Early on this past Saturday morning Joubert and I headed for the Pilanesberg National Park’s Kwa Maritane Gate. Our plan was to spend all of Saturday, most of Sunday morning and the night between in one of South Africa’s most easily accessible wildlife destinations, enjoying a bit of father-son company and shared hobbies in the beautiful surroundings far from the city’s distractions. When the Gate opened at 05:30 we set off, enjoying some thrilling encounters with the Park’s wildlife right from the start.
While we were enjoying the Pilanesberg’s sights and sounds from the coolness of the photographic hide at Makorwane Dam, Joubert suggested that we head for Bakgatla Resort to go setup camp before the day got any hotter.
With our tent pitched and our camping chairs unpacked, we could enjoy our lunch, a few glasses of cold drink and an ice-cream treat surrounded by a selection of Bakgatla’s permanent residents of the feathered variety.
The first stop on our afternoon drive was Rathlogo Hide, just a few kilometers from Bakgatla.
There was much more wildlife to be seen as we traveled through the southeastern portions of the Park.
At Lengau Dam a group of baboon youngsters were having great fun roughhousing in a dead tree and occasionally dropping into the water below – no doubt enjoying great relief from the oppressive heat but I was surprised that they weren’t more afraid of the crocodiles!
With the sun setting it was time to head towards Bakgatla.
On Sunday morning we packed up our camp and headed for the Lenong Viewpoint to enjoy our morning tea and rusks from a beautiful vantage point high on top of one of Pilanesberg’s mountains. The rest of the morning we spent visiting more of our favourite spots in the Park, until the day started getting really hot again. We enjoyed a quick lunch at Fish Eagle Picnic Spot and then headed for Kwa Maritane Gate and home…
Pilanesberg National Park is an easy 160km drive from our home in Pretoria.