The creation of the Reserve is considered one of the most ambitious programmes of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in the world. Thanks to Operation Genesis in 1979, which involved the game-fencing of the reserve and the re-introduction of many long-vanished species, the park now has in excess of 7 000 animals including 24 of the larger species.
“The Volcano that gave birth to a game reserve”
The crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg Game Reserve – a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1200 million years ago. Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure make it a unique geological feature. The area is fringed by four concentric ridges or rings of hills – the formation rises from the surrounding plains like a bubble. The structure of the park is termed the “Pilanesberg Game Reserve Alkaline Ring Complex”. Ancient, even by geological time scales, this extinct volcano is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg Game Reserve rates high amongst the world’s outstanding geological phenomena. Pilanesberg has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park. The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as “Bushveld”. Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone. The colourful hues, varied habitats and panoramas will delight and entertain photographers and visitors. The very topography makes the area a feast for the eye. Here are syenite koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld and also rolling grasslands with lightly wooded areas and numerous Tambotie forests. The Park ranks among the largest of the parks in South Africa and covers an area of 57 000 hectare. The beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam. Over time, wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape with rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets. Today, Pilanesberg National Park accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa. Also home to the Big Five.
Pilanesberg Game Reserve is in the Bojanala Region of the North West Province, adjacent to Sun City, and close to the 2010 Soccer World Cup Royal Bafokeng Stadium which is a mere 30 min drive.
We offer walking safaris through a private operator Nare Walking Safaris. Guests are collected and delivered back at the lodge for the activity which takes 3 – 4 hours.