Top 10: Wildlife wonders in North West

Game-viewing at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Game-viewing at the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

1 Pilanesberg Game Reserve

This game reserve has been conveniently established inside the crater of a long extinct volcano. The Pilanesberg covers over 55 000 hectares and is home to the Big 5, wild dog and other sought-after species. more

2 Madikwe Game Reserve

One of South Africa’s conservation success stories, the land where Madikwe Game Reserve is located was once farmland that has been transformed into ‘Big 5’ country. more

3 Magaliesberg Mountain Range

The rocky kloofs of the Magaliesberg mountain range north of Johannesburg are the ideal place for birdwatching. Here you’ll find Cape vultures, black eagles, jackal buzzards, falcons and many more. more

4 Barberspan Bird Sanctuary

A birdwatcher's paradise – the Barberspan Bird Sanctuary boasts 365 bird species including rare migrants. Look out for many waterfowl, storks, ibis, flamingos, herons - and there are plenty of unique species that will excite birders. more

5 Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary

A haven for rescued orphaned and abused primates, this family friendly rehabilitation centre is located in a gorge in the Magaliesberg mountains, where a natural setting provides a sanctuary for spider monkeys, lemurs, vervets and indigenous bushbabies.

6 The Tswaing Crater

The hills of the Tswaing Crater are the result of an impact crater that impacted the Earth here more than 200 000 years ago. Known for its prolific birdlife, the area is home to African hawk eagles, Wahlberg’s eagles and a number of owl species. more

7 Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

A captive breeding facility for cheetah and other endangered animals, the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre lies in the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountain range. The Centre has released many threatened animals back into the wild and is internationally renowned for its pioneering work.

8 Kgaswane Mountain Reserve

Famous for its breeding herd of sable antelope, Kgwasane Mountain Reserve, just above Rustenberg, is home to 800 antelope species such as oribi, mountain reedbuck, impala, red hertebeest, zebra, springbok, steenbok, kudu and waterbuck. Predators including leopard, caracal, aardwolf and jackal are also found here. more

9 Mafikeng Game Reserve

Perfect for wildlife lovers with only a few hours to spare, drive the 2-hour loop through this compact reserve and spot white rhino, buffalo, gemsbok, giraffe, ostrich and more. Facilities include a picnic site and educational programmes are offered. more

10 The Elephant Sanctuary

For an unforgettable one-on-one experience with these magnificent sentient creatures visit the Elephant Sanctuary in the Magaliesberg. Walk with them, watch them feed and learn how they live and interact with one another. A truly hands-on opportunity.