Pilanesberg National Park is possibly the most accessible National Park in South Africa, only a 3 hour’s drive from Johannesburg, situated in the North West Province. This vast area offers thrilling big game viewing experiences in a malaria free environment as well as a wide variety of accommodation options to suit your needs.

Pilanesberg National Park is set within the crater of an ancient volcano, formed 1.2 billion years ago by overflowing magma. The landscape and rock formations we see today are the enduring reminders of this magnificent occurrence.

Pilanesberg was originally owned by the local Tswana tribes, and many of the Stone Age and Iron Age sites around the reserve show proof of the early presence of man.

Approximately 120 000 visitors a year enjoy the vast varied habitats of this beautiful reserve, now home to more than 7000 animals, over 300 bird species and 65 reptile species. 

Big 5 Game viewing

A perfect place to spot a wide variety of animals such as water-buck, wildebeest, zebra, impala, and baboons is at the Mankwe Dam region. Virtually all the animal species native to Southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5, wild dog, Roan, Tsessebe, Sable antelope and much more!

This is also a fantastic spot to photograph a wide variety of bird life such as fish eagles, kingfishers and cormorants.

Here you can enjoy a leisurely self-drive safari experience or a guided safari in an open 4 x 4 vehicle.

Interesting Facts about Pilanesberg National Park:

  • Park Area: 550km²
  • Currency: South African Rand
  • Seasons: Dry season in the winter months (April to September), and wet season in the summer months (October to March) – Winter – This is known to be the best time to visit the park. During the period around July to October, animals in the park are easier to spot and spend longer feeding. It is also mating season which is worth seeing. Days are generally warm and clear.
  • Popular attractions: Big 5, hot air-ballooning, day trips, Lost City at Sun City
  • Nearby airports: O.R. Tambo International (220km)/Pilanesberg International Airport (inside the park)
  • Nearest cities: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg


  • Game drives in open safari vehicles
  • Hot Air Balloon Safaris give you a different perspective of the herds of antelope, buffalo and elephant. A 1-hour flight over the reserve includes sparkling wine after landing, full English breakfast, flight certificate and transfer to your lodge.
  • A walking safari hike can be up to 4 hours, with a minimum of 4 persons and require an average fitness level and minimum age of 16 years.

Safari Tour Options

We recommend a minimum stay of at least 2-3 nights on safari.

Highlights of a Pilanesberg National Park safari includes, accommodation in a luxury lodge, meals and open-vehicle game drives with professional guides. Guides are experienced and will know which routes are best to travel and where the best areas are for seeing various animal species.

Game drive groups are generally 4-6 individuals per safari, however, it may be 10 persons at times, depending on your choice of Lodge.

Flying above Pilanesberg National Park
Rhino in Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg National Park - having a lunch during safari

Bakubung Bush Lodge

Situated in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, this lodge blends modern day luxuries with a full-on African wildlife experience. Join a game drive to track down the Big 5 or relax in the spacious pool. A wide range of sports activities and shuttles to Sun City create variety that make every day a unique experience.


  • Join the guided bush walks and game drives to discover the natural environment of the Pilanesberg.
  • A 10 min. shuttle ride to Sun City allows you to indulge in the offerings of the resort and casino.
  • A flood lit tennis court, action cricket and volley ball cater to active guests.
  • Treat yourself to some indulgence at the Nôkô Kalahari Spa.
  • Stay in touch in the internet lounge.
  • Boma Dinners – Every Wednesday and Saturday you the chance to dine under the brilliance of the African stars – an indescribable plethora of universal magic. Dine to the sound of traditional entertainment, and feast on a wide selection of local flame grilled cuisine.
Elephants at Bakubung
Pool at Bakubung
Bakubung - dinner is ready
Bakubung room interrior