2 guests from the USA (Pin and Jenny) joined Safari With Us for a Pilanesberg weekend camping safari on the 15th of February 2015. We picked up our guests from the Hilton Hotel in Sandton Johannesburg around 06H00 and departed for Pilanesberg. About halfway we stopped in Hartbeespoortdam for some refreshments and to use the restrooms. This is a scenic town and probably worth a separate visit some day. However we only made a pit stop (about 20 minutes) before continuing our drive to the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve.
Morning game drive in Pilanesberg Nature Reserve
After about 3 hours of traveling we arrived at the gates of the Manyane resort which is part of the Pilanesberg National Park. After out guide did a quick check in we went on our first game drive of the weekend. There are some animals that are plentiful and you will always see them on a game drive in the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve. Some of these include antelope such as Impala, Blue Wildebeest and Kudu as well as other herbivores such as Zebra and Giraffe. When it comes to antelope the males have the horns. There are 2 types of Zebra in the park, name the Kalahari zebra and the mountain zebra. They have slight differences in coloring. We certainly saw a lot of these animals. We were lucky enough to spot 2 rhino but they were not interested in showing their faces. So we had to suffice with a backside view. The male apparently stays with the pregnant female for some months in order to provide protection. You do not often spot these splendid creatures in the Park so it was fortunate we saw them. It is also good to know that rhino poaching is not a big problem in this park due to the proactive approach of park rangers and officials. The highlight of our morning drive was 2 elephants that blocked the service road on route to the dam. They were eating leaves off the trees and certainly not interested in giving way to the cars. We did not mind about that and spent the next 30 minutes taking photos and savoring the moments of watching these massive animals do their thing. The rest of our game drive was not very eventful and by late morning it was very hot. The searing February heat got a bit much and we headed back to base.
Manyane Resort in Pilanesberg Reserve
While our guests went to have lunch at the resorts restaurant we went about the business of pitching our tents and preparing our campsite in the Manyane resort. We then headed off into town to buy supplies for the evening dinner (braai / barbecue). That afternoon it was too hot to do anything but relax at the poolside. That evening we all enjoyed the great South African tradition of braaing and relaxing around the camp fire.
Day 2 of our Pilanesberg camping adventure
We woke early and were quite relieved that it was cloudy and much cooler. After some coffee and a light breakfast we dismantled camp and then set off for our second game drive. We explored a lot of territory, stopped off at hides, took many photos and hoped to spot some big cats. A lion or a leopard would do. Unfortunately we had no luck with the big cats. This time of year the grass is long and the water is plentiful so the lion and other big cats don’t have to seek out specific watering holes. However we saw many other animals and it was an enjoyable game drive. Late morning we stopped off at the Pilanesberg Center where we enjoyed tea and muffins. And so our Pilanesberg camping weekend came to an end and we departed for Johannesburg. On the way back we stopped off at the Chameleon Village Flea market where our guests could buy some souvenirs and refreshments. We dropped off our guests late afternoon and so ended another successful Pilanesberg camping trip with Safari With Us.