As winter settles into the northern parts of South Africa, our striking Highveld turns from summer’s gorgeous greens to winter’s browns, oranges & yellows. The vegetation thins and this heralds the start of the Safari season in Southern Africa. Due to the grass being thinner and water being scarcer it becomes much easier to see the animals who gather at watering holes and are more visible in general.
South Africa’s northern provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga host some of the most famous and wildlife rich reserves in the world where you can see the Big Five animals of Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino & Buffalo, as well as countless other noteworthy species. For many a Safari does not only represent seeing the big five but it is also about experiencing the breathtakingly beautiful landscape and interacting with the welcoming local population.
Pilansberg Game Reserve is in the Bojanala region of the North West province adjacent to the world renowned Sun City hotel complex. The reserve was created in 1979 and is located in the crater of an extinct volcano. It is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world and its rare rock types and structure makes it a unique geological feature.
The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills with the formation rising from the surrounding plains like a bubble. The structure of the park is termed the “Pilanesberg Game Reserve Alkaline Ring Complex”. Ancient, even by geological time scales, this extinct volcano is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is one of the world’s outstanding geological phenomena.
An abundance of wildlife proliferates in the bushveld terrain, with an excess of 7 000 animals including 24 of the larger species. It is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo – Africa’s “Big Five”. A wide variety of rare and common species exist like the nocturnal brown hyena, the fleet-footed cheetah, the majestic sable, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile. The Park is the fourth largest park in South Africa and covers an area of 55 000 hectares.
With over 200 kilometers of excellent quality roads for either self-drives or guided drives and numerous hides and scenic picnic sites there is much to explore.