The Best of South Africas Pilanesberg
The Best of South Africa’s Pilanesberg
by Jacqueline Freer
The Pilanesberg National Park, rating high amongst the world’s outstanding geological phenomena, is nestled in the North West Province of South Africa. The reserve is dotted with rare rock structures and rock formations and is situated in a 1 300 million year extinct volcano making it one of the largest volcanic reserve settlements in the world. There are loads of great tours in South Africa, and if they include the Pilanesberg it’s an absolute bonus.
Bordered by three rings of hills known as concentric ridges, the volcanic formation comes up out of the savannah like a bubble. This extinct volcano, survived ages of erosion and by geological time scales, is a perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare minerals can be found throughout the park. They are, however, of little economic importance and cannot be mined since they are found within the reserve. Evidence of early man can also be found at a number of Stone and Iron Age sites in the park.
Pilanesberg is found within the transition zone between the Lowveld and the Kalahari and therefore a unique combination and overlaps of mammals, birds and plant life. Here you will find the black eyed bulbul, impala and Cape chestnut trees within an eco-system where they share their outdoor living space with the brown hyena, springbok, the red eyed bulbul and camel thorn trees.
The creation of the park began during the late 70’s and was considered to be amongst one of the most ambitious projects of its kind and more so for the surrounding area. Today Pilanesberg is home to almost every mammal known to South Africa including the famous Big Five. The Pilanesberg National Park covers a 55 000 hectare area and ranks as the fourth largest park in South Africa.
Sun City & Pilanesberg National Park Self Drive Holiday – 7 Day Itinerary
Suitable for singles, couples and families with infants, toddlers and tweens, the Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park Self Drive Holiday is considered to be an incredible experience and a week-long vacation not quickly forgotten. It combines premier game viewing at the Pilanesberg National Park with fantastic entertainment at Africa’s kingdom of pleasure Sun City.
Day 1 – Johannesburg to Pretoria
You will arrive at Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where you will collect your rental car. You will go on to explore and discover Soweto, an icon of the New South Africa and visit the Apartheids Museum which shows South Africa’s story and political progression. You will spend the day in Johannesburg and drive through to Pretoria where you will overnight at Premier Hotel. Breakfast is served in the morning before continuing on your journey.
Day 2 to 3 – Pretoria – Pilanesberg National Park
Today you will drive through and arrive at Pilanesberg National Park located in the beauty of an extinct volcanos crater and presents visitors the opportunity to come up close and personal with the Big Five. Following commercialism and the increase of informal settlements, an effort was made to preserve the area, restock animals, plant and bird life and thereby creating a pristine reserve. Spend the evening at Ivory Tree Game Lodge where you will be spoiled with outstanding service
presenting fantastic food and taste sensations.
Day 4 to 6 – Pilanesberg National Park – Sun City
You make your way down the road and just around the corner lies to Sun City. The resort attracts thousands of visitors year after year and is fondly referred to as Africa’s Kingdom of Pleasure. Discover the wonder and magic of what is Sun City. Visit the Valley of the Waves, The Entertainment Centre for shows and food, play a little golf, kick back, relax and enjoy. Stay overnight at The Cascades Hotel where breakfast is served every morning.
Day 7 – Sun City – Johannesburg
Visit to the Lesedi Cultural Village on your way back to Johannesburg. This remains a quality stop and is a highly recommended activity, described by many as a fantastic insight into African history steeped in tribal traditions and folklore, ancestral ties and colourful beliefs. Stop at one or two of the local farm stalls for biltong, preserves and other delicious delicacies and tasty delights.