Pilanesberg National Park - North West - South Africa

Gerald Crawford

Visitors: 153

The crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg National Park - a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago.

Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature.

The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park.

The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as “Bushveld". Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.

The colourful hues, varied habitats and panoramas will delight and entertain photographers and visitors. Off the centre of the park is Thabayadiotso, “the Proud Mountain" and the beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam.


An abundance of wild life proliferate in 580 km of diverse and arresting bushveld terrain. The park is home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo - Africa's “Big Five".

A wide variety of rare and common species exist with endemic species like the nocturnal brown hyaena, the fleet-footed cheetah, the majestic sable, as well as giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodile, to mention but a few.


Bird watching is excellent with over 300 species recorded. Some are migrants, others permanent inhabitants; some eat carrion or live prey, others eat seeds, fruit or tiny water organisms.

There is a self-guided trail in the Walking Area at Manyane Complex in the east, which offers environmental education whilst enjoying game viewing and bird watching on foot. Also at Manyane is a walk-in aviary with over 80 species of indigenous birds.


Visitors are offered many opportunities to experience the wonders of Pilanesberg. There are nearly 200 kilometres of excellent quality roads for either self-drives or guided drives, and professional guides operate within the park.

Numerous hides and scenic picnic sites enable the tourist to experience “out-of-car" experiences as well.

Guests staying in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve or Day-Visitors are invited to join any of these unique and extraordinary African Adventures.

In the middle of the park is the Pilanesberg Centre, a lovely old building that once served as the local magistrate's court.

How to get there:

By road the Pilanesberg is situated 60 kms from Rustenburg on the Thabazimbi road R510.

From Johannesburg or Pretoria follow the signs to Sun City.

Health & Climate:

Pilanesberg National Park is situated in a in the malaria-free area.

Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail Address: southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za Website Address: http://www.12234455.co.za


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