Pilanesberg National Park Safaris
All of the wildlife is completely free and undisturbed in a safe and natural environment;
neither hunting nor any kind of human intervention is permitted.
THE WILDLIFE AWAITS you
Pilanesberg’s unrivalled location, positioned between aridity and lush veldt and its unique conservation history mean that it is possible to explore the terrain by vehicle and confidently anticipate seeing the widest possible range of wildlife – large animals (‘game’), smaller animals and birds.
Pilanesberg’s size – 57,000 hectares (220 square miles) – is large enough to support and sustain good numbers but also compact and defined enough such that even a few hours ‘on safari’ (also known as a game drive) will result in many wonderful sightings.
Because Savannah Lodge is also within the private Black Rhino area our guests get additional opportunities there, as well as accessing the wider park.
ON A SAVANNAH PRIVATE SAFARI
Savannah guests enjoy bespoke safaris with options to explore and observe as much as they wish. Our safaris are designed to make the memorable experience a private one; our rangers use their skill to avoid congregating with other vehicles and wherever possible maintain ‘radio silence’. This attitude is actually quite unusual and adds significantly to the sense of private exploration and discovery.
Vehicles are driven as unobtrusively as possible and guests are encouraged to stay calm and quiet when close to individual creatures or herds of animals. Because of this, these wild animals seem completely at ease with vehicles and their passengers, neither afraid nor disturbed by them. The vehicle itself is not threatening and makes the proximity irrelevant: guests can get memorably close, sometimes almost within touching distance, yet remain comfortable and completely safe.
Our safaris are led by friendly and professional ranger-guides. They are knowledgeable about the park and its wildlife and enthusiastic about sharing their delight. They are also excellent four-wheel drivers, piloting the open vehicles on the network of gravel tracks that crisscross the landscape (off-road exploration is not permitted and the countryside and its animals remain untouched). Our rangers are one of the key benefits in the Savannah Safaris experience – in fact, they’re one of our stars.
Morning safaris usually start early, as dawn breaks, as the animals are cautiously waking up, moving around and grazing before the sun heats up. Nocturnal predators settle in to rest for the day. Mornings continue with larger game such as rhino, elephant and giraffe appearing, as individuals or in smaller or impressively larger groups. Impala are everywhere. Later on, water-holes and lakes become the focus of activity, where hippo and crocodile can be spotted.
Savannah’s safari drives will usually include stopping off for breakfast, morning coffee and ‘rusk’ biscuits (a South African speciality) and lunch. Breaks also happen at one of the many game and bird viewing hides, often hidden at the water’s edge. Pilanesberg is a birder’s paradise, with hundreds of species inhabiting the trees, bushes, skies and wetlands.
Evening safaris start before dusk and continue after darkness falls. Many animals move to seek safe resting places. Top predators like lion and leopard rest, call to one another or start hunting. Nocturnal wildlife emerges, shown up in the ranger’s powerful torch but unaffected by it.