Pilanesberg National Park Experience
My recent visit to Pilanesberg National Park hosted by MoAfrika tours: https://www.moafrikatours.com/tour-category/1-day-pilanesberg-safaris was nothing short of amazing. My day started off on a nippy 6 am morning pickup by the hosting company’s tour bus, where I had the pleasure of meeting other enthusiastic bloggers I would be spending the day with. We then set off on a bumpy ride to the North West with our entertaining and welcoming driver, Sugar.
About Pilanesberg National Park
The Pilanesberg National Park, located north of Rustenburg in North West Province, is home to a brimming diversity of wildlife. It comprises an area of 550km2 thus known as the fourth largest park in South Africa. The park is situated on a crater of a long extinct volcano; consequently, rare rock formations are found in the park making it a unique geological feature. A number of rare minerals also exist in the park. Pilanesberg National Park consists of a rich array of southern African wildlife such as the Big Five. Most of the animal species of southern Africa live in the park today, including lions, elephants, black rhinos, white rhinos, Cape buffaloes, leopards, cheetahs, Hartmann’s mountain zebras, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.
On arrival at the Pilanesberg National Park, our safari tour driver, Anton, welcomed us. After a briefing from Anton, we headed out on the tour 4×4 to view the beauty that lies within the park.
Two seconds after driving out, we realized how cold the drive in the open vehicle would be but the beautiful sights made it all worthwhile (and the blankets that we eventually received aided a lot). Additionally, to any blogger’s frustration, the further into the park we drove, the less network we were getting; that meant no social media for the rest of the day. However, I realized this was not really a disadvantage as we had the chance to really appreciate the splendour that surrounded us. One thing I would like to commend Anton for was his in-depth knowledge and love for the wild, which he imparted to each one of us on the tour. Another point worth mentioning was his precise vision; Anton spotted animals far out in the distance that none of us would have spotted were it not for him, to the footprints on the ground (which he identified as that of a lion and leopard).
The first half of the drive proved to be the most exciting as we had the privilege of seeing not one but three leopards, this apparently is very unlikely so luck was on our side. One of the leopards’ names is Maximus; he is known to be the strongest leopard and best fighter so none of the other leopards mess with him. Maximus gave us quite a sight as he crossed the road right before our vehicle. Other animals that we saw on the morning drive include zebras, elephants, buffalos, antelopes, kudu.
Just before we stopped for our lunch break, we had the pleasure of stopping at the highest point of the crater; the spot comprised amazing views of one of the largest bodies of water on the park. This was one of the perfect spots for taking pictures.
After pre-ordering our lunch, (the burger strongly recommended by Anton), we arrived at the Watering Hole with a close up view of the wildlife. This was one of the busiest times for the restaurant so we had quite a bit of a wait, but this allowed time for the group to catch up and know each other more.
With the sun fully out, the afternoon was a bit warmer than the morning drive. In the afternoon, we managed to spot more animals such as giraffes, a few more zebras, a false alarm of a cheetah and the most precious rhinos. To close off the day and one of the highlights was spotting a herd of elephants and their cubs that were heading out to river to have their afternoon drink. With Anton’s great knowledge of the area, he took us to spots were we had great views and close-up of the elephants.
This was my first safari tour experience and it made me realize how much I take for granted just because I am South African and will always have access these parks. What I noticed were the many international tourists that came to visit the park. People travel from all over the world just to see the beauty of Africa, yet many South Africans do not make the time to see this. By the end of this day, I was filled with so much gratefulness of experiencing such magnificence. This was definitely one of the highlights of my traveling experiences this year.
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ MY EXPERIENCE with MoAfrika Tours