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The Pilanesberg area is an excellent venue for bushveld birding with some 350 species recorded. A typical winter's day may yield 100 species, and many more in summer. A two to four day stay is recommended, although day visits from Gauteng are also worthwhile.



Include African Crake, Red-chested Flufftail, African Grass-Owl, Osprey, raptors, Cape Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Green Sandpiper, African Cuckoo, Red-billed Oxpecker and typical bushveld species.



Include rocky ridges, hill slopes, grasslands, woodlands, dams with connecting streams, and a vlei adjoining one dam.



Include numerous hides, viewing and picnic spots. The picnic spots have toilets, braai facilities, water, shade and are fenced. There are two lodges and two complexes, including bungalows, campsites and day visitor facilities. Petrol is available outside the reserve, near some of the entrance gates.



The best birding is in the campsites (if overnighting) and by driving to the different viewing spots, hides and picnic spots where you may get out of your vehicle. The road network is good, so make sure you obtain a map at the gate.

The hill slopes have Southern Pied Babbler, Sabota Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Little Bee-eater and White-fronted Bee-eater,

The grasslands and savannas support Lilac-breasted Roller, Purple Roller, Common Ostrich, Secretarybird, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk and Magpie Shrike. Kori Bustard, Northern Black Korhaan and Red-crested Korhaan are common.

The woodland thickets have Red-billed Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, African Grey Hornbill, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Marico Flycatcher, Golden-breasted Bunting, Violet-eared Waxbill and Blue Waxbill. Many west-east species pairs occur at Pilanesberg, e.g. White-backed Mousebird and Speckled Mousebird, Ashy Tit and Southern Black Tit, Southern Pied Babbler and Arrow-marked Babbler, African Red-eyed Bulbul and Dark-capped Bulbul, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and White-browed Scrub-Robin, and Shaft-tailed Whydah and Pin-tailed Whydah.

In the rocky areas one may see Verreauxs' Eagle, Rock Kestrel, Jackal Buzzard, Speckled Pigeon, African Olive-Pigeon, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Rock Martin and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. Other raptors include Black-chested Snake-Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, and several true eagles (Tawny Eagle, Wahlberg's Eagle, Martial Eagle). Pearl-spotted Owlet and Spotted Eagle-Owl are common.

There are many small dams in addition to the large central Mankwe Dam. These have African Fish-Eagle, Hamerkop, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, African Spoonbill and terns. A large vlei at the eastern end of Mankwe Dam attracts African Crake, Red-chested Flufftail, and African Grass-Owl. Osprey is a vagrant but has often been recorded at Mankwe Dam during the rainy season.

A vulture restaurant near Manyane Gate (on the eastern side of the reserve) attracts 30-40 Cape Vulture, and occasionally White-backed Vulture and Lappet-faced Vulture, and Marabou Stork.



The reserve is 50 km north of Rustenburg. Access is on the R565 from Rustenburg to Sun City. Four gates (situated around the reserve) provide entrance.

Contact Information: Tel: + 27 14 555 1600 Fax: +27 14 555 5525

Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Website

TARIFFS as from 1 February 2008
Adults: R45,00
Children: R20,00
Pensioners: R20.00
Vehicles: R20.00
Bus (17-25 seater): R60.00
Bus (25-50 seater): R80.00
Bus (50+): R170.00

March & April: 06h00 - 18h30
May - September: 06h30 - 18h00
September & October: 06h00 - 18h30
November - February: 05h30 - 19h00

Dieter Oschadleus 1998
Andrew Tucker 2002

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