National Park Safaris - Why
do a Pilanesberg safari tour with me?
You might only be in Africa this one time ...It's your choice whether you make the most of it!
It's really simple. ... I 'm a fantastic spotter and my clients have the best quality sightings.
I have had top sightings consecutively for the last 13 years & just under 1000 days in the Park.
My vehicle has the best practical height, and is weather and relatively dust proof.
I have a permanent backup vehicle 4 km's outside the Park at my base.
With me you will have a full day fun safari, not just a day tour....
And if already at Pilanesberg, I do affordable shorter specialist drives as well.
22 May 2011 - See why you should come with me....leopard # 6&7 for 2011, end Oct = 17, end Dec = 19
When you love what you do, you just naturally excel at it. And I love it so much that I moved to a Village just outside Pilanesberg. So whether or not I have clients, I go into the Park! I do Pilanesberg and Pilanesberg only..... When you are in the Park every 2nd day you learn to milk it, and that's probably why I found the elusive Black Rhino about 1 in 2 days in 2010 - 2014. 7 in Jan 2012 alone.
I don't just show you the animals, but what they do.... . I'll wait an hour for giraffes that might mate instead of just taking pics and moving on. I'm the only nut that is passionate enough to do open to close in the Park, with lunch when and if sightings allow for it! Sometimes we even skip lunch...And with my base just outside the Park, I always have a backup vehicle available. Your life is as safe in my hands as can be, as I treat the animals with the respect they deserve. I actually do 2 days in 1- a real long, fascinating and intense day! The vital difference between me and all the other operators is that I really don't care if you choose not to come with me! All I ask is that you please don't waste my time. And as I say somewhere else, you are most welcome to use all the info on my site for your own benefit, with no obligation.
To see something special you either have to be just plain lucky, or you have to have the ability to spot the smallest movement. And then have the patience, judgement and time.to wait. And doing a full day means you have the time to wait for that National Geographic moment - sometimes it pays off, and somertimes not. You have to know the roads, know the animals' behavior in the different seasons, and you have to be good at projecting where a sighting will move to. I'm great at all this, and that gives us the chance to get really close, safely....and nothing compares to 1 such experience! Most important you need to know when to stay far away..... I can reverse very well round a bend and through the culverts at 40 km's/h! There are always some males coming into musth, and all of them are highly aggressive. I swear they hide behind any 6 ft bush next to the road when they hear a car approaching and jump out when they think they can nail you! Have a look at my friend Bill just avoiding a light elephant charge by Steriod on 27 Dec 2008 on YouTube .... :)
We normally travel in 1 of 2 VW microbuses (for height) seating 7 pax max; preferably 5. The other Kombi is the backup and is normally at our site 4 km's out the Park. The left back window behind the sliding door has been modified so it can open, haven't seen anyone else that have done that. This is absolutely the best vehicle that you can go in. It sits higher the sedan cars so you can see over the tall grass, we regularly have a laugh about that. We can also keep the dust out if we have to - very important for camera gear. Lastly animals see the vehicle as one animal only. With open dusty safari vehicles people do stand up, scream & drop their nailfiles & animals do scatter. You are also out of the rain and cold if the weather chooses to be moody. The only negative on the Kombi is that the fan kicks in at odd times. And it has a dent or 10 that I picked up in the Park..... I have PDP's (public drivers permits), COF's (certificate of fitness) and carry passenger liability of R5 Million per incident per vehicle as required by law.
If you are already at the Park, and you don't want to do a full day, it makes total sense to use me for a shorter drive. With mornings you have a 7 x better chance to find lion before 8h00, compared to afternoons after 17h00. I prefer doing a 5 hour drive, as 2,5 hours are far too short, but a 3,5 hour drive can also work. Another advantage with a morning drive is that in case of an awesome sighting, we are able to stay longer if you choose to - charged pro rata. I just had my record for consecutive lion sightings. From Feb - 10 June 2014 I had 21 consecutive sighting days, but then on the 11th of June (morning drive only), I missed the Central Pride with 2 minutes. Though I get lions 3 out of 4 days, this is not what is important. I normally get them active, doing something - stalking, walking or talking (mating):) After 8h00, they normally just park off & have a sleep. Take my last 25 days in 2014 - % should be more than 100% as even though I missed them twice, I had multiple sightings on same days, but I will cut one before 8am sighting out and count a triple as a multiple... Before 8h00 - 20 so 80%, 8h00 - 16h00 - 2 so 8%, after 16h00 - 3 so 12%
Now as for topping the lion & buffalo sightings, it really is simple - early birds not only get the worm but bigger worms and more of them! And I've only lost one client so far.... She had to answer the call of nature. Thought the spade I gave her was to cover up her activities. Didn't think it was to hit the lion with... :) Got some real good pics! Luckily she paid when I picked her up.
Don't expect to see the big 5 - it's not what it's about. And don't think you can sit back & let me do all the work as you've paid me :) I will make you work hard & long. I will tell you what to look for, and how and why. After all, we are in this adventure together! If you are not willing to get in on the action you have 3 choices - 1. Go with someone else or 2. Stay at home and watch Animal Planet! or 3. Go to the zoo.... So, can you cut it ?!?
So what can you get for my rate pp?!!? I'm too affordable.....!
A night at the The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City..... - ZAR 5000/n on special, otherwise R7200/n (room)
A balloon Safari in Pilanesberg, a 1 hour flight with a drive back to Bakubung -R3950pp
A good night out in London, about £250 -300
So when to go? If you have a choice between going just after arrival in SA or just before departing, go for the latter as you will be more rested. The exception here is if the latter is a weekend and the arrival date isn't. And if you have a choice; October, and the 2 months before and after are my favorite times.
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 at Sun City Vacation Club
Airport at Pilanesberg
Animal studies in Pilanesberg
Bakubung Bush Lodge
Balloon Safaris: In Pilanesberg National Park - R4 750pp - 1 hour, minimum 4 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 - Please mail only
PO Box 250 Sun City, 0316 - Updated June 2014
All Pilanesberg queries - firstname.lastname@example.org