During our visit to South Africa in January 2015, we decided that we wanted to go on a safari. The major South African national park that offers safari tours is Kruger National Park. However, since we usually like to explore on our own without a tour, we tried to find a way to do so. Finally we found Pilanesberg, a park where we would be able to go on a self-drive safari. The guidebooks said that the animals were most active early in the morning, so we started out from Johannesburg at 5am and drove about 3 hours to Pilanesberg National Park. On our way we passed through infamous “shanty towns” and one of South Africa’s capital cities, Pretoria.
After we passed through the gates of Pilanesberg, we drove very slowly and kept our eyes open looking for wildlife. Although we didn’t see any giraffes, leopards, or lions, we did see a hippo hanging out in a small lake, a herd of elephants crossing the road (very cool), lots of wildebeest, some wary kudus, and a spotted pigeon. We also saw a centipede crossing the road that was so large we got out to take pictures of it.
Overall, the self-drive safari through Pilanesberg National Park was interesting and fun. If you’re in Johannesburg, we’d definitely recommend taking a trip to Pilanesburg! Even if you don’t see any animals, the landscape is beautiful and the drive there is fascinating.