Bakubung Bush Lodge : Children stay free when sharing with adults. Black Rhino Game Lodge: Children five years and under stay free, and children years stay at half price. The thatched family suites are spacious and well-equipped and lazy days are spent next to the sparkling swimming pool. Buffalo Thorn Buffalo Thorn Lodge: Two family chalets in the exclusive-use Buffalo Thorn Lodge offer sleeping lofts with two single beds which are ideal for children. The swimming pool is perfect for lazy game viewing but still child-safe for your peace of mind.
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Ivory Tree Game Lodge : The lodge caters for young children with a daily bush bumble that focuses on the little things in the bush, and they can try their hand at archery while learning about ancient Bushmen. Kwa Maritane Lodge : Children stay free when sharing with adults. The Junior Rangers Programme offers a fun, exciting introduction to the wonders of nature.
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An adventure playground, trampoline, a putt-putt course in the bush, two swimming pools and a baby pool and outdoor chess keep the whole family busy. Bakgatla Resort : Children 11 years and under stay free. Manyane Resort : Children 11 years and under stay free. Self-drives or private game drives with Moafrika Tours. It lies in the transition zone of the arid Kalahari Desert and the lush, tropical Lowveld. A morning or evening game drive offers close encounters with not only the Big 5 but a spectacular array of endangered species, such as wild dog and cheetah.
The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a birders paradise with more than bird species to tick off your birding list. It is best to set off in the cooler hours as predators tend to hunt at dusk or dawn. Visitors have the luxury of choosing between driving their own vehicles on the well-maintained reserve roads or they can opt for a game drive with an experienced guide in an open-top safari vehicle. The latter is a unique experience as the rangers are always eager to share their extensive knowledge of the bush and can guarantee your safety at all times.
Visitors can take a break from a game drive at one of the many game and bird viewing hides. Pilanesberg Game Reserve has developed a reputation for game viewing from the air. Hot air balloons offer an incredibly tranquil experience and the only noise you will hear is the occasional firing of the burner.
Elevated high above the Alkaline Ring Complex, you will marvel at the magnificence of this ancient setting. A hot air balloon excursion involves a one-hour flight over the reserve, sparkling wine after landing, a full English breakfast and a first-flight certificate.
The ballooning operators provide transfers to and from your lodge.
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Rhino tracking in Letsatsing. Mankwe Gametrackers offer visitors a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the Big 5, and in particular the endangered white rhino. Walkers accompany an experienced field guide who is employed to monitor and track white rhino in their natural environment with the help of a telemetry device. The group sets out at first on a vehicle and then approaches the rhino on foot.
The African rhino population is extremely endangered and under threat from exhaustive poaching, so it is a rare and life-altering experience to get so close to these magnificent animals.
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The field guide will share his extensive knowledge and enlighten visitors on the plight of these beautiful beasts. Some of the rhinos at Letsatsing are fitted with radio frequency collars which make it easy for the field guide to find and track them; otherwise he will use his knowledge of bush tracking. Tracking the rhinos is strictly controlled and although they are habituated to humans, they are still wild and dangerous. The purpose of the activity is to raise much-needed finances to support the project and a percentage of the money raised goes towards anti-rhino initiatives in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
Sometimes watching game from inside a car is just not good enough. For the intrepid adventure, there is nothing quite like experiencing the sights and sounds of the bush on foot. An experienced, qualified guide shares his extensive knowledge of the vegetation, insects and reptiles that are not found in the guide books. The bush comes alive when you experience a safari using all your five senses.
The guided hikes are available 7 days a week, all year round, regardless of the weather. Contact Pilanesberg Hiking Trails for more information. Self-guided camp walk.
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Manyane lodge has a huge enclosed area where zebras, tsessebe, ostriches, wildebeest, impala and warthog roam freely. It is not necessary to book beforehand and you can get a map of the area from the information centre. There are five picnic spots in the reserve and three of them are located high up on hills, with magnificent views of the plains and dams below. All picnic spots have braai barbeque facilities, lots of shade, clean toilets and are securely fenced to keep dangerous animals out.
Bird-watching in walk-in aviaries. The one aviary is at Manyane Resort and the other is in the beautiful grounds of Sun City. You can get a perfect shot without needing a long lense or you can just spend the time enjoying their magnificent colouring with your naked eye. The North West region of South Africa is known as the platinum belt, an area that is rich in mineral wealth. After mining, the North West province is the second most popular region for bushveld escapes after Mpumalanga.
Endless swathes of grasslands are punctuated with magnificent foothills that are part of the Magaliesberg range of mountains. It is a wildly-popular tourist destination for international visitors and a bolt-hole for South African outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts. There are a number of excellent tourist attractions enroute to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, and a trip to the Pilanesberg usually involves stopping in at a few of them along the way.
Barberspan Bird Sanctuary. This is a protected site and refuge to thousands of bird species from around the world that are threatened, including mainly migratory and inland water birds. Barberspan Bird Sanctuary is a large wetland that spans some 2 hectares and is divided into two parts: the southern part for birds and the northern part for angling and boating. Here you will find flamingos, African spoonbills and pelicans lazing on the banks of the protected wetland.
Well-positioned bird hides attract enthusiastic bird watchers. Borakalalo National Park. This is a less well-known game reserve that is renowned for its bird life and unusual eco-diverse terrain, which is a combination of acacia woodland and riverside forests running along the banks of the Moretele River. The park does not have any big cats so visitors are welcome to get out their car to stretch their legs. Kgaswane Mountain Reserve. This reserve lies on the western edge of the Magaliesberg range of mountains and is popular for day visitors interested in hiking, mountain biking and bird-watching.
Raptors can be seen circling the craggy cliffs and sightings of jackal, caracal and leopard are common. The reserve does not allow self-drives and visitors are expected to book a private game drive with one of the tour operators. The scenery is vastly different and a lot drier than the more popular game reserves. The trees are smaller and the bush is thinner which means game viewing is usually spectacular. This game reserve is situated up against the border of Botswana and is a well-kept secret due to its remoteness and scarcity of large predators. It is more suited to visitors who enjoy extreme solitude in bush camps that are spread over a wide area for privacy.
Most of the camps are situated on one of the six waterholes so game usually comes to its visitors. The scenery is particularly beautiful and characterised by a combination of red Kalahari sand dunes and bushman grass. This is the site of the Taung skull fossil that was discovered in by Prof Raymond Dart.
This mountain range is officially a World Biosphere Reserve and unequalled anywhere in the world in terms of its combination of biodiversity and human history. It is believed the mountain range formed 2 million years ago, and is characterised by quartzite cliffs, kloofs, valleys and waterfalls. The Magaliesberg is home to an incredible array of birds, numerous antelope, monkeys and baboons, genets, klipspringers and leopard. It is a natural retreat that is popular as a place to hike, ride bikes, horse ride or for those looking for absolute solitude.
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The Vredefort Dome was created by a huge meteorite that hit earth more than 2 billion years ago. The Vredefort dome forms part of the original crater that scientists estimate was kilometres in diameter. What remains is a partial ring of hills, 70 kilometres in diameter.
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It is situated close to the Free State town of Parys, with the popular Vaal River flowing through the crater. A visit to the Pilanesberg usually goes hand-in-hand with a day trip to the world-famous Sun City entertainment and casino complex. Visitors cross over an imaginary line that separates the lush, natural surrounds of the African bush from the busy, mind-blowing features of this artificial city. There is something for everyone; from an adrenalin-filled day at the Valley of the Waves to the sights and sounds of the magnificent entertainment complex, the beautiful lush gardens with sparkling pools and the world-class golf course.
Sun City was formerly a part of Bophuthatswana which was an independent homeland established in the mids by the previous South African government during the apartheid era. Although it is now part of South Africa, it is still affectionately thought of as being a city in its own right in an imaginary country. Bophuthatswana was an independent state and not governed by the strict anti-gambling legislations of South Africa.
Sun City became a symbol of rebellion in a national culture of oppression, bringing in revue shows that were outlawed elsewhere in the country and engaging in gambling that was prohibited at that time. This had great appeal to the entertainment-starved people of South Africa and they arrived at the city in their masses. Over time he added a variety of hotels to cater for different budgets and built an impressive water park and two world-class golf courses. Palace of the Lost City. Inspired by the myth of a lost African kingdom, this magnificent hotel and botanical paradise is one of the most exciting and innovative tourist attractions in the world.
The 5-star Palace indulges this fantasy of a mythical civilisation with attention paid to the smallest detail. Visitors are transported back in time to a place of wonder. Fabled to be the royal residence of an ancient king, the grand proportions and graceful towers of The Palace are enhanced by sculptural detail, mosaics, frescoes and fountains.
The Palace lies nestled in an enchanting setting of an exotic jungle, complete with bubbling streams and gushing waterfalls.