A day in Pilanesberg National Park with Chui Safaris.

100

Do you feel like you need to to get out into the bush, but don’t have too much time available? Then why not consider a day trip to Pilanesberg with Owen Booysen of Chui Safaris? The drive to the main gate from either Johannesburg or Pretoria is about 2 and a half hours, so an early start is required. Depending on the client’s requirements, pick-up is either at 05h00 in summer or 05h30 in winter. Owen offers a door-to-door service, where he will collect and return you to your accommodation in either Johannesburg or Pretoria. The drive to the reserve is in a closed vehicle, but should the guests request it, an open game drive vehicle can be arranged while in the park. There is a coffee break on arrival at the gate so that guests can enjoy an early morning beverage while the paperwork is being completed. Should guests have specific dietary requirements then they need to inform Owen before pick-up.

Probably one of the most exciting sightings…even for seasoned safari-goers. This is a very old Black Rhino, that is spotted on a relatively regular basis in this park. Unlike their White cousins, these are known for their aggressive nature and very short temper. Not a species that likes to hang around, hence, any sightings are always memorable…especially out in the open like this.

There are several waterholes within the park and spending time at any of them often bring surprises. There are several predator species in the park, with lion and leopard being seen on a regular basis.

The park is home to the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino) as well as cheetah and wild dog. Aside from the wildlife, there are a plethora of bird species to keep the most avid twitcher happily adding to their life list. The area is also rich in history from both the Iron and Stone Age, with examples and information about those periods adding to the adventure.

I am not certain who was more surprised, the female White Rhino, or the photographer who captured this image! Aside from being a guide, Owen is also a passionate wildlife photographer and his knowledge and expertise are invaluable when it comes to getting the lighting and the vehicle positioned perfectly.

A mid-morning snack is served at around 11h00. Although it seems that this lion also had a snack in mind. The snacks, depending on dietary requirements consist of cold beverages ( both alcoholic and soft drinks) as well as a variety of delicious deli foods like meat platters, chicken kebabs and salads. One thing is certain,the guests will NOT be going hungry. Lunch is served off the menu at the Pilanesberg Information Centre. Here guests can order from a variety of dishes…from burger and chips to pizza or just a salad. The waterhole in front of the restaurant is well known for interesting and unusual sightings, while the nearby salt lick is a magnet for both zebra and giraffe. With lunch behind them, guests once again take to the roads looking to enjoy the last part of the afternoon ticking off bucket list animals. That being said, like any safari, sightings cannot be guaranteed. But knowing the area as well as he does, Owen does increase the chances of a rare or unusual sighting. The tour ends at around 17h00 when the vehicle departs from Pilanesberg to return visitors to their accommodation. Safari experiences are all about stories to tell and memories to share, Chui Safaris and Owen Booysen will make certain that guests have plenty of both to reminisce about long after the day is over.

Owen Booysen, with more than a decade of guiding, is a qualified Level 2 Full Trails guide who is passionate about offering the very best wildlife experiences for his guests.

To find out more about the Pilansberg safaris as well as their other offerings, visit the website: https://www.chuisafaris.com/