Pilanesberg Camping Escape

Explore the beauty and diversity of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve at the start or end of your self drive South Africa safari in one of our Tread Lite 4×4 hire Suzuki Jimny’s. Base yourself at one of two camps for three nights while you search for the big five on a three night Pilanesberg Game Reserve safari. Our Suzuki Jimny’s are the perfect fit for your Pilanesberg safari, offering everything you need, and nothing you don’t! 

Are you looking for a good safari park close to Johannesburg for a short self-drive camping safari, or the perfect start to your South Africa adventure? Then look no further than the Pilanesberg Game Reserve! An easy two and a half hours drive from Johannesburg, the Pilanesberg Game Reserve is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo – in case you don’t know the big five) and a wide variety of wildlife and birdlife waiting to be discovered.

Wildlife aside, the Pilanesberg National Park is a fascinating region to visit. Formed some 1200 Million years ago from volcanic activity, the park offers exceptional scenery and beautiful bushveld landscapes.

With its easy access from Johannesburg, excellent road network – including a network of lesser travelled dirt tracks, and its healthy wildlife populations, we love the Pilanesberg National Park.


Self drive camping in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Lioness seen in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Pilanesberg Itinerary Overview 

Day 1: Johannesburg to the Pilanesberg National Park

Depart from Johannesburg and make your way to the Pilanesberg National Park. It is an easy two and a half hours drive on good quality roads.

Spend 3 (or more) nights at either Manyane or Bakgatla Resort 

Both Manyane and Bakgatla Camps are located directly outside the Pilanesberg National Park with easy access via two different gates. The resorts offer camp sites (electric or non-electric) as well as a host of self-catering accommodation options if you prefer not to camp. Both sites have ample trees providing shade within the camp site. Campsites are allocated on arrival, so we recommend getting there as early as possible to book the best spot.

Self drive to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The back roads in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Once you have settled into your campsite, the Pilanesberg National Park is at your doorstep, waiting to be explored. Before heading into the park purchase a map which details the various routes available as well as a check list of what can be found inside the park.

We recommend you pack your breakfast and lunch, head into the park early in the morning and spend the day exploring the various routes. There are several picnic sites throughout the park where you can take a break and enjoy your meals. 

Red Hartebees in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Red Hartebees spotted in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The hide in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

From the hide in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Day 4: Depart the Pilanesberg National Park

Check out of the campsite and depart the Pilanesberg National Park for Johannesburg or your onward journey.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve Wildlife

Giraffe seen on a self drive through the Pilanesberg Game Reserve

Extend Your Stay

With the Pilanesberg National Park’s superb location you can easily add on nearby attractions before or after your stay. Here are our recommendations:

  • Depart Johannesburg early and enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the Magaliesberg region, en-route to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Check out Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris
  • Spend an additional day in the Pilanesberg and head over to Sun City for a day in the sun, enjoying the many rides and attractions within the complex.
  • Depart from Pilanesberg and head further north to the Marakele National Park. The two parks are an excellent combination.
  • Visit Bela Bela and the Waterberg Region to explore the many private nature reserves in the area.



3 Nights in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve


  • Close proximity to Johannesburg
  • Big Five Game Viewing
  • Exceptional General Game Viewing
  • Easily Accessible
  • Beautiful Scenery


ZAR 3,960.00


  • 4 days car rental
  • Unlimited Mileage
  • Fully Equipped For Camping
  • Onboard WIFI
  • Drive Lite Pay Lite Savings


  • Accommodation – Pricing available on request. 


We offer affordable, fun and adventurous 4×4 hire and self drive vacations to South Africa using our fully equipped and highly capable Suzuki Jimny’s. Everything you need for your self drive adventure and nothing you don’t.

Ready To Start Planning

Ready to start planning your adventure to South Africa? Send us your details in the below quick contact form and we will gladly help you out. Whether you only looking for vehicle rental or want some advice planning your route – we are happy to assist. 

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We’ve Got You Covered

Comprehensive Insurance

All our vehicles include comprehensive insurance cover with MiWay Business Insurance ensuing peace of mind while travelling.

24 Hour Roadside Assistance

Each vehicle is equipped with an emergency tracker which automatically alerts us in the case of an accident. 24 hour assistance is available throughout your stay.

Drive Lite Pay Lite

Our Drive Lite Pay Lite concept allows you to save on your overall rental costs by simply driving responsibly by monitoring the fair use of the vehicle throughout your stay.