Pilanesberg Game Reserve is probably the most underrated game park in South Africa. Moreover, it is a Big 5 park and two hours drive from Northern Johannesburg. Additionally, it’s well worth the drive as one day in the park feels like a three-day break from city life. Ironically, the reduced traffic owing to COVID-19 is both a blessing and a curse. Blessedly, visitors may find they have an entire picnic site to themselves. Unfortunately, staff have lost jobs.
Pilanesberg quiet and peaceful at the moment
Furthermore, Pilanesberg prices are affordable. Particularly for pensioners, costing R160.00 for three people for the day. Technically, that’s equivalent to two coffees with a snack. Currently, recent rains are rapidly greening large scars from winter fires. Fortunately, the new growth is not yet high enough to obscure game viewing allowing visitors a wider view of the beautiful landscape and game.
COVID-19 lockdown saw the installation of two new bridges on the Kwa-Maritane entrance road. Moreover, two teams working on potholes were seen. Unfortunately, some of the gravel roads need high clearance after the rain and there are a lot of potholes in the tarred surfaces. Luckily, the roads require reduced speed, leading to better game sightings.
2 baby jackals stationary
Hippo Loop at split
Tinged by Jennie pic.twitter.com/hmEjOWscgK
— Latest Pilanesberg (@LatestPilanesBG) November 12, 2020
Elephants, elephants and more elephants
Elephants, elephants and more elephants. Delightfully, matriarchial herds are boasting lots of calves the size of a Boerboel. Newborns, battling uncontrollable trunks tuck into mom’s side. Briefly, calves are glimpsed before protective aunties place themselves between cars and new arrivals. Lazily, lions briefly raise their heads to glance at vehicles before flopping back to sleep off the latest meal.
Plains game, fattening up on lush new shoots dot the gentle slopes and visitors enjoy bushveld peace from hides at slowly filling dams. Interestingly, fewer visitors to the hides led to swallows building nests inside the structures. Briefly, the swallows pose along the wooden beams before flitting past heads to swoop across the water feeding on insects.
The restaurant is closed for now
COVID-19 closed the Pilanesberg restaurant. Sadly, the bustling business of good coffee and hot food lies dormant. And, employees are home waiting out a return of tourists. Bravely, one curio salesman sits hopefully alongside unsold wares. Hopefully, sufficient tourists over Christmas will revive the restaurant but for now, ensure your picnic is packed.
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