The Pilanesberg National Park is a treasure in its own light. Pilanesberg National Park is home to the Big 5 and also includes cheetahs amongst other amazing wildlife.

The Pilanesberg National Park, also known as the Gem of the North West, is a true gem in its own right. Just 2 hours drive from Johannesburg, it is certainly a place to behold.

This vast geological and breathtaking feature is over 1200 – 1300 Million years old.

The Pilanesberg National Park, established in 1979, entered the project known as “Operation Genesis”. It was also part of the largest translocation of animals in the world at the time. Leopards were native to the area already. There were more than 6000 animals introduced into the park but kept in quarantined enclosures at first. This was to ensure that they adapted to the area and were not carrying any diseases. Once cleared, the animals could gradually be released into the park.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve extends over 50000 hectares of land in a ring-type shape. The Pilanesberg landmass was formed by a ring dyke complex. In most cases, it is mistaken as an extinct volcano. The main difference? Volcanos erupt and this didn’t. The rarity of this formation is quite spectacular as it is 1 of only 3 in existence today.

The Pilanesberg is named after the Tswana Chief, Chief Pilane, and is not one of our National parks. It is instead run by the North West Parks board.


This unique landscape has been formed over the millennia, which is now home to not only the Big 5 but boasts an incredible variety of over 300 Birds, Wild Dog, Cheetah, a very large variety of Plantlife and thanks to the Organisation – Friends of the Pilanesberg (FOPS), we have 5 Bird Hides as well as which are favorite destinations for both Tourists and Birders alike.

What to do

There are 4 entrances to the Pilanesberg and each entrance has great accommodation facilities. Along with these 4 entrances, there are also some private 5-star lodges in Pilanesberg with their own private access into the park.

Early morning, morning, mid-day, afternoon and evening open vehicle game drives are available. Amazing bushwalks with qualified FGASA guides are also available and certainly hot air ballooning is an experience not to miss out on.

Contact us today to book your exclusive and unique safari to the Pilanesberg.

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