The Pilanesberg is a well known South African Game Reserve situated in the Mountainous remnants of an ancient volcano. The Volcano is one of only three of its type known, to exist. It is an "Alkaline Ring Volcano". When it was active over 490 million years ago it was one of the highest in Africa but the structure has eroded down to the rugged, high hills we know today. The volcanic soils, altitude and rainfall make this a unique ecosystem and the decision to create a game park in former farm lands has proven to have been an inspired one. The park is now a complete and well stocked reserve and justly famous for its fantastic game sightings, comfortable climate and spectacular views. There are several private game lodges as well as the Parks Board camps.
The road network is extensive and takes one through all the different ecological zones along 200km of gravel and tarred roads. There are numerous streams and dams within the park these offer bird watching and sightings of aquatic animals. The variety of animal species found here rivals that of bigger parks as do the bird and plant species. The Pilanesberg is a popular birding destination and it lies on the central/western migration route that is followed by raptors, storks and many other migratory bird species, many of which chose to remain there for their summer sojourn. There are several animal specials that make the Pilanesberg a good park to visit, such as the rare Brown Hyena, both black and southern white Rhinos, Kori bustards as well as good opportunities for leopard sightings. This is due in part to its unique location on overlapping eco zones between the highveld/ middleveld; the drier, western Kalahari sandveld/moist bushveld and Northern bushveld/highveld grasslands.
The Pilanesberg is close enough to JHB/Pretoria to make it easily accessible yet far enough to give any trip out there the feeling of being in a far more remote area. This reserve is one of our favorite parks and one we know very well. It is also easy to see game all through the year, high grass or thick bush do exist but these do not prevail all over, the park is gorgeous all year around.
The Pilanesberg is a malaria free park.