Lunch with the Lions
This is by far the nicest, most convenient stop for a bite to eat whilst on a game drive in the Pilanesberg National Park.
The restaurant is located in an historic "safari" building in the middle of the Park. They have a very complete menu with most of the favourites, including a few traditional African dishes. The prices are also very reasonable.
Once can choose to sit outside or inside, both seatings having awesome views of the park and waterhole, which makes for the perfect opportunity in spotting game while eating.
When we were there, giraffes, baboons, vervet monkeys and wildebeest were having a drink at the waterhole.
This is a very informal restaurant, which provides basic food. If you would like to have an upmarket, cuisine-type lunch experience, make a booking at either Kwa-Maritane or Bakubung lodges, for a scrumptious meal.
One disadvantage of having lunch at the Pilanesberg Centre is that they do not provide for credit card payments. I had a local "Boerewors roll" with chips and greek salad, with a mineral water for lunch.
As I am very picky on how my food is prepared, I ordered this dish, as the waiter "braais" the sausage outside, and one can see how he prepares it.
It was a most satisfying experience.
Stay at Bakubung Resort
Bakubung, situated in the malaria free Pilanesberg National Park, where you can view the 'Big Five' in their natural habitat. Surrounding a hippo pool, in the shape of a horseshoe.
Bakubung is a Tswana word and means 'People of the Hippo'. George and Twiggy are the main residents of Bakubung. These two Hippo have been living in Bakubung from the beginning. Sometimes you get to see some zebra's, babboons, impala's and warthogs at the hippo pool as well.
The resort is set on a 55,000 hectare wildlife paradise and can go out for Night Safari or Day Safari in the comfort of open air truck accompanied by an experienced game ranger. In the night version, it is quite scary, as you see darkness and then loads of bright little lights which are the eyes of the animals. But it is really amazing to watch those dazzlings of zebras in the darkness - their stripes really stand up when our ranger shine the huge torch light at them.
Packing for the Pilanesberg
Leave those Louis Vuittons at home (Unless you're residing in a Sun City hotel). One's bags tend to get dirty and dusty in the bush, even if you're staying at one of the upmarket hotels in the Park, such as Kwa Maritane and Bakubung.
Rather bring your less-expensive luggage (preferably not black). It tends to get extremely hot during both the summer and winter months in the Pilanesberg. I suggest you bring the following clothing:
Long sleeved shirt
Short sleeved shirt or T-shirt
Jersey or jacket
Hat or a cap
Long sleeve pajamas, slppers and bathrobe
You can leave the scarves, beanies, balaclavas and gloves at home. It rarely gets that cold.
T-shirts/ short sleeved shirts
Jeans and a thin jersey/jacket for it may get chilly at night or early mornings
Short sleeve pajamas, slippers and bathrobe Toothbrush
Shampoo & Conditioner (The ones that the hotels supply are not of good quality)
Facial wash, toner, moisturiser, etc. (incl. cotton wool to apply, as these aren't provided)
Deodorant (it can get hot, and thus you may perspire excessivly)
Shaver and cream/foam
Extra pair of contact lenses (Without them you won't be able to spot that leopard!)
Sunblock (Preferably SPF40 or higher)
Anthistamine pills (Abundance of spiders and other nasty insects in the bush)
Gel, moose, was, hairspray, etc
The rest are pretty much provided by the hotels and resorts, eg. facecloths, towels, body cream, hand cream, etc. Camera is very important! Duh!
Camcorder (If you have one, this is an incredible method to capture your safari memories)
3 pairs of extra batteries
A pouch to keep your recording equipment in, as these may pick up dust during your trip
Extra memory stick/film If you plan on taking a hike or walk, remember to pack in some comfortable walking boots and socks. (Give the Jimmy Choo's a rest) ;-)
A water bottle may come in handy (especially when hiking)
To be quite honest, I don't know much about camping gear, so thus I can't advise you on these.
I'm guessing if you're going camping in the Pilanesberg, take a tent, sleeping bag, torch, mosquito net, stretcher, camping chairs and a shotgun for when a lion wants to accompany you in your tent... (kidding) :-P YOU CANNOT FORGET YOUR BINOCULARS!!! These must be ontop of your list and packed in first! If you have a few, take them all, then everyone in the car can see the pride of lions a mile away from your location.
A hornbill waiting for lunch scrumbs, Bakubung
THE ENTRANCE TO THHE BAKUBUNG