Lovely scenery and the Big 5, rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, await just a stone’s throw from Johannesburg, in the magical malaria-free bushveld of the Pilanesberg National Park. Set in the crater of an extinct volcano, over 6000 animals thrive here thanks to Operation Genesis, an ambitious conservation programme that reintroduced long-vanished game.
On your own self-drive safari see an exciting variety of animals including endangered species such as wild dog and black rhino, as well as those not often spotted like caracal, black-backed jackal and Cape clawless otters.
On your early morning drive, keep an eye open for hunting cheetahs and, if you're a birder, there are over 365 species for you to spot. If you choose a guided night drive in an open safari vehicle there's an excellent chance that the spotlights will pick up predators such as lion and leopard and the nocturnal brown hyena.
Hunker down in a bird hide and visit the walk-in indigenous aviary at Manyane. Tuck into a bush picnic beside Mankwe dam (you're guaranteed to see hippos), or follow a self-guided wilderness trail.
There is a variety of scenic landscapes, and accommodation ranges from camping to exclusive safari lodges. Nearby, the famous Sun City Entertainment Complex adds sparkle to this accessible wilderness.