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With Africa being the home to some of the world’s best game reserves, picking a destination for a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife watching experience can be tough. The Pilanesberg Game Reserve makes this choice easier for you by checking off everything on your dream safari list. What sets this unique game reserve apart from other national parks is its easy accessibility, concealed photographic hides and a fat chance to encounter the Big 5: lions, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, and crocodiles in their natural habitat. Whether you’re a fan of birds or want to witness the Great Migration, Pilanesberg Game Reserve safari tours will blow your mind.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve Map

Situated in the ecologically rich zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, Pilanesberg Private Game Reserve is the fourth largest game reserve in Southern Africa. It covers an area of roughly 55000 hectares. This Pilanesberg Game Reserve Map offers a bird’s eye view of the safari route.

How to Reach Pilanesberg Game Reserve

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By Air: Fly to Johannesburg International Airport and thereafter, hire a car. The drive to the Bakgatla Gate of Pilanesberg Game Reserve is fairly easy and takes around 5 minutes from the Welcome Centre at Sun City.

By Road: You’re permitted to drive your own vehicle around the park. Most sedans are suitable for a day trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve. From Johannesburg, you can ideally take the N1 highway towards Polokwane. A signboard shows Pilanesberg Game Reserve to the left on route 91.

Must Read: 10 National Parks In Kenya: Experience The Unsurpassed Charm Of African Wildlife!

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Best Time To Visit Pilanesberg Game Reserve


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South Africa is an year-round destination due to its varying regional climates. An ideal time to visit Pilanesberg Private Game Reserve is between the months of May and October, when wildlife viewing is at its best. The mating season, which occurs from February onwards, is also something worth seeing. You’re advised to refrain from planning a day trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve between the months of November and January because in the winters, some areas of the park have to be burned vis a vis veld management.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve Opening Hours

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Pilanesberg Private Game Reserve is a malaria-free park that is open 365 days of the year.The timings may slightly vary, so make sure to consult the gatekeeper before departing for your safari.

Opening time of Bakgatla Gate Pilanesberg Game Reserve: 5:30 AM – 6 AM
Closing time of Bakgatla Gate Pilanesberg Game Reserve: 6:30 PM – 7 PM

Suggested Read: Head To Masai Mara National Park For An Ultimate Encounter With Africa’s Best

Pilanesberg Game Reserve Entry Fee


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SAARC citizens: INR 397/- per person
South African citizens: INR 198/- per person
Foreign nationals: INR 545/- per person
Kids below the age of 12 years: INR 148/- per person

South African citizens are required to show their ID card at the gate to substantiate their citizenship.

Top 5 Pilanesberg Game Reserve Activities

There’s so much to do at Pilanesberg Game Reserve Sun City that you’ll find yourself never having enough time. Here are our carefully curated top 5 picks:

1. Game Drives

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Spend some time observing wildlife at peace. Your ranger will try to ensure that all people on the vehicle can get a decent photograph of the cheetah, rhino or other animals in sight. In an ideal Pilanesberg Game Reserve safari scene, you will have a lot of time to appreciate the wildlife and the opportunity to learn about other aspects such as how to track animals.

Tip: Do not try to get too close to the animals.

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2. Hot Air Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning

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A day trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve is incomplete without a hot air balloon adventure. The best part about the experience is that there will be absolutely no turbulences and the only noise you will hear is the occasional firing of the burner.

Tip: Wear light clothes because it can get extremely hot during flight, owing to one’s close proximity with the balloon’s burner.

3. Walking Safaris

Walking Safaris

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Exploring Pilanesberg Game Reserve on foot will give you a more in-depth experience in many ways. For starters, you’ll be able to discover insects and different types of vegetation that you may tend to overlook on a game drive. Additionally, a walking safari provides photographers a chance to capture their perfect wildlife shot from different angles.

Tip: Avoid sudden movements on encountering an animal.

Suggested Read: 6 South Africa Travel Tips That Are A Must For Every Traveler

4. Bird Watching


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If you’re an avid bird watcher, experiencing the diversity of Pilanesberg Game Reserve’s birdlife must feature on the top of your Africa bucket list. The park is home to more than 300 bird species. The birds of prey like vultures and eagles are fascinating without a shadow of doubt, but the smaller native species are no less intriguing.

Tip: Take your binoculars along or buy one at the Bakgatla Gate of Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Suggested Read: The Mightiest National Parks In Africa For The Love Of Wildlife And Adventure

5. Tribal Dancing & Interactive Drumming

Tribal Dancing View

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Learn how to dance and play drums to African rhythms to completely immerse yourself in the traditional African culture. Dancing in the Pilanesberg camping grounds will remove all your inhibitions and leave you feeling stress-free and truly happy.

Tip: Be respectful and mindful about the lifestyle of locals.

Further Read: Best Safari In South Africa: Adrenaline Pumping Experiences In The World’s Wildest Corner

Whether you want to witness the Great Migration or you’re a fan of hot air ballooning, Pilanesberg Game Reserve caters to all the needs of a safari fanatic. Your trip to Africa is incomplete without a visit to this national treasure, so hop inside a car right away and if you’re lucky enough you’ll witness Sun City’s iconic cheetah in fleet-footed action.

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Category: National Parks, South Africa

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