Pilanesberg National Park is next door to the famous leisure and entertainment resort of Sun City. You can go on safari during the day and gamble at night.
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg National Park is situated inside the eroded crater of a long-extinct volcano in the North-West province of South Africa. This 55.000 hectares safari park has a wide range of game including the Big Five. It is a sanctuary for various kinds of game and is the successful conclusion to one of the largest game-stocking operations in South Africa.
The Pilanesberg National Park borders on the entertainment complex of Sun City.
The Park lies in a faunal transitional zone between Kalahari and Lowveld, a climatic overlap area where animals and plants from both drier and wetter regions can survive equally comfortably, it is also one of the very few places where one can see both the Impala and springbok living in the wild.
The Pilanesberg National Park was opened in 1979. At the time it was the largest game resettlement project in the history of South Africa, with more than 6,000 animals from other parks settled here. In 1993 lions from the Etosha National Park (Namibia) were introduced, despite grave concerns of the surrounding communities. The lions have thrived, multiplied in number and have poised no danger to the local community. Unfortunately, a program to introduce cheetahs from Namibia failed.
More than 35 large mammals and some 50 smaller species are known to occur in the park. It is sanctuary to the world's third largest white rhino population. Although some animals, including kudu, duiker, leopard and hyaena, have been in the Pilansberg area for centuries, others have been brought in from various parts of the subcontinent. There are 19 antelope species. Some of the highlights include lions, elephants, white and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. Over 300 bird species have been counted.
The roads in the park (some 200 kilometres) are not tarred, but very well maintained and can be travelled with a normal vehicle. It is a popular destination with guests staying at Sun City. This can make the park very busy.
There are various types of accommodation available in the park: two restcamps with chalets, three restcamps with safari tents and some luxurious lodges and hotels. The park offers a number of wonderful picnic spots, numerous hides for game watching, huge walk-in aviaries, safe hiking trails, safari drives at night and flights over the park in a hot-air balloon.
Alternative spelling: Pilansberg National Park, Pilandsberg National Park