Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa

The beautiful Pilanesberg National Park,one of South Africa's National Parks, situated in an ancient volcanic crater which lies in the Northwest Province, adjoining the internationally acclaimed Sun City, delights game viewers as it is malaria free zone and home to the Big 5. There is an abundance of wildlife in 580km of diverse and arresting terrain.
Although wasn't too lucky, captured some of the beautiful inhabitants of the park in my camera.
The park is 55.000 hectares in extent. It is almost perfectly circular because it comprises the area of a 1200 million years old volcano crater with a small lake in the centre. This very scenic terrain lies in the transition zone between Kalahari and Lowveld. 
In the Pilanesberg National Park today live virtually all the animal species of southern Africa, including, lions, elephants, white and black rhinos, buffaloes, leopards, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles. Over 300 bird species were counted.
The Big 5 of Africa: Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhinoceros, Buffaloes.
The roads in the park (some 200 kilometres) are not tarred, but very well maintained and can be travelled with a normal vehicle.
The beauty of Pilanesberg is reflected in a large central lake, the Mankwe Dam.
Over time, wind and water have carved a spectacular landscape with rocky outcrops, open grasslands, wooded valleys and thickets.
Bird watching is excellent with over 300 species recorded. Some are migrants, others permanent inhabitants; some eat carrion or live prey, others eat seeds, fruit or tiny water organisms.

There is a self-guided trail in the Walking Area at Manyane Complex in the east, which offers environmental education whilst enjoying game viewing and bird watching on foot. Also at Manyane is a walk-in aviary with over 80 species of indigenous birds.

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