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4-Day Pilanesberg Safari Tours

There is so much to love about Pilanesberg Game Reserve, and two of its biggest selling points go to the heart of a successful safari. For a start, the wildlife is incredible. The park is home to all the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino), with white rhino and elephant being especially common. Major sightings often take place right alongside the main roads. Secondly, the stunning volcanically formed landscape makes this one of South Africa’s most scenic wildlife destinations. Pilanesberg can get crowded and coming here is not really a wilderness experience. But with 4 days, there’s a really good chance that you’ll see all of the wildlife you came so far to see.

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1-10 of 10 Pilanesberg Game Reserve 4-day trips, itineraries, holidays, packages & vacations

5 Questions About 4-Day Pilanesberg Safaris


5 Questions About 4-Day Pilanesberg Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

What kind of accommodations can I expect on a Pilanesberg safari?

“Pilanesberg Game Reserve has some excellent accommodations. There’s a very small number of exclusive lodges and tented camps hidden away in an isolated corner of the park. These are very much top-end luxury places. Most of the rest of what’s on offer is located just outside the park boundaries, especially around the Manyane and Bakubung Gates. Most of the accommodations are in lodges, with a few tented camps scattered around, and nearly all fall within the midrange or top-end price brackets. Many accommodations are as popular with local South African visitors as they are with international safari-goers. There are also accommodations available at the neighboring Sun City resort complex, and much of it is excellent across a range of budgets. But even though they’re geographically close, it can take longer than it should to get inside the park by the time you pass through Sun City’s access gate and Pilanesberg’s park gate.”


What are the lodges like in Pilanesberg?

“The lodges inside and surrounding Pilanesberg are of a generally high standard. Although there is a range of accommodations to choose from, most lodges tend to have spacious rooms with en suite bathrooms. If the lodge has a view, you’ll usually pay more for a room that overlooks the mountains or a waterhole. Some also offer family rooms, suites and even honeymoon rooms. There is very little on offer at the budget end of the price range, although there are more choices for budget travelers if you’re willing to stay a little farther away from the reserve. Facilities vary from one lodge to the next. In most cases, you can expect those alongside or inside the reserve to have a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and lounge. You might also find an activities center on the property, where they can organize game drives into the park (in case they’re not already included in your tour) and excursions farther afield.”


Which activities are available in Pilanesberg?

“The main activity in Pilanesberg, as in most southern African wildlife parks and reserves, is the game drive. Your guided game drive will involve a driver and guide taking you to look for animals in the reserve. If you’re on a private or group safari, this will be in a 4WD safari vehicle with tiered rows of seats. If you’re joining a game drive organized by a local lodge or the park authorities, the vehicle is more likely to be a larger, open-topped vehicle with the park guide talking through a microphone and speaker. If you’re traveling on a self-drive safari, then you will have your own 4WD vehicle (although a 2WD is technically all you’d need for Pilanesberg’s good roads and tracks), and you’ll be your own guide and driver. Pick up a map at the park entrance, and you’ll have no trouble finding your way around.”


Is self-drive a good option for a 4-day Pilanesberg safari?

“A self-drive 4-day Pilanesberg safari is an excellent way to explore the reserve. This is one park that can get really crowded, so having your own vehicle means you always have the option of leaving the crowds behind and taking one of the more isolated tracks through the far east and west of the reserve. Pilanesberg is easy to navigate, thanks in part to its good maps and relatively compact size. If you have 4 days, one option (which I did the first time I visited Pilanesberg) is to join one of the hotel’s or reserve’s guided game drives so that you can get an overview of the main attractions, and maybe learn something from the guide along the way. Then you can spend the rest of your time here branching out on your own. As with all self-drive safaris, one of the best things about doing it all yourself is the freedom it offers you. You’re the one who decides where to go, which road to take, whether you want to look for lions or for birds, and how long you stay at each animal encounter. It’s actually my favorite way to experience Pilanesberg.”


How much does a 4-day Pilanesberg safari cost?

“A 4-day Pilanesberg safari can be expensive, but it all depends on what kind of tour you take. Prices at the lower end start at US$200 to US$250 per person per day. This is a little less than it is for shorter safaris because the cost of transfers at the beginning and end of your tour is divided into more days. At the luxury end of the market, expect to pay double or even triple that cost. Variables that will affect the cost of your safari include accommodations (budget or luxury?), the type of safari (private, group or self-drive?), the months in which you travel (high or low season?) and group size (small groups cost more). Make sure you understand from your safari tour operator what’s included in any prices they quote you. Most quotes should include accommodations, transfers, vehicle, guide and driver (except on a self-drive safari), meals, water and some drinks, and game drives. Always ask before you hand over any money.”


Pilanesberg Reviews

3.9/5 101 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

A Big Five destination just a few hours’ drive from Johannesburg

Pilanesberg is instantly likeable, and with its savannah grasslands surrounded by an attractive ring of hills broken by wooded valleys, it’s hard to imagine that it started life as manmade reserve (it opened in the 1970s as an...

Full Review

Nittaya  –  
Thailand TH
Reviewed: May 17, 2024

From the game, we found many animals, but for big 5 we found only 3 (Leopard, Elephant, Rhino). However, our driver, Lethabo, he is an experienced driver with lot of knowledge. He tried very hard to find the places where we might see Lion...

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Francine  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 8, 2024
Amazing Days and Nights

Since we were staying in and flying out of Johannesburg, we chose the closer Pilanesberg over Kruger NP so we would have more time viewing animals and less time driving in the two days we had for the safari. It did not disappoint us at all....

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Aurelia kelly  –  
South Africa ZA
Reviewed: Nov 2, 2023
Breathtaking, absolutely love it there, it's so peaceful and calm, so much to see.

I absolutely loved this place, great get away with my family, amazing wildlife, I'm not a early morning person but getting up for the the game drives was worth it........ we had the best time!!! Would def do it again

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Tracey Skagias  –  
Greece GR
Reviewed: Jun 8, 2023

I have been around many game parks in my life - I was born and raised in Kenya. I know you have to be lucky to see certain animals. I did find the tarmac road through the park rather unusual, and although I understand the why, I found...

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Alan  –  
South Africa ZA
Reviewed: Jul 14, 2021
Game feast in a beautiful mountain ringed crator with expansive views extending kilometres.

I have travelled Kruger and Pilanesberg extensively. The rhino have disappeared from Kruger. Although the vistas have limits in Pilanesberg you can access 5 hides with many more opportunities of alighting from your vehicle. All hides have...

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