South Africa Adventures day trips to Pilanesberg Game Reserve
Day trips to Pilanesberg Game reserve – If you have a burning desire to experience an authentic and interactive wildlife experience in South Africa then thePilanesberg Game Reserveshould be high on your priority list. Given its close proximity to the bustling town of Johannesburg, this tour is the perfect option if you have a day to spare.
The Pilanesberg is the fourth largest game reserve in South Africa and is 670 square kilometers of sheer wildlife awesomeness. And by sheer awesomeness we mean it!!! This incredible reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife including our crazy guides. To give you an idea of what to expect, there are over 50 species of large animals and a host of smaller ones.
And of course the animal wish list of every wildlife enthusiast is covered on this day trip. We all know that you crave to see a wild ant but we secretly know that you really crave to see the infamous Big 5, or the Ugly 5 for that matter. What was that? Did you say the Ugly 5? What in the world is that? We all know that the lion, African Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant and Leopard make up the Pilanesberg Big 5 Gang that even Al Capone steers clear of, but what of the Ugly 5?
Well these unique animals are made up of…….yeah right as if we are going to give away all of our information!! The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to shed some of your hard earned cash and join one of our day trips to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Then all the secrets and wonders of the Pilanesberg will be bestowed upon you in abundance.
Why book day trips to Pilanesberg Game Reserve?
The reserve is situated a mere 110km from Johannesburg. So a day trip in definitely an option if you are limited for time. The Pilanesberg is pretty unique as it basically an extinct volcano that ‘imploded’ a while back to create a ring complex of mountains where the animals roam freely. Even the ants have been given their freedom following the last FTWAC (free the wild ants campaign) led by their infamous leader, Ant E. Lope.
So now that we have convinced you how magnificent the Pilanesberg, what are the various day trips available?
There are various tour options available depending on a number of factors from budget, time and level of comfort. Sometimes the best wildlife experiences are in our old Landrover Defender with the ranger. Here is a breakdown of the 3 possible options on our day trips to the Pilanesberg Game reserve.
Trip Option 1: Open Air Game Vehicle experience
Our most popular trip is the traditional ‘open air’ game vehicle option with a homemade lunch next to a secluded watering hole. Basically we transfer you to the Pilanesberg at 6 am ( 2 hour drive to get there) and you spend about 6 hours on an open air game vehicle with the ranger in search of animals.
The capacity of these vehicles is 9 which mean the group is not that big. And it is open. So you will get to feel the wind on your hair. It also makes for some spectacular photo opportunities. The disadvantages of the trip might be the confinement of the group dynamics. With larger groups we need to be pretty tough in terms of the itinerary.
Most travellers are solo with time constraints and so forth. Of course if the clients all know each other and have booked as a group then we are super keen to be more flexible. If we hear on the radio that there is a lion kill and the group agrees, we change the itinerary to take advantage of the situation. Of course you will get to learn a whack of amazing facts about the fauna and flora of the Pilanesberg as well as the intricate eco system that makes up this incredible game reserve.
Trip Option 2: Intimate and in depth experience
Are you are looking for a more intimate and in depth trip way to experience the Pilanesberg Game reserve? We have an old Landrover Defender with serious character on call. The trip is conducted in this vehicle. If you are really well behaved we may even allow you to drive this iconic collector’s item of the bush. The capacity is limited to 3 people and 45 ants.
This is an incredible way to explore the reserve. You will be accompanied with one of our FGASA (field guide association of South Africa) rangers-our very own Lion Larry ( South African version of Crocodile Dundee) He has intimate knowledge of the Pilanesberg and he is dedicated to making your trip a truly memorable one. There are many advantages of joining a small group.
The trip now becomes more interactive and the guide has more time dedicated to your experience or preference (birding, spoor, trees or ants). The route can also be more flexible and usually entails ‘hide hopping’. This means that the ranger moves from hide to hide. This means you have the opportunity to leave the vehicle and spend some time ‘in hiding’-just make sure you bring your camouflaged pants. (A hide is a structure built next to water that animals like to frequent).
We have had some incredible sightings at these spots. Sometimes it’s a herd of 30 elephant. Sometimes we find a hippo chilling out in the cool water. Sometimes the highlight of the day trips is the scrumptious homemade lunch served by the ranger in the most incredible safari setting unique to the Pilanesberg.
Trip Option 3: Air conditioned Van
Not our favorite trip option by far. The Pilanesberg Game Reserve needs to be experienced in the traditional safari style of old. Why would you want to be contained behind a glass window in artificial air with a bunch of stinky strangers?
And being a van they are contained to the limited tar surfaces which means there is a vast area of the Pilanesberg that you will never get to see. So what are the advantages of this kind of day trip to the Pilanesberg you may be wondering? Ummm…..We can’t seem to think of one right now. Maybe we will think of one in about 45 years from now, Or not.
Whatever trip option you choose, we are certain that your Pilanesberg Game reserve experience will always be a memorable one packed with an abundance of wildlife. The reserve is bursting with zebra, impala, wildebeest, giraffe, hippo, elephant, lion and ants. If you have a day to spare and nature or animals is your thing…..you need to get there.