A 1 night / 2 day guided tour of Pilansberg National Park
The creation of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve is considered one of the most ambitious programmes of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in the world. Operation Genesis is still the largest game translocation undertaken in the world, and as a result the park now has in excess of 10,000 animals. All of the species re-introduced had previously lived in this area.
The Pilanesberg is some 550 square kilometres in size and has the greatest diversity of animal species of any of South Africa's National Parks.
The Pilanesberg National Park is cradled in the crater of a long extinct volcano - a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature.
Ancient, even by geological time scales, this extinct volcano is a perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg National Park rates high amongst the world's outstanding geological phenomena.
Pilanesberg has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. It is however, postulated that at the time of its formation, Pilanesberg may have well been a higher volcano than Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The park 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.
The colourful hues, varied habitats and panoramas will delight and entertain photographers and visitors.
The very topography makes the area a feast for the eye with its syenite koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld and rolling grasslands. The beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam.
There is an abundance of wild life in the 550 square kilometer park which is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo - Africa's "Big Five". Alongside this there is a wide variety of other species such as zebra, giraffe, hippo, brown hyena, the fleet-footed cheetah and the majestic sable, to mention but a few.
Depart from Johannesburg as early as possible and drive to Pilanesberg National Park a 2.5 hour drive from Johannesburg through dry bushveld scenery. Spend the day in Pilanesberg National Park and then in the evening overnight in a lodge on the edge of the National Park.
Arise at dawn and after a quick cup of coffee and some rusks we head back into Pilanesberg National Park for 6-7 hours of game viewing. The early mornings are the best time to game view. Leave at around 15:00 to drive back to Johannesburg.
Early morning tea/coffee
Pilanesberg Entrance Levy
Game viewingi drives on both fiirst and second days