Welcome to Pilanesberg National Park
Conceived in the late 1970s as a back-to-nature weekend escape for nearby city dwellers, Pilanesberg remains a haven where lions, buffaloes and day-trippers still roam. In 1979, Operation Genesis reclaimed this area of land from agriculture and released 6000 animals into the new park. Today, all the Big Five are here, as are cheetahs, caracals, African wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, giraffes, hippos, zebras, a wide variety of antelope (including sables, elands and kudus) and 300-plus bird species.
But although the park may appear developed, and even overrun in comparison with some South African wildernesses, leave behind main thoroughfares through the park and you'll likely have any sightings to yourself.