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adventure travel africa

Pilanesberg National Park

Safety in Pilanesberg National Park
Idiots, snakes, animal behavior, speed limits

It's very simple, Pilanesberg is an accident waiting to happen. And mostly because of idiots that constantly endangering your life. This happens in all parks so it will probably only be a matter of time before the Parks Boards follow Kenya and Tanzania's example and only allow tour operators in. Let me share this with you:

I've seen 5 old ladies getting out their car on Kubu road and ask the car in front of me "where's the lion?" The lioness was watching them from about 12 meters away. Now if the lioness pounced on them I would not have lifted a finger on helping them. The innocent lioness would have been shot in any case and these ladies qualify for a Darwin Award. 20 minutes later some Bellville dutchman drove off the road into the grass to get closer to the same lioness. Now as a genuine dutchman myself this could really could lead to serious Game park Rage. I probably would have shot him if I had a gun..... As it was he left himself 10 minutes to cover the 18 km's to Manyane - he must have averaged 120km/h.... But this is nothing. There is absolutely nothing as bad as when you spot elephant breeding group 1st, switch off you engine and have them approach slowly. There is no danger and you get excellent pics. But the next minute you have 5 cars behind you and 4 of them leave their diesel engines running! ( This is one of the reasons I don't like to do the park on weekends or school holidays). Now there is nothing that can piss an elephant off as much as a low rumble - it interferes with their "language". So what happens is you get charged, normally mock, but 1 time seriously - I had 2 tusks through my windscreen. They go for the closest foreign object.  Now you can't reverse as the guy behind you has parked 30 cm from your bumper. And you can't start up as this might aggravate the ele more. And you can't pray as elephants don't listen to God. So you sit very still and pretend you are part of the vehicle. If you jump out and run you are dead, guaranteed. Of course you give bulls a bit more space as you never know when they are in musth. As a rule stay 30 m away.
On my side I have undertaken to do my best to educate the general public. What they have to understand is that not only will an innocent ele get shot when he does what he normally does, but if there is an operator like me involved, his insurance company will sue the protagonist for the R5 million carried as passenger liability!

"Wow, was that Michael........?"

Now for the speed limit. Though 40km/h I 'm sure I  have seen Michael or his brother/sisters/cousins in this park  Kubu road has been named death valley by some rangers as there is rarely a day that goes past without some animal gets run over in the rush to make the Bakubung (Sun City) gate. Now though the other gates gets locked the Bakubung gate has someone on duty. So please take it easy if you are late. You might get admonished like a schoolboy but rather that than go hunting with your vehicle.
As for the the Sandton yuppies wanting to test their 4x4's on weekends I have the ideal solution. Marakele National Park is only 75 min away, absolutely breathtaking and has some real challenging roads. So if you want to see how much dust you can make I challenge you to try Marakele, just 20 km's north of Thabazimbi. They have a gorgeous camp as well and there are far less people there as well; so less people to p*&^ss off.

Now for snakes. DO NOT GET OUT YOUR VEHICLE ok? Except where it states you can ( at your own risk). Do not try and pick a souvenir like dried elephant dung up. 99,999% of people getting bitten by snakes and live admit that they were at fault. This one overland guide told one of his clients that the snake that went past the camp fire at Manyane looked like a non poisonous brown house snake. And yes, he can pick it up. So what bit him was actually a Mozambican Spitting Cobra. And yes, they bite as well! Though there is a hospital just 2 km's north of the Park they won't be able to help you. So you have to rush to Rustenburg 40 km's southwest of the south gate. Not only are there 22 stop streets between you and the hospital, but when you get there the nurses will panic and not know what to do. Neither will the doctor as he has only studied snakebites for 3 minutes during his 7 years studies. They will immediately try inject you with anti venom and this could have serious consequences. For black mamba - this is if you are still alive - they will immediately give you 2 ampoules (10ml each). If you are still alive a day later they will give you another 2. And so on. But after 6 you are normally dead. The correct application is 6 immediately in the drip, with a total of about 11. If this doesn't help it won't matter to you..... My snakebite action will be added asap - or maybe not - if you are dof enough to get bitten.....! Be warned it differs slightly from the one given by the guys with the thick glasses. What you do just after the bite is absolutely VITAL.
Young male lion April 2007 coming from Batlhako, 7h21
White Rhino close May 2007

As for scorpions and spiders it is easy. The bigger they appear the less poisonous they are. So shake your boots before you put them on. And with spider bites what the doctors don't tell you is to drink as much water as possible. Your body has to break the poison down.

So you are scared now right? It's like this - Africa is not for pussies!


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