Pilanesberg Game Reserve Travel Guide

An easy to use travel guide explaining what to do, where to stay and how to get to the Big Five game reserve in South Africa's North West Province; the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Stay at Sun City Resort and explore the park.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve is officially named Pilanesberg National Park, but people often refer to it as a game reserve.

A Travel Guide to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve


Pilanesberg Game Reserve can be accessed by car - from Johannesburg, travel north on the N1 for two hours towards Polokwane. Then take the N4 Rustenburg split. A signboard indicates Pilanesberg to the left on route 91.

Internal Road Network

There is approximately 200 kilometres (124.3 miles) of road network to explore while game-viewing.


The closest airports are Johannesburg O. R. Tambo Airport or Lanseria Airport.


Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a malaria-free safari park located a short and easy drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria in South Africa. Home to the Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhinoceros; all collectively known as the Big Five of the animal kingdom, Pilanesberg also boasts a rich and diverse bird life.

Spend some time exploring the expansive road network while searching for game, or find one of the strategically located game-viewing or bird-viewing hides and sit and watch the African wildlife meandering past on their way to or from a watering hole. The nature park offers fantastic sightings of Brown Hyaenas.

Visitors to the game reserve can enjoy a guided night or day drive or a walking safari where experienced game rangers will accompany you on known game trails. The Mankwe Dam is a fantastic location from which to view water birds and Hippos while the Matlhorwe Peak is the highest point in the reserve and offers fabulous panoramic views across the plains.


Visitors to the Pilanesberg National Park can enjoy a variety of different activities while staying at the park-run accommodation units. Several camps within the reserve offer a number of accommodation options including safari tents, camping grounds, small huts or chalets or large luxury hotels; namely, Sun City Resort or the Lost City. Enjoy a meal at the restaurant at Manyane or spending some quality time with the family while enjoying a picnic at one of the spots provided. The park offers day and night game drives as well as walking safaris where guests can enjoy a different game-viewing experience.


Located adjacent to Sun City Resort and the Lost City, visitors can choose to stay in a number of different Pilanesberg National Park accommodation options including:

  • Metswedi Camp
  • Kololo Camp
  • Bakubung Bush Lodge
  • Mankwe Camp
  • Bakgatla Resort
  • Manyane Resort
  • KwaMaritane Bush Lodge
  • Sun City Resort
  • Lost City

The Experience

Pilanesberg Game Reserve ticks every box for someone wanting to have a game-viewing experience while in South Africa.


The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is worth visiting at any time of the year as each season offers a different or varied game viewing experience. The park falls into a summer rainfall area with most of the rain occurring between November and March. Winters are dry and cold with frost forming regularly in the valley. The temperatures have been known to soar to 36°C (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the hottest summer month; February, and it drops to -2°C (28.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in July in the middle of winter.

Important Information to Know About Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a malaria-free area and visitors do not have to take precautions prior to visiting the reserve. The game reserve is full of large wild animals and visitors should take heed not to alight from their vehicles unless they are in designated areas.

Being so easily accessible, it is recommended that visitors attempt to visit the park outside of weekends and national/public holidays as the park is at its busiest. Setting out early in the morning is highly recommended and this is when you increase your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal animals as well as the more seldom seen game such as Leopards.

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