Tuesday, 22 June 2021 06:48 AM
Jo'burg’s location is surprisingly central, with bush breaks as close as an hour away from the city centre. Whether you’re looking to spot members of the big five, or you’re wanting to immerse yourself in truly breathtaking scenery, it’s never been easier or more accessible.
Pilanesberg National Park
Image Credits: SA Tourism
Idyllically perched between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, the Pilanesberg finds itself in bushveld bliss. Its ecology is entirely unique to the region, with nowhere else in the country quite like it. Based in the crater of a rare volcano formation, there is a fantastic variety of wildlife to be spotted here, including the mighty Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant). Better yet, the Pilanesberg borders Sun City, so if you’d like to blend beach with bush, it’s closer than you think. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, you may want to check what measures have been put in place when planning your Pilanesberg bush break.
Magalies Wild Game Farm
Nestled in the Greater Magaliesberg Biosphere, Magalies Wild Farm provides a safari experience, unlike many others, with anywhere on the farm safe for walking. There is a well-marked forest walk, which is exceptional and recommended by the farm. This is the perfect safari spot for families, and by families, we mean the whole family. Not only can you bring your kids, but the farm is pet-friendly and comes with a breathtaking swimming pool, with the opportunity to spot antelope, honey badgers, serval cats and jackals.
Mziki Private Game Reserve
Just two hours from Jo'burg, Mziki Private Game Reserve provides a pinnacle safari experience. With three of the Big Five, more than 50 species of mammals and a whopping 300 species of bird to spot and identify, Mziki Private Game Reserve is a bustling ecosystem filled with some of Africa’s greatest game. Setting this reserve apart from the others is its boat cruise, which gives you a special perspective of the surrounding bush. There is also a mini rangers course, making this a perfect safari spot for families.
Heia Safari Ranch
Only 40km from Jo'burg, Heia Safari Reserve is set in the foothills of the Swartkop Mountains, near the Cradle of Humankind. Here, in this beautiful setting, you can spot big game in the form of rhino, buffalo, hippo and nearly 200 species of bird. Game drives here are taken seriously, with guides preparing a cooler box filled with drinks to take along.
Dinokeng Game Reserve
Dinokeng Game Reserve is one of Jo'burg’s most accessible game reserves, with a travel time lasting a little over an hour. As the first free-roaming Big Five reserve in Gauteng, the reserve finds itself just outside Pretoria, and is perfect for families looking to have an authentic, self-catering bush experience, or for couples in love on a honeymoon, soaking it up luxuriously. There is also loads to do here, with bush walks, game drives and hot-air ballooning to explore this eclectic landscape.