Pilanesberg National Park safaris, tours & holiday packages

Malaria-free Big Five viewing north of Johannesburg

Only two hours' drive from Johannesburg, this lovely 550 sq km reserve supports a wealth of wildlife within a collapsed volcanic crater abutting the famous Sun City complex

Free of malaria and home to all the Big Five, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve is the closest game reserve of comparable quality to the heavily populated province of Gauteng, which incorporates Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria, as well as the continent’s busiest international airport. It offers excellent general game viewing, with elephant and white rhino both very common, alongside a good selection of antelope and other ungulates.

P.S. If you're looking for Pilanesberg accommodation specials, we've got some great travel deals for you.

Popular Pilanesberg National Park safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Aerial View of Sun City

Sun City and Madikwe Family Safari (6 days)

From Sun City's hedonistic pleasures to the majesty of nature at Madikwe Game Reserve, this journey combines the best of two very different worlds

$ 2,462

£ 1,931

R 42,095


per person

6 days

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Philip Briggs says

When I had an office job in Johannesburg many years ago, I lived for occasional weekend breaks to the Pilanesberg - then a rather underrated reserve that offered reliably fantastic birdwatching, and treated me to some very exciting encounters with elephant and rhino.

More on Pilanesberg National Park holidays

Predators are less conspicuous but the odds of lion and leopard sightings improve hugely if you join a guided night drive in an open 4x4 – also an opportunity to see brown hyena, aardwolf and other nocturnal rarities. For birdwatchers, an impressive checklist of 350 species includes several western specials at the eastern extent of their range, notably crimson-breasted shrike, pied babbler, and shaft-tailed whydah.

A popular weekend destination for urbanites seeking a quick bush break, Pilanesberg also makes the ideal short getaway for business travellers to Johannesburg or Pretoria with a day or two to spare. Facilities range from an affordable rest camp catering mainly to self-drivers to several upmarket lodges geared more towards those seeking a packager inclusive of guided game drives.

Bordering the reserve, and its polar opposite in terms of authenticity, the legendary Lost City is an over-the-top child-friendly entertainment complex comprising a casino, a world-class golf course, many shops and cinemas, and several upmarket hotels.

Pilanesberg National Park Map

Pilanesberg National Park's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Pilanesberg National Park

When is the best time to visit Hell’s Gorongosa National Park?

The best and only time to experience the thriving Gorongosa National Park is during the dry season - which runs from April to November. However, during the rainy season of December to March, the roads are closed due to flooding. Hence the… go there.

When is the best time to travel through Mozambique?

The dry month of June to September is the best time to travel through Mozambique - when the bush has thinned out and the wildlife is concentrated around the waterholes and the rivers. go there.

What types of plugs are used in the Southern and Eastern African countries?

Botswana: Electric plug M 230V and 50Hz Kenya: Electric plug G 240V and 50Hz Malawi: Electrical plug G 230V and 50Hz Mauritius: Electrical plug C & G, 230V and 50Hz Mozambique: Electrical plug C,F,M, 220V and 50Hz Namibia: Electric plug… go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

What vaccinations should I get?

This is all dependant on the countries that you will be visitng and due to the status of certain vaccinations changing at times, please consult our experts before getting vaccines. go there.

Is it okay to drink the water?

In some parts of Southern Africa it is safe to drink the tap water, however it is highly recommended to stick to bottled water (mostly supplied) during your trip as even drinkable African water is completely different in taste and… go there.

When is the best time to visit Bazaruto Island?

The best time to visit Bazaruto Island is during the dry season months of May to November. Mozambique is blessed with warm tempreture all year round, making it an excellent destination for water sport enthusiasts. go there.

Pilanesberg National Park - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Pilanesberg National Park safaris

All details were covered, all staff and food excellent, service was perfect - would highly recommend for sure.


from United States of America

We visited Madikwe and Madagascar for our honeymoon in 2014. It was a dream trip that was made possible by Discover Africa. The best part of their service was the ease with which it was handled. Their website is very clear and full of…

Lexi Spheris

from South Africa

Excellent combination of calling to chat about plans and details, followed up with emailing of detailed information. Made all arrangements easy for us from the actual booking to payment procedures, exchange rate recommendations, visa advice,…


from South Africa

Two male lions tried to take on an older female lion. The alpha male recently died and they were trying to take over his pride. The female lion was having none of it and while the males tried to tag team her; she swatted her massive paw at…

Kay Oczkowski

from United States of America

Waking up at 5:00 am to a bumpy ride all the way to a hidden hyena den, was something I’ll never forget. But the absolute best part was when the 1 month old cub peeked his head out to say hello. It was heartbreakingly cute.

Alana Krutoyarsky

from United States of America

I want to once again thank Discover Africa for everything. Mozambique was off-the-hook! We are already planning to go back.

Nthabiseng Mahlase

from South Africa

Related Articles

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts