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adventure travel africa

Dangers and accidents in Pilanesberg National Park

The biggest danger in the Park is you, and people like you!! This is now if you are 1 of the 98% of people visiting the Park that endanger other peoples lives with their ignorance. It can take but a girl that screams - Look at Dana's incident end Feb 2006 but take it with a bit of salt.. There is no truer saying than "Ignorance is bliss"

The sad part is that most incidents are caused by South Africans that should really know better, like the obnoxious owner of reg # NUF 1 that nearly got me and my clients wasted in Nov 2004. And the idiot in the white Isuzu Bakkie(SUV) that left his diesel engine running behind me and invited Baby V to put his tusks through my Kombis' Windscreen. As for the foreigners, yes, I have seen them do stupid things as well but normally they just ruin sightings - 90% of them go with guides in any case. Local boys think they know it all though.....I've seen many macho Dads & Boyfriends being unnecessarily daring, forgetting and ignoring that they can get killed

It is really simple to minimize incidents - there is something called common sense. Take the hippo attack early March 2006 at the Malatse fenced area. Full credit for the seasoned local who scanned the area while they were getting out and saw the hippo inside the electrified fenced area and probably saved his or his wife's life by jumping back in the Hi Ace. Don't for 1 moment assume that as an area is fenced it is safe. But then what he did next was not too bright. He started up and slowly reversed & ended up having a chunk taken out his vehicle. The jaw span was 60 - 70 cm and the holes was bigger than my thumbs are thick. Any person in its way would have been dead period. Those bottom tusks age huge.

My friend Mark, ex guide for Drifters, about 6ft tall, marking where the top of the Hippo's Jaw hit
If you don't know what to do it is really simple. Don't do anything & keep still & quiet. This is now of course if you are in your vehicle - where you should be! The animal in question will see you as another animal and if you don't move you are not a threat. Eventually it will move away. And when you can escape just go like a bat out of hell, but not if there is someone closer to the animal as it normally takes the closest object on. The exception is male elephants especially if in musth. And if you don't know what it is or the difference between males and females the easy way is to stop far enough - 30 m - if there is no youngsters with and switch off. And if there is youngsters to also be careful as there might be some 20yo males with the herd and they are normally pretty frustrated & testy, just ready to have a bit of a shove to test their strength.

Note that if there is no reports in the media about incidents in any Park it doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. Just in the last 3 months Pilanesberg had both above as well as the same Steroid above that pushed a car off Fish Eagle as well as pushing a BMW about 12 meters back. With both these incidents pax came to close, and this clearly with Steroid in Musth. With the Fish Eagle incident the vehicle was following on his ass & he just turned around and pushed. Thanks to these idiots he will probably now be shot. He took me on end Jan or early Feb as well when he was just starting musth & I have smelled him as well without seeing him, but making a quick & safe getaway as it was in an overgrown area. Steroid does not really have distinguishing marks except for a small round hole in the bottom of his right ear so watch out for the tears behind the eyes and urine dribbling onto hind legs - also of course a strong smell of urine. Any idiot that can't see this deserves to get pushed off the road or worse. If you smell him/urine but can't see him be very very careful. Another warning by the way for these plebs driving with their aircon on......you can't smell when your window is closed duh. He will most definately be aware of you and as he is now in full musth he might just charge. And he can charge 10 m in 0,9 seconds.....that is 40km/h. Happily he is still with us Feb 2009 - Have a look at my friend Bill just avoiding an elephant charge by Steriod on 27 Dec 2008 on YouTube ....

Then there was also an incident at Malatse in the same enclosure in the last 3 months where a lioness came from nowhere & charged a seasoned viewer as well. He just managed to dive into his car with a second to spare. 2 months ago a black rhino was shot while charging a walking safari. My take on this was that it was irresponsible from the clients to book the walk as well as from the concession holder to accept the booking in the 1st place as the grass was already way too long. Nov 2004 a white rhino also took out my bookkeepers Landcruisers' front door with the horn penetrating to where his wife was sitting minutes before. She moved to the back seat to take pics. The back door and supporting strut was also damaged by the 2nd horn. And there is many more - it happens the whole time.

Most accidents to locals and guides happens when they get blasé' & get the "know-it-all" syndrome. Early March 2006 some students were bust at Bakgatla when they were reported having gotten out their car and walked 40m into the veld to pick up a tortoise and putting it in their boot. It ended up being a rock looking like a tortoise & they thought it was a big joke. Why they weren't banned from  the Park and prosecuted I really don't know. But what I do know is that if the person that did the picking up was bitten by a black mamba, he would have had less than 1% chance to live. As they were in the North they would have rushed to the George Stegmann Hospital just 3 km's north of the Park. Strangely enough  though they have Mozambican Spitting Cobras all over, they have no snakebite venom. And from there the Rustenburg Hospital is about an hour - far too late. And staying on snakes a young lady told me she stepped over a 12 cm baby Black Mamba on her porch at Manyane about 3 times early March 2006 before she saw it. A baby's' venom is just as poisonous as an adults'. Another guide told me he saw a Black Mamba that was about 4 m long in the Park, and as thick as an elephants' schlong. And Mozambican Spitting Cobras are absolutely everywhere, especially loving the steps of Tshukudu lodge, and they don't only spit. If you do get spat on don't touch your eyes, or rub even close to it. Get out all your clothes as well asap and wash them 3 times. If you get venom in your eyes use running water or urine. Don't be dof & put water in a bowl, washing from there and let the poisoned water drip into the bowl again....Use milk only as a last resort and wash that off asap - milk form a coat over your eyes & you might get a secondary infection.

Then roads, careful of speed. There is a couple of blind corners. Also don't even think of going off the surface of the road when it has rained. And if it has rained heavily avoid the road from Mankwe to Kwa Maritane for at least 5 hours afterwards, there are some seriously low water bridges and the force of the water is much stronger than you think.

Then Bakubung. An employee told me that you should drive with caution when you drive from the main road - just at the end of Ledig, the township. Just past the graveyard you get the 3 low water bridges, still in the 60km/h zone. Occasionally youths put big rocks in the middle of the 2nd one either very late or very early. If you speed you could have a serious accident, or worse.

Lastly back to Manyane, but this can be at any camp. I have personally seen fresh leopard tracks 100m from the shop and have had about 10 other reports of leopard taking a stroll. So if you walk around at night don't even think of walking alone, and most definately don't let your kids run around at night.. Sooner or later someone is going to get taken guaranteed; it has happened often enough in Kruger. So take care that is not you or worse, your kids.


Pilanesberg Dawn to Dusk Safaris from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Pilanesberg and Sun City

Picture Gallery 2011 & after
Picture Gallery 2010
Picture Gallery 2009
Picture Gallery 2008
Picture Gallery 2007
Picture Gallery 2006
Picture Gallery 2005
Picture Gallery 2004


It's alphabetical - so save us both time.... and if not on here I will put it up!

Accommodation in the Park only: Staying Friday or Saturday you have to pay for 2 nights min.

Accommodation in and around Sun City. Staying Friday or Saturday you have to pay for 2 nights min.

Accommodation Specials at Pilanesberg

Accommodation at Sun City Vacation Club

Airport at Pilanesberg

Animal studies in Pilanesberg

Bakgatla Resort

Bakubung Bush Lodge

Balloon Safaris: In Pilanesberg National Park -  R4 250pp - 1 hour, minimum 4 pax!

Binoculars needed

Bird list

Black Rhino Game Lodge

Buffalo in the Park

Camping - book direct at 014 555 1000, don't be surprised if you hold 15 minutes and then get cut off.

Cancellation Terms and Conditions

Commission offered to booking agents

Condition of the Veld

Dangers in Pilanesberg

Disclosures: About vehicles used for Pilanesberg and other

Directions - see map

Elephant Back safaris in Pilanesberg.

Entrance fee - see gate times

Etiquette in Game Parks like Pilanesberg for self drives

Friends of Pilanesberg Society - Volunteers helping to maintain the Park.

Gate Times for Pilanesberg National Park

Geology of Pilanesberg National Park

Highlights seen in Pilanesberg the last 2 years:
Don't expect something like this or the animals to stand next to the road waiting.  It's not a Zoo!

History of Pilanesberg National Park

Idiot Gallery - Stunts pulled in Pilanesberg National Park by the mentally challenged.  Other tour operators are welcome to contribute - I will give you recognition except if you don't want it!

Ivory Tree Game Lodge

Kids on Safari. In Pilanesberg or other parks

Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge

Manyane Resort

Map and directions to Pilanesberg

Other Parks near Pilanesberg

Other Tour Operators doing Pilanesberg

Packages to Lodges

Picture Gallery -  taken by us over the last 8 years in Pilanesberg.

Pilanesberg National Park vs Kruger National Park.

Reading - other re Pilanesberg.

Safety in Pilanesberg

Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

Testimonials from clients we have taken to Pilanesberg

Things to do in and around Pilanesberg

Transfers only to Pilanesberg and Sun City - one way: charged per vehicle:

Tshukudu Bush Lodge

Veld Condition in the Park

Weather and Climate for Pilanesberg area

What can you hope to see in Pilanesberg?

When to go to Pilanesberg: best time etc


adventure travel africa
806 Unit 2, Mogwase, Pilanesberg, Office - Please mail only
PO Box 250 Sun City, 0316
- Updated Feb 2012
All Pilanesberg queries -  travelinafrica@gmail.com