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A waterbuck in morning mist in Pilanesberg Game Reserve
A giraffe in Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The Pilansberg National Park [dead link] (sometimes also called Pilanesberg Game Reserve) is a few kilometres from Sun City in South Africa. It is known for its beautiful landscape and ideal, if you are staying near Johannesburg and do not have time to go to the Kruger National Park.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Take the N4 or R24 when coming from Gauteng (Pretoria or Johannesburg). From Rustenburg take the R565 when going to Bakubung Gate or the R510 when going to Manyane Gate.

Gate opening times are:

  • April-August - Open 6AM, close 6:30PM
  • September-March - Open 5AM, close 7PM

Entry is R20 per vehicle and an additional R65 per person.

By plane[edit]

Pilanesberg Airport (NTY IATA).Located just outside Sun City. There are weekly flights to Johannesburg with South African Airways and connections to Cape Town are planned.

Get around[edit]

Drive around in your own car. Most of the roads in Pilanesberg are dirt roads, but are in good condition and can be utilised by ordinary passenger vehicles.

There are a number of bird hides and picnic spots scattered around the park, where visitors can get out and have a relaxed lunch or just sight-see.


The park is very good for seeing many different animals, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffallo). There are a number of giraffes, hippopotamus, cheetahs, antelopes and countless birds. 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.




Many of the resorts, including Sun City, have good restaurants.

However, nothing is better than enjoying a typical South African barbecue outside under the stars.



Accommodation ranges from upmarket lodges to rustic self-catering, tented camps. The camps in the park are: Kwa Maritane, Tshukudu, Bakubung, Manyane Camp, Bakgatla Camp.

Stay healthy[edit]

Pilanesberg National Park is in a malaria-free area.

Go next[edit]

Right near the park is Sun City which has plenty of other recreational activities (water slides, wave pool, gambling, cinema, restaurants).

There is also a Crocodile Farm just outside the entrance to Sun City.

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