Johannesburg
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Johannesburg Birdwatching

Pilanesberg: Open-Vehicle Safari

1. Pilanesberg: Open-Vehicle Safari

Set off on a full-day safari in Pilanesberg National Park. This one-day safari in an open-top jeep will give you the opportunity to not only see, but also to snap close-up shots of some of the most famous inhabitants of the African savanna. The park covers an area of 55,000 hectares. More than 7,000 animals live in the park in a free and unobstructed environment. Pilanesberg is also home to all Big 5 (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo, and lion). Other animals you can find are zebra, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, hippopotamus, crocodile, jackal, wild cat, several antelopes, in addition to more than 300 species of birds; the list is endless. Pilanesberg offers more than 200 kilometers of safari roads and the excursions are guided by experienced guides who are always at your disposal, not only to answer your questions, but more importantly to ensure you have an incredible safari experience.

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Johannesburg: Private Pilanesberg National Park Safari

2. Johannesburg: Private Pilanesberg National Park Safari

Discover the “Big Five” of South Africa on a full-day safari tour of Pilanesberg National Park, just 2 hours from Johannesburg. Located in the Bonjanala region, adjacent to Sun City, Pilanesberg National Park is a 55,000-hectare game reserve, making it the 4th largest in South Africa. Depart from Johannesburg (or Pretoria) at 06:00 for the journey to the northwest province. Upon arrival at the 1,200-million-year old extinct alkaline volcanic crater (one of only 3 in the world) discover the beauty of Pilanesberg reflected in the Mankwe Dam. The area lies in a transition zone between the Kalahari Sandveld and the Lowveld. Due to this transition zone, an overlap of mammals, birds, and vegetation occurs. For instance, the red-eyed bulbul and black-eyed bulbul, which normally occur in separate areas, overlap. Marvel at the syenite koppies, thickly forested ravines, typical bushveld, rolling grasslands, and lightly wooded areas. Today, the Game Reserve accommodates almost every mammal of southern Africa, including the “Big Five,” so called because they are the 5 most dangerous game animals in Africa. Home to over 360 species of bird, Pilanesberg is also an ornithologist’s delight. Enjoy excellent game viewing opportunities in a malaria free climate. Plans are under way to create a heritage park that will link Pilanesberg and Madikwe to form another super-large “Big Five” game and nature park.  Lunch will be enjoyed at the famous Bakubung Lodge. Depart Pilanesberg at approximately 16:00 for the return transfer to your accommodation in Johannesburg or Pretoria.

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From Johannesburg: Rhino & Lion Safari and Wonder Cave Tour

3. From Johannesburg: Rhino & Lion Safari and Wonder Cave Tour

Get a taste of the African bush just a short drive from Johannesburg. Enjoy the convenience of a hotel pickup and head to the heart of the Cradle of Humankind where the Bothongo Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve is located. Your first stop on arrival in the park is the Wonder Cave. This natural limestone cave is estimated to be around 2.2 billion years old and is the third-largest cave chamber in the country. Climb down 87 stairs to access the cave before taking an elevator another 18 meters below the ground. Spend some time exploring this fascinating natural site and learn about the stalactite and stalagmite formations, some of which are up to 15 meters high. Emerge from your caving experience and head to the reserve's Wildlife Center to begin your safari. Learn about the amazing conversation work that this park is doing. Meet the animals serving as ambassadors for their species, many of which were rescued and hand-reared and some of which are being rehabilitated. See four of Africa's Big Five as well as African wild dogs, cheetah, tigers, zebras, roan antelope, sable antelope, and more. Following your safari experience, choose one of the three restaurants located in the reserve for lunch. Dine at the Thatch Café for a family-friendly experience or enjoy your lunch on the deck of the Boma Restaurant to admire fantastic views of the park while you eat. For foodies, the Neck and Deck Restaurant offers a fantastic selection of Afro-Fusion dishes. After a laid-back lunch, make your way back to your tour bus and end your day with a return transfer to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

This was the perfect outing for the traveler who only has one day to commit to a safari. The hotel pickup and drop off could not have been more convenient. We had a rainy morning so our guide was not optimistic that we would see many animals, especially lions. Luck was with us though because we saw 4 lions that day Ali g with an elephant, a rhino, two giraffes, 3 cheetahs and several zebras and wildebeests. Lunch was adequate and we had excellent drivers. Overall, I feel it was a good value. I also really appreciated that they provided us with rain ponchos because I was not preppy for rain.

From booking to getting dropped off at the end of the day the guide, Alex, was personable, friendly and incredibly knowledgable. I really don’t know what else could’ve been done to improve the experience. He switches languages with ease making sure everyone in the multinational group was kept informed. Thanks again Alex

Great day. The day before, contact from driver Jason to finalize the pick-up time. Pick up then 100% on time, a lot about the country and things on the way from Johannesbur to Pilanesberg. On the safari then a lot of animals z. T. seen very close. 100% recommend.

We had with Alex a brilliant guide. Booked a portuguese tour by accident, however Alex speaks German fluently too. He as a guide made the drive to Pilanesberg to an adventure already. The game drive itself was amazing. Thanks Alex!

Alex was an incredible tour guide, very knowledgeable and excellent vibe. The tour was amaizing we could never guess we could see so many animals. We were happily surprised.