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What to do in Johannesburg – Safari Edition

As a tour guide I meet tourist who always ask me this question, what can we do in and around Johannesburg? Please recommend something fun to do and its always my pleasure to recommend tours to do when you are in Johannesburg.

If you are in Johannesburg and you are looking for a safari experience , or you just dont know what to do, I hope this article will help. A lot of tourists don’t know that you can actually have a Safari experience if you are in Johannesburg. Most people think only of big National Parks like Kruger National Park or Addo National Park. Yes big National Parks are amazing however they are far away from Johannesburg.

So on this article I am going to share day tour safari experience you can have while you are in Johannesburg, these places are less than 2 hours drive from Johannesburg.

Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Rhino and Nature Reserve is a privately owned game reserve taking a space of 1600 hectares situated in the world renowned Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Why I recommend Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve is they have rhinos, with rhino poaching being a big problem in South Africa its can be challenging to see rhinos in big national parks like Kruger so the Rhino and Lion Nature reserve is definitely the perfect place to see these majestic animals. They also have a variety of animals like white lions, zebras, wildebeests, cheetah, wild dogs, giraffes, antelopes.

The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve offers load of activities to do including guided game drives provided by qualified guides, Giraffe feeding, lion, cheetah and wild dogs feeding. Get to experience the adrenaline of watching these predators devour their meals. However, the feeding of lions, cheetahs and wild dogs is done on specific days. The Rhino and Lion Park is also home to the Wonder Caves. The famous Wonder Cave was discovered by miners when they began mining in the area during the gold rush era. A guided tour will take you on a journey back to 2 billion years ago. These caves are really impressive.

Lion and Safari Park

Located at the border of Northwest and Gauteng provinces just 30 minutes drive out of Johannesburg, the lion and safari park offers an incredible safari experience. This 1 000 hectares reserve is home to a number of lions and lionesses and their cubs and they also have the rare white lions. Yes, the lions are a major highlight, but it is also home to a variety of wildlife that includes cheetah, leopard, giraffes, zebra, wild dogs, hyenas, wildebeests and many more…

They offer different kinds of tours and you can even do a self game drive with your own car, which I personally don’t recommend because I think guided tours are more enjoyable. The park offers different tour packages from lion walks to cheetah walks and yes these are guided tours with a trained guide.

Ukuthula Game Reserve

I love game drives in an open jeep safari vehicle however guided bushwalks are an exciting experience one should have, walking in the bushwalks smelling the scent of the grass, trees with their different scents, follow the footsteps of the wild animals, explore river beds and watch birds and get a chance to walk with lions.

Ukutula game reserve offers guided bushwalks which gives you a chance to get a closer experience to the lions walk behind lions. I know you are probably wondering is this safe ??? Definitely, it is safe as you will be surrounded by well-trained guides.

Firstly before you start the walk you are briefed on all the safety precautions. Lions in their own nature usually do not attack people or animals who walk in groups they prefer the ones that single themselves out so one of the main safety precautions you are given before you start the walk is to stay in the group don’t try to explore on your own. I have to say as a tour guide I have done this tour several times however every time feels like my first. As scary as the lions are being so close to them gives an exciting adrenaline that the fear is nothing compared to excitement.

Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg National Park is the 4th biggest National Park in South Africa. It is situated in the North West province 2 hours drive from Johannesburg.

So here are my reasons why Pilanesberg should be your choice for a safari experience.

Only 2 hours drive from Johannesburg Pilanesberg is your best option to get a full safari experience closer to Johannesburg. It is so easy to drive down to Pilanesberg spend the day enjoying the safari and still drive back to Johannesburg.

Pilanesberg is a malaria free zone, so if you are travelling to South Africa and you prefer to enjoy your safari in a malaria free zone Pilanesberg would be perfect.

3. Yes Kruger National Park is one of the biggest National Park in the world and also one of the most famous parks in the world. However Pilanesberg National Park also gives you the same experience to see the wild animals in their natural habitant as the Park is also one of the bigger National Parks in South Africa.

4. Pilanesberg offers great accommodation to suits different budget structures. So if you are looking to spend some days enjoying games drives Pilanesberg would definitely suit your needs with a wide range of accommodation from luxury to budget friendly.

5. Last but not least, Pilanesberg is home to the majestic big 5, lions, buffalo, elephants, leopards, rhinos. Lets all agree we all love to see the Big 5 when we are going on a games drives.

So here you have it, if you are looking for some safari experience close to Johannesburg I hope this helps and if you don’t know what to do while you are in Johannesburg consider these tours. They are definitely worth it and all of them offers a different experience to safari.

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