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adventure travel africa

Pilanesberg National Park
March 2018 - My Schedule for Pilanesberg

My schedule is Open to Close in the Park, with lunch when and if sightings allow for it! It is really simple, animals don't stand & wait for you till you find them, you have to go look. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is not. If you can't understand this or why;  then please just go with someone else. I also do a 5h morning drive, and you could twist my arm to do 4h - 3h imo is too short though.

Note times below:
Summer - 1/2 hour earlier and later
Winter - 1/2 hour later and earlier

I'm based at Pilanesberg, so normally leave from the. My rates are based at leaving from Manyane, as I live 4 km away. I do pick up in Pretoria and Johannesburg as well, as below.

We leave Pretoria at 4h00. If there is a Johannesburg pickup we leave my home town at 2h30 and Jo'burg at 3h30. I must be certifiable right??  Well; you just have to understand animals and the Pilanesberg. The best sightings could be early in the morning till 9h00 and then again after 16h00. This is normally the only times you will see lion, brown hyena and black backed jackal. So when those gates open  we are there! Chances are that within minutes you might see the animals right next to the road. (or you might not!) And you get your close up pics. We normally enter the Kwa Maritane gate as there are no one at the gate except the Kwa truck compared with like 5 trucks from Bakubung/Sun City at times. Another reason is that it is a gravel road and we have spotted lion by seeing their tracks first compared to all the other entry roads that are tar. We also have a far greater chance to see wild dog, the lions in that area, brown hyena and jackal. We take it slow but if it is before 7 am we don't stop long. I 've had other people zipping to the nearest dam looking for lions that are normally close to water early. But they actually went right past them! After 7h30 they can disappear into the bush and chances are that you won't see them again. And once the whole Sun City crowd with their Green Rhino trucks descend on the park some animals move away from the roads - they don't like the noise. And you don't get the close ups. You'll be lucky if you even spot some of the game.

I try take an extra spotter/driver/friend/guide or 2 along....more eyes! If I don't we make full use of the 6 pairs of binoculars I always take along - 8x40's or/and 10 x 50's!Lunch could be anytime between 12h00 and 19h00. Bring your swimming trunks in summer as we take one hour break. And excuse me from your company as I normally take a catnap. After lunch we gear down and go for specific unseen till then species. The gates close at 18h30 and I normally just make it........ Leaving this late means seeing lots of animals hoofing it to the nearest watering hole or spot they want to crash at for the night. With us you get a full day.

Like Th 30 Dec 2004, about 20 - 40 minutes old, we just missed the birth, the 5th one seen in 2004, my 2nd in 2004. We were the 1st to see it!
2 minutes after we saw them, see the nailstring still hanging 20 minutes later, protected by all the breeding herd

Now as for topping the lion sightings, ummmm simple, I go more often! And I can say it's not that the early bird not only gets the worm, it gets the best worm as well as more worms!
What I have seen! I add every now and then....
Rare sightings out of about 500 days total - Nov 2011: It's now March 2018, and I've stopped counting long ago :)

Brown hyena 127 sighting days - with one day 8 on a day, but never 2 or even 3 a day!!
Black Rhino 108 sighting days - 6 out of 7 trips July/Aug 2008 though, then nothing, then 2 out of 3 in Dec 08! 3 multiples.
Eland 57 sighting days
, with the 1st multiple Jan 09, 2nd Sep 09
Buffalo 41 sighting days, with 2 multiples sightings both Sept 2009
Sable 33 times - there are only 6 left
Cheetah 29 times - there are only 7 left
Leopard 47 Times - 3 times in 9,5 days over 3 weeks, Oct/Nov 2006, best Oct 2006, 60 cm for 1 min, posed! Leopards mating 60 metres from us 13 Feb 2007 - Only 2 sightings in 2008 though! Fantastic 40 min sighting Sept 2009. 14 sightings in 2011 so far
Bushbuck 19 times
Owls 14 times (not counting night drives)
Caracal 15 times - 12 minute sighting Nov 2006 - 15 metres, 2 multiple sightings 14 July 2007 & 23 Aug 2009
Wild Dog 7 times - 9 min sighting Nov 2006 - 1 meter
Oryx 7 times - there are less than 20 left
Mountain Reedbuck - 10 times
Southern Reedbuck - 7 times
Pufadder - 7times
Duiker - only 9 times, scarce in PB
Honey badger(s) - 3 times - 1st only in May 2007
Black Mamba - 3 times
Serval - 4 times - 1st only in Sept 2007
, best 25 Dec 2008
African Rock Python - 1 time May 2006
Dwarf Mongoose - 1 time - 30 July 2006
Grey Rhebok 1 time ..(.i think....!). Mike says there are none, but Mandy said she saw them in 2001 as well....
Snouted Cobra 1 time - 25 Dec 08 - took 315 days :)
Rock Agama 1 time - Aug 2009
Cape clawless otter - 1 time - Dec 2010
Aardwolf 1 time - Jan 2011 - 4 together

White tailed Mongoose - 1 time - 2011

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

Working with new pics are just too time consuming, so I only do it when I have free time! Jan 2019
Picture Gallery up to 2019
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 -  R5 000pp - 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 March 2018
All Pilanesberg queries -  travelinafrica@gmail.com