Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

Home>>Africa>>South Africa>> Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is located in North West Province in South Africa, west of Pretoria. The park borders with the entertainment complex Sun City. The park is currently administered by the North West Parks and Tourism Board.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa
Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

The area is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills, of which the formation rises from the surrounding plains. Pilanesberg is named after a Tswana chief, Pilane, the 'Pilanesberg Alkaline Ring Complex' is the park's primary geological feature.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa
Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

This vast circular geological feature is ancient even by geological standards as it is the crater of a long extinct volcano and the result of eruptions some 1,200 million years ago. It is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its type in the world, the rare rock types and formations make it a unique geological feature. A number of rare minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg Game Reserve rates high amongst the world's outstanding geological phenomena.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa
Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

The park has an area of 572 km² (220 sq mi). One can travel through in a standard road vehicle as although most of the 188 kilometres of track are not surfaced, they are well maintained. The three main tarred roads are named Kgabo, Kubu and Tswene. There are several camps serving the park from the outside, such as Bagatla and manyane.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa
Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

Several lodges are situated within the park itself. For the day visitors there are several stops on the inside where there are bars and gift shops. Towards the centre of the park there is an artificially constructed lake, the Mankwe Dam, and Thabayadiotso, which means "the Proud Mountain".

Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa
Pilanesberg Game Reserve of South Africa

The park has a rich array of southern African wildlife including the Big Five, the five most dangerous game animals in Africa. In the Pilanesberg Game Reserve today live most of the animal species of southern Africa these include lions, elephants, black & white rhinoceros, African buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles.

4