​User Reviews – Pilanesberg GR

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Patrick Winkel   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: October 2019 Reviewed: Oct 27, 2019

Email Patrick Winkel  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

a beautiful day, and seen many animals
Overall rating

A day to never forget. Given everything we wanted to see. But also learned a lot about the animals. In short, a recommendation for anyone who wants to do a safari in a day.
Thanks to Susan, Glen and the driver Wiggie

Nina   –  
Germany DE
Visited: August 2019 Reviewed: Sep 17, 2019

Email Nina  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

Beautiful landscape and scenery. Small enough so that one can actually spot the animals. Loved it!

Marissa Hatch   –  
United States US
Visited: December 2018 Reviewed: Jan 10, 2019

Email Marissa Hatch

Overall rating

Great experience!

Sérgio Baumgratz   –  
Brazil BR
Visited: October 2018 Reviewed: Nov 16, 2018

Email Sérgio Baumgratz

It was very cool.
Overall rating

I had luck seeing some of the 5 Big very close. The scenery and weather is very similar with some regions in Brazil, i.e, savanna (cerrado) covers a large area of the Brazilian territory and our climate is subtropical in the south. The accommodations, food, transportation and guides were very good - Morokolo lodge is perfect. I suggest to everyone to be at least two days in this game reserve. Enjoy it.

Kaz   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: Jun 22, 2018

Email Kaz  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

Please see attached review

Lynn Chatman   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: May 1, 2018

Email Lynn Chatman  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

We spent three days in the area near Pilanesberg, and took three game rides in the Park. The Park guides made our rides memorable experiences with their knowledge and anecdotes about the animals in the Park. We had remarkable photo experiences with a large group of elephants (including babies) that crossed the road in front of and behind of our vehicle. They were so close you could reach out and touch them (but we didn't). We also witnessed a group of five or six hippos frolicking in a pond area. The group included several young hippos who were sparring and playing like puppies. We also sighted several female lions feeding on a wildebeest. These sightings were only the tip of the iceberg, as we saw giraffes, impalas, rhinos, more lions, baboons, small mammals, birds, more hippos, more elephants. On one evening ride, I was able to capture photos of the most incredible sunset. Again, on an early morning ride, we rode along as the sun rose over the mountains and the mist lay in the valleys. It was very serene and peaceful. I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the creatures we saw. We were very impressed with the number of animals we saw in their natural habitat, and we would love to come back and see them again.

moelynphotos   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Mar 20, 2018

Email moelynphotos  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

So many elephants!!!

Neeltje   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: March 2018 Reviewed: Feb 20, 2018

Email Neeltje  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Great and condensed park to spot wildlife. The park is very well maintained. I guess for the real bush feeling you would need to go to other countries in Africa. Since the park is fenced and very nice, it did not give me the real bush vibe. But the safari itself was great and would not have wanted to miss it!

Axel Martin   –  
Germany DE
Visited: March 2017 Reviewed: Dec 29, 2017

Email Axel Martin

A perfect stay in the bush - only a three hours drive away from Johannesburg
Overall rating

Pilanesberg National Park and the adjacent Black Rhino Private Game Reserve are located around the extinct Pilanesberg vulcano ca. 150 km NW of Johannesburg. The area is Malaria free. Due to an elevation of +/- 1000m the nights in winter can be quite chilly while the days in summer can be as hot as 35°C or even more.

Unlike many other South African parks Pilanesberg is a piece of "man made" nature: It was founded in 1979 on former farmland, so more than 7000 animals from other parks like Kruger NP had to be relocated to (re-)populate the area. Since then, these animal population has been left on it's own.

The main park can be explored either by self-drive or on guided tours. In Black Rhino Private Game Reserve private cars are only allowed to access the lodges - all game drives are guided tours organized by the respective lodge. While the game drives from Black Rhino are allowed to enter the national park, no visitors "from outside" are allowed to enter Black Rhino.

Since 2011 my spouse and I have visited Black Rhino Private Game Reserve 5 times. We stayed at two different lodges that are quite similar compared in service: Both offer good quality meals, spacious bungalows and a small pool. Two game drives per day are already included in the room price.

The game drives are done with small cars (max. 10 people per car). All 4 different guides on our meanwhile 29 game drives did an excellent job: They tried to find as many different animals as possible, with the focus not only on the "Big Five". They stayed as long near the animals as the guests wanted (very good for photography!). There was no "rush from one animal to the next" like we already experienced at some of the smaller game lodges in the Western Cape, which (in comparison to a national park) are more like small zoos where the predators live in separate fenced areas.

...o.k. if the animals don't cooperate, even the best ranger can't do anything! After all one should not forget that the animals of a national park (although they might be used to the cars) are still wild: The grazers keep in the bush to hide from their predators and the predators hide themself to better approach their prey. Large animals like elephants, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe or even white rhinos are quite easy to find in the grassy areas - but don't expect to be so lucky that you'll see a lion, a hyaena, a black rhino or even a leopard on your first visit! On most of your game drives you'll most likely see only the "usual suspects".

HHM   –  
Belgium BE
Visited: December 2012 Reviewed: Jun 17, 2017

Email HHM  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Great safari for starters
Overall rating

Pilanesberg is a great game reserve option if you are in Johannesburg and a limited time for a safari (1-3 days), with rich variety of wildlife. In a 5-6h tour, we spotted giraffes, elephants, wildebeests, antelopes, zebras, boars, ostriches and jackals.

Although relatively small, Pilanesberg is in a transition area, so the landscape, vegetation and wildlife quickly changes from one part to another of the park.

I only visited the park, in a 1-day trip from Johannesburg, arriving early morning and leaving by late afternoon, it was a still an enjoyable experience, though a weekend would be certainly better. It is possible to visit the park with a private car and a guide, roads were excellent.

The tour with the park truck is probably a better option to view the wildlife - just be aware that there are limited rides (especially during the low season).

Average User Rating

  • 4.4/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 42
  • 4 star 29
  • 3 star 6
  • 2 star 2
  • 1 star 0
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