Pilanesberg National Park is South Africas most popular and accessible game park. It is situated in the crater of a long extinct volcano in South Africa’s North West Province and covers an area of 550km2. The park is home to more than 7,000 animals and 300 bird species. Pilanesberg is a two to three-hour drive or 40-minute flight from Johannesburg and a 20-minute drive from South Africa’s mecca of gambling and gaudiness, Sun City.

Pilanesbergs main drawcard is its abundance of big game, which includes all of the Big 5 and much more.The valleys and rugged perimeter of the volcanic crater make Pilanesberg a very picturesque park, while the wide range of accommodations and activities offer something for everyone, whatever their budget. Pilanesberg is also a firm family favourite – the park’s proximity to the major transport hubs of Johannesburg and Pretoria also contribute to its popularity, as does the fact that it is malaria free and can be explored without a 4×4.

Summer and winter both offer a very different but equally intriguing vision of Pilanesberg. The summer months (roughly October to March) are hotter and wetter, and the park’s vegetation is particularly lush and green. This is also a great time for birders. The winter months (roughly April to October) are cooler and drier and better for big game viewing.

Pilanesberg has a wide range of accommodation to suit every budget, from cheap and cheerful resorts with camping options and heaps of activities, right through to intimate and exclusive luxury lodges where you’ll feel completely enveloped in the bush. Take a browse through our selection of Pilanesberg accommodation specials below.

Pilanesberg National Park is positively bursting with wildlife. All of the Big 5 are found here, with particularly strong elephant and rhino populations. The park boasts a number of rarer species such as brown hyena, cheetah and African wild dog. There are also over 300 bird species in the reserve. Located in the transition zone of the semi-arid Kalahari Desert and the Lowveld, Pilanesberg offers a unique mix of plant life and vegetation.