Quick Facts: Pilanesberg National Park
The park is next to the Sun City Resort it is malaria free
The reserve is home to lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo
The Reserve is in South Africa's North West Province
The park was formerly owned by three local tribes
The reserve is the crater of a long extinct volcano
Visitors may self-drive through the park
Introducing Pilanesberg National Park
The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is 2.3 hours from Johannesburg in the North West Province of South Africa. The Nature reserve includes the Sun City Resort. The is Malaria free making it suitable for children of all ages.
The reserve is great for the following reasons:
- Anyone with the limited amount of time.
- The family is travelling with small children.
- Game viewing is of high standard
- Proximity to Johannesburg
- The park offers excellent viewing of all the Big five especially Elephant, Rhino and Lion.
The park comprises of a large circular geological shape that is the crater of a long extinct volcano which today results in rare rock types, minerals and rock formations in the area. The reserve lies in a transition zone between the Kalahari and Lowveld, both these types of vegetation can be found in reserve resulting in a vast array of mammals and bird life.
Visitors can self-drive in reserve on both tar and dirt roads. Many of the game lodges include guided game drives in their accommodation rates. The reserve is home to all the Big Five as well as a variety of other big game species such as zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles as well as over 365 bird species.
The malaria-free reserve in the North West Province of South Africa is administered by the North West Parks and Tourism Board and is with its 56 000 hectares the fourth largest national park in the country.
The crater of a long extinct volcano dominates the Pilanesberg National Park. The crater is a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. The reserve is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. It's rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature. Over time, wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape with rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets.
Fauna & Flora
Besides the 'Big Five' visitors also have the opportunity to encounter the nocturnal brown hyena, cheetah, hippo and crocodile. The Pilanesberg mountains offer guests sightings of a wide diversity of animal and plant life including 360 species of birds, the Big Five and almost every type of animal found in Southern Africa.
The reserve exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as "Bushveld". Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.
Springbok, brown hyena, the red eyed bulbul, and camel thorn trees usually home in arid areas are found cohabiting with moist-area-limited impala, black eyed bulbul and Cape chestnut trees. Wildlife includes lions, elephants, white and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.
The bird life diversity in the park is outstanding. While some birds are migrants, many are permanent inhabitants. Their food sources vary with some eating carrion or live prey, while others eat seeds, fruit or tiny water organisms.