Malaria Free and Big 5 Territory, the crater of a long extinct volcano is the setting of Pilanesberg National Park - a fascinating alkaline complex produced by volcanic eruptions some 1300 million years ago. Rating high amongst the world’s outstanding geological phenomena, Pilanesberg is one of the largest volcanic complexes of its kind in the world. Its rare rock types and structure are what make it a unique geological feature.Three concentric ridges or rings of hills fringe the area - the formation rises from the surrounding plains like a bubble. The structure of the park is termed the "Pilanesberg National Park Alkaline Ring Complex".
Ancient, even by geological time scales, this extinct volcano is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex. A number of rare (but not necessarily economically important) minerals occur in the park. Pilanesberg has survived ages of erosion and stands high above the surrounding bushveld plains. The early presence of man can be seen in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites that are scattered throughout the park. The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as "Bushveld". Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.
Brown Hyena, Springbok, the red eyed bulbul, and camel thorn trees usually found in arid areas are found cohabitation with moist-area-limited impala, black eyed bulbul and Cape chestnut trees. The colourful hues, varied habitats and panoramas will delight and entertain photographers and visitors.
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.
Today Pilanesberg National Park accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa and with over 300 recorded species of birdlife, it is photographer paradise.
Visitors are offered many opportunities to experience the wonders of Pilanesberg. There are nearly 200 kilometres of excellent quality roads for either self-drives or guided drives, and professional guides operate within the park.
Numerous hides and scenic picnic sites enable the tourist to experience "out-of-car" experiences as well.
Accommodation ranges from upmarket lodges to caravan and camping facilities.