The Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Pilanesberg South Africa’s most underrated Game Reserve

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When most people think of The Pilanesberg Game Reserve the first thought that comes to mind is Sun City, understandably so in some respects as the two are in close proximity and both benefit heavily from having the other as a neighbor and programmes at the resort almost always have a visit to the Pilanesberg included at one or more points.

There is though so much more to this incredible reserve, which is home to the Big 5 and it is situated in a Malaria free area.

Ivory Tree Game Lodge with 60 suites and conferencing facilities.

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The very exclusive and boutique Lodge up on a hill with panoramic views named Tshuduku.

Of course there is also the family friendly Bakubung and KwaMaritane Lodges. These lodges offer exceptional value for money to both local and international visitors.

For the more adventurous we can build luxury mobile tented camps like we did in May this year (150 en suite luxury tents).

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Enough about the accommodation offerings though it is the game experience that makes this park exceptional. Sightings are almost always out of this world we have had a group see the big 5 plus cheetah in two drives. Most drives see at least three, on my last visit in early November, we saw elephant, rhino and lion as well as abundant giraffe, zebra, kudu, impala, springbok, warthog, hippo and crocodiles.

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With my family a year ago we saw two young leopards playing on the side of the road for about twenty minutes and later a female leopard out hunting as the sun started to set, yes on the same drive. On the other drives we did (from Ivory Tree Lodge) we saw so many breeding herds of elephant, white and black rhino as well as lion on a kill (one lion and three lionesses). Amazing stuff, our ranger was rightfully hugely pleased with his performance as we said goodbye to him after delivering an outstanding and special experience for us all. Not quite so for everyone though as my young son then 8 year old son said goodbye he said “thank you so much, I had a great time, just so you know though we didn’t see any buffalo”! He was in fact correct but incredibly misguided all the same.

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Babylonstoren

Having recently visited Babylonstoren for a family wedding in the Cape Winelands, I have to say I was absolutely blown away.

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The setting was incredible but the truly unique proposition is the incredible solace and being at one with nature that all of the elements of the farm have successfully come together to achieve.

The leisurely walks with the kids collecting fruit and vegetables from the extensive gardens and trails are a standout memory. On returning to your suite having completed your foraging the items are skillfully sculpted into a unique salad with your very own stamp and unlike any other before or after.

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Or of course just feeding carrots to the farm animals which was another big hit and there was a lot of fun and laughter breaking the tranquil silences of nature.

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All in all this is an ideal setting for a breakaway from the rat race, small leisure groups or families enjoying quality time in some of the best surroundings the Wine Region has to offer or of course a phenomenal place to create and share those special family occasions, that will remain etched in your memory for life.

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