Other Tour Operators doing Pilanesberg
Now for vs the Rest!!:
This is not a let's knock the competition, this is a "Here's your alternatives". My prices are on the site and that is what I will quote you if you want to come with me. I don't negotiate on rates, only on schedule. You won't hurt my feelings if you prefer to go with someone else - it's your money and your choice! I'll go to the Park whether you come with or not, as I just love it. As it is I actually prefer just going by myself!! But I do think if you are going to dig your hand into your pocket rather than go yourself, you should make sure you get a decent guide.
The closest company that does what I do operates from Sun City.
They will give you a private vehicle (small open) and guide for R4550 for 2,5 hours ; equivalent to R1820/hour. In this case the guide is yours for that time. (2012/3)
Or they do a 3-5 hour for min 4 pax for R1500pp (2012/3) - but you do get a hat and T Shirt! In this case you might share with others you don't know to make up the numbers. You can book all this through me..... Same price, but I know which guides to request, and you don't just get pot luck.... Some are just better than others! :) email@example.com
Alternative - With a more affordable operator: From Pretoria and Johannesburg:
There are now about 200 operators offering day and 2 day tours to Pilanesberg, you'll find most of them on Google and the Web. Prices vary from around R1750pp from Pretoria and Johannesburg, and up. Time spend in the Park is normally between 4 hours and 8 hours. The earliest you will get there is 8h00, so forget about seeing lion. If you want to go this way make sure you actually get a guide as numerous companies only use drivers, calling them guides... you normally get what you pay for. I believe most will be able to tell the diffs between a tree and a bush though.. If you just want to see the basics, these are the guys you should go with, but it probably is cheaper going to the Lion Park... the Zoo is great too! Some of the rates I've seen is cheaper than I can get a return transfer for, and this is what you should be careful of... there are basic costs like passenger liability insurance and AA rates. Anything departing and returning Jo"burg under R3000pp (2 min) I would avoid - it doesn't even cover costs! Don't even think of asking me to recommend one of them...... And keep in mind, it's not what you see, it's what you don't see! And you wouldn't know when it doesn't get pointed out would you?!
You can cut costs yourself by getting to the area yourself - some easy options
If you go this route make sure that:
1. The operator can actually spell Pilanesberg correctly - not Pilansberg, Pilanesburg, Pilansburg, Pilanesburgh, Pliansberg, Pilannesberg, Pilannesburg, Pillanesberg, Pillansberg, Pllanesberg etc.
2. He knows how far it is from i.e. Pretoria; like 147km's not 180km's.
3. He doesn't state Pilanesberg is the "fourth largest game reserve or National Park in Southern Africa"
4. He doesn't state Pilanesberg has 360 species of birds or similar.....
5. He doesn't "visit a sceniec vulcanic crater, stoping at waterholes for abunded bird life, paridise for birding enthuciasisst, or stoping at Bakabung"....(I laughed my ass off here :))
6. Another pre requisite should be stating time of departure and return, as well as time spend in the Park. Early for some people is 10h00! There are companies that leave earlier ( like 6h30) from Jo'burg, but it doesn't help much if they come back after lunch does it? Though they do state their departure time, most their clients are totally unaware of their early return...so ask! This is Vital.
7. And willingness to disclose a price.
8. Make sure you are going with a guide, someone who at least have done Fgasa 2, as opposed to the Theta qualification. You need a Field Guide, not a driver. I can also send you with a driver for probably the same lower rate... but no thanks, I 'll pass.
9. Go with someone that goes at least 1/week ave.
10. He doesn't state that PB is 1,5 hours from Jo'burg - Michael Schumaker is a guide?
You might think I 'm warning you not to use anyone else - this is not the case. But I am warning you against 1 specific operator - points 1 - 6 and 8 applies in his case. There is nothing that ticks me off as much as someone who tries to copycat me, undercuts me, then phoning me at 3h30 in the morning to take the trip at his price, and still wanting a commission.... And when I laugh at his stupidity, he doesn't honor his quote, but drops his 2 clients cold. And as the were flying out the morning after they missed the Park.
You will have a decent time with many of the operators, even sometimes with drivers as Pilanesberg is an excellent Park. Like I said; you normally get what you pay for. Most important, you might not realise that you are actually putting your life in your guides' hands. Your guide needs to know when a bull elephant shows signs of musth, and keep his distance. An angry elephant can charge 10 m in 0,9 seconds flat from a standing start..... Sorry, but drivers just don't do it for me.
Alternative - With your own or a rental car:
You can of course go yourself with a rental car. It's your cheapest option but you might wonder why Pilanesberg is rated so highly by South Africans. It must be the landscape or maybe the plants - 'cause you couldn't see the buffalo on the left over the grass! 4 Cars actually passed without seeing them or even asking us what we were looking at. There are other disadvantages as well. If you go this way make sure you read the park rules on the back of your receipt. And don't get out the vehicle! Follow this link....... But the advantages are that you can do the Park really cheaply, so to do a gamedrive at the start of your trip is really afforadable.
Whatever you do, don't be an idiot and go into the Park with a trailer. Not even Top Gears Stig will be able to keep it straight when trying to out reverse an elephant...
Alternative - Do you have a tick list?: From Pilanesberg & Sun City:
In this case you should go with the Sun City or Various Camps' guides. They are in radio contact and they will try their best to show you as much as possible in their 2,5 hours, stopping on ave about 4 - 6 minutes/sighting. See below. Book through us, or book once you are at the Park. Take note though that you have to take 20 minutes minimum off for the 2 transits between Sun City and PB, the lowdown on arrival, and then the toilet stops.
Maintenance tips for other operators
Other Operators - Rates are valid from 1st December 2012 - 30 November 2013 but subject to change without notice. - We can book it for you - you pay the same!
Scheduled daily game drives depart in the early morning and afternoon into the Pilanesberg National Park.
Duration: 2hrs 30mins
2013 Rate: R425p.p - adults / R210p.p - U16
Departures Sun City Entertainment Centre: Be there 15 min prior
Jan/ Nov/Dec - 5h30, 8h30, 16h30, 19h30
Feb/Oct - 6h00, 9h00, 16h00, 19h00
March - 6h30, 9h30, 16h00, 19h00
April - 6h30, 9h30, 15h30, 19h00
May/Sept - 7h00, 10h00, 15h00, 18h30
June - 7h30, 10h30, 15h00, 18h30
July/Aug - 8h00, 11h00, 14h30, 18h00
NIGHT DRIVES - last drive as above, 2,5 hours as well!
Scheduled night drives are offered every evening; alternatively guests can take a private night drive. The objective of a night drive is to view the parks nocturnal wildlife.
Duration: 2hrs 30mins
2013 Rate: R440p.p - adults / R220p.p - U16
GROUP GAME DRIVES
Group game drives are available daily in our 25 seater open game drive vehicles to explore the Pilanesberg National Park. The group can decide on a departure time to suit their needs.
Duration: 2hrs 30mins
Minimum 20 pax - Maximum 450 pax
2013 Rate: Rate: R350p.p
These safaris depart daily, either in the early morning or afternoon. This includes beverages,snacks and a hat & shirt souvenir. The emphasis of this tour is to locate as many of the natural inhabitants of the park as possible.
Minimum 4 pax - Maximum 7 pax
2013 Rate: R1500p.p - Game Drive - Game Drive or R1650p.p - Game Drive & Bush Braai or Breakfast (min 6 pax) )
Our hiking trails focus on locating and observing the inhabitants of the Pilanesberg National Park from a different angle - on foot. Guests are accompanied by a qualified guide who will share his/her extensive knowledge and experience on both fauna and flora. Excursions depart in the early morning.
Duration: 4hrs, no under 16yo
Minimum 4 pax - Maximum 8 pax
2013 Rate: R650p.p
PREDATOR PARK TOURS
This tour is offered daily where guests can enjoy the excitement of viewing carnivores, reptiles and ratites from up close, a unique experience not to be missed.
Minimum 4 pax - Maximum 100 pax
2013 Rate: R260p.p - adults / R170p.p - under 12
GAME DRIVE & BUSH BRAAI OR BREAKFAST
Join us for a safari adventure including a bush breakfast or dinner at a venue within the Pilanesberg National Park. The return journey after the dinner experience is aided with spot lights allowing guests the opportunity to view some nocturnal wildlife.
Duration: 4hrs, any day
Minimum 6 pax - Maximum 14 pax
2013 Rate: R950p.p - Breakfast or R975p.p - Bush Braai - correct, price drops
More affordable option below, subject to availability - Wednesdays & Saturdays only
Minimum 15 pax - Maximum 50 pax
2013 Rate: R650p.p - Breakfast or R750p.p - Bush Braai
GAME DRIVE & BUSH LODGE BREAKFAST OR DINNER
Morning or afternoon game drives are available which include an English breakfast or Buffet dinner at a lodge within the Park.
Minimum 6 pax - Maximum 10 pax
2013 Rate: R950p.p - Breakfast or R975p.p - Dinner
PRIVATE GAME DRIVES
Groups or individuals can request a private vehicle, which can depart whenever the party requires. Snacks, picnic baskets and beverages can be requested at an additional cost and will be arranged by your hotel.
Duration: 2hrs 30mins
2013 Rate: R4550 (1-10 pax per vehicle) R7550 (11 - 25 pax per vehicle)
Activities in the area
Pilanesberg Dawn to Dusk Safaris from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Pilanesberg and Sun City
Picture Gallery 2011 & after
Picture Gallery 2010
Picture Gallery 2009
Picture Gallery 2008
Picture Gallery 2007
Picture Gallery 2006
Picture Gallery 2005
Picture Gallery 2004
It's alphabetical - so save us both time.... and if not on here I will put it up!
Accommodation in the Park only: Staying Friday or Saturday you have to pay for 2 nights min.
Accommodation in and around Sun City. Staying Friday or Saturday you have to pay for 2 nights min.
Accommodation Specials at Pilanesberg
Accommodation Specials at Sun City
Airport at Pilanesberg
Animal studies in Pilanesberg
Bakubung Bush Lodge
Balloon Safaris: In Pilanesberg National Park - R3 750pp - 1 hour, minimum 8 pax!
Black Rhino Game Lodge
Buffalo in the Park
Camping - book direct at 014 555 1000, don't be surprised if you hold 15 minutes and then get cut off.
Cancellation Terms and Conditions
Commission offered to booking agents
Condition of the Veld
Dangers in Pilanesberg
Disclosures: About vehicles used for Pilanesberg and other
Directions - see map
Elephant Back safaris in Pilanesberg.
Entrance fee - see gate times
Etiquette in Game Parks like Pilanesberg for self drives
Friends of Pilanesberg Society - Volunteers helping to maintain the Park.
Gate Times for Pilanesberg National Park
Geology of Pilanesberg National Park
Highlights seen in Pilanesberg the last 2 years:
Don't expect something like this or the animals to stand next to the road waiting. It's not a Zoo!
History of Pilanesberg National Park
Idiot Gallery - Stunts pulled in Pilanesberg National Park by the mentally challenged. Other tour operators are welcome to contribute - I will give you recognition except if you don't want it!
Ivory Tree Game Lodge
Kids on Safari. In Pilanesberg or other parks
Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge
Map and directions to Pilanesberg
Other Parks near Pilanesberg
Other Tour Operators doing Pilanesberg
Packages to Lodges
Picture Gallery - taken by us over the last 8 years in Pilanesberg.
Pilanesberg National Park vs Kruger National Park.
Reading - other re Pilanesberg.
Safety in Pilanesberg
Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge
Testimonials from clients we have taken to Pilanesberg
Things to do in and around Pilanesberg
Transfers only to Pilanesberg and Sun City - one way: charged per vehicle:
Tshukudu Bush Lodge
Veld Condition in the Park
Weather and Climate for Pilanesberg area
What can you hope to see in Pilanesberg?
When to go to Pilanesberg: best time etc
806 Unit 2, Mogwase, Pilanesberg, Office 078 618 8675
PO Box 250 Sun City, 0316 - Updated May 2013
All Pilanesberg queries - firstname.lastname@example.org