The reserve features the "Big Five" animals that is so popular with tourists: lions, hippos, rhino, elephants and buffalo.
Among Southern Africa’s fascinating game reserves, Pilanesberg National Park is possibly the most accessible. Only three hours’ drive away from South Africa’s largest City (Johannesburg), Pilanesberg National Park offers the perfect opportunity to leave the city lights behind, and discover another world. Celebrate the Public Holidays, or enjoy a Romantic Getaway in the unspoiled Wilderness. Situated in the Ecologically rich, transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, this vast area promises thrilling Big Game viewing in a Malaria free environment. A wide variety of accommodation is available to suit your needs.The diversity of Pilanesberg’s accommodation options means that there is an offering to suit every taste. Whether you enjoy “roughing it” in a Safari tent in the bush, or a savouring a glass of fine wine in a big bubble-bath as you gaze out the window of your luxury lodge, Pilanesberg has something just for you. Ecological Richness
Pilanesberg National Park exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet Lowveld vegetation. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of Game Animals, Flora and Fauna that are not often found living side by side. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5, wild dog, Roan, Tsessebe, Sable antelope and more than 360 species of bird. The relatively small size of the park, and its unusual ecological richness, dramatically increase your chance of encountering the Big 5 in their natural environment. Enjoy a leisurely Safari experience, or a surprise weekend escape: Pilanesberg allows you to choose your own adventure. Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. The landscape and rock formations we see today are the enduring reminders of this magnificent occurrence.
The park was named after a Tswana chief who went by the name “Pilane.” The Northern part of Pilanesberg National Park was originally owned by the Bakgatla- ba- Kgafela tribe (also known as the Bakgatla tribe). The Southern area of the park was formerly a set of Farms owned by local farmers in the 1860’s and they were responsible for the development of the Mankwe Dam in the reserve. These farms in the South of the park were then bought by the Government during the 1960’s under the Apartheid Regime. The Bakubung tribe decided to settle on this land, arriving from the nearby town of Ventersdorp. This land was then passed onto Bophuthatswana (an area set aside for members of a specific ethnicity- “Bophuthatswana” means gathering of the Tswana people).
Now was the time for the re-introduction of wildlife into the area and the conversion of Pilanesberg into a Game Reserve. Chief Tsidmane Pilane from the Bakgatla tribe agreed to the inclusion of a Mountainous region owned by them, to be included in the new Reserve. Families were moved to a new Town to the East of the Reserve in an agreement with Tribal Authority.
These are the stages leading up to what we observe today as Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Around the same time, Sun International obtained a lease on the adjacent farm and built one of South Africa’s biggest Entertainment Complexes, Sun City. The development of Pilanesberg National Park is still considered to be one of the most complex yet aspiring projects of its kind found anywhere in the world.