesberg National Park. The transition was such a resounding success that a second attempt involving cheetahs was also undertaken. Unfortunately, the latter case did not prove to be quite so successful.

Today, the Pilanesberg National Park boasts lions, buffalo, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles, white and black rhinos. The entire big five of Africa roam this park. There are also plenty of springbok, impala, zebra and many others, including over 300 species of bird. Although the some 200 kilometers of park roads are not tarred, they are well maintained and guests are able to drive through the park and discover its amazing wildlife at their leisure.

When it comes to accommodation, there are three luxury lodges and two resorts situated within the Pilanesberg National Park. The Tshukudu Bush Lodge is located in the heart of the Pilanesberg Park bush, while the Bakubung Lodge is on the doorstep of a hippo pool and the Kwa Maritane Lodge provides spectacular views of the plains of the Pilanesberg National Park for your viewing pleasure. Manyane Resort consists of African styled thatched chalets which are hidden in natural, un-spoilt surroundings. Bakgatla Resort is more structured and offers executive tents or colonial chalets, complete with endless green lawns and conference facilities for 250 people.

The Pilanesberg National Park provides game drives, hides for game watching, walks in aviaries, safe hiking trails and even a hot air balloon ride over the park. At the Pilanesberg National Park, a whole new, wild, inspiring and captivating world is waiting to be seen, appreciated and remembered. So answer the call of the wild and enjoy a true African adventure.

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