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After being on a business trip to Johannesburg I had the weekend off for a small Safari in Pilanesberg National Park. Winter is the best time for a Safari. It is dry season and animals are easier to spot. Pilanesberg is about 2-3 hours away from Johannesburg and easy to reach. I had several organized game drives in the morning and evening. The advantage is you sit very high up in the safari vehicle and spotting animals is much easier. In an own vehicle – even a SUV – you are much lower. Also early morning and late afternoon all the day tourists are gone and the vehicles are empty (3 persons max.). Coming from a warm summer in Germany I underestimated the winter a bit. It was really cold in the morning in an open vehicle (+5 Deg).
Pilanesberg is located in an old crater, unlike Ngorongoro in Tanzania, it is not so wide and a more hilly region. It is possible to spot the Big 5 and all the big cats in the very accessible park. My favorite shots I did the first evening when a group of 3 Cheetahs first looked at some Rhinos in the distance, then crossed the street just in front of our vehicle… Pilanesberg is also a good destination to spot Rhinos and Elephants. It was just a short Safari, but definitely worth taking the 500mm all the way to Africa.

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