One of the most exciting ways to explore the magical and romantic diversity of South Africa is to enjoy your day on a guided safari. There are many options to choose from in close proximity to Johannesburg.

Dinokeng Game Reserve

The Dinokeng Game Reserve is the first free-roaming Big 5 residential game reserve in Gauteng – and probably in the world – next to an urbanised area. The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular and the game viewing – either from a game viewer or from your restaurant table overlooking one of the dams is diverse. Just over 1.5 hours from Johannesburg, Dinokeng is accessible for short stays without having to travel too far.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The fourth largest park in South Africa, Pilanesberg is a melting pot of topographies–which include syenite koppies, forested ravines, bush veld and rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas – all contained in the crater of an extinct volcano that covers 55,000 hectares. Much of the beauties find reflection in the Mankwe Dam, the central water feature here. This is also a great place to spot wildlife, including the Big Five–the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and the Cape buffalo. The Pilansberg Game Reserve is just over two hours from Johannesburg and provides a wide range of accommodation options.

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve is currently the fifth largest game reserve and is also one of the lesser- known parks in South Africa. This makes it a hidden- gem as it is regarded as one of the best conservation areas in Africa and offers the Big 5 in a 680 km2 park (750 km2 including newly incorporated privately owned land). The park offers a number of luxurious lodges as well as community lodges in a malaria-free zone. You are likely to spot a lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo during your stay. During your visit you will also have the rare privilege of possibly seeing the highly endangered African Wild Dog. The Madikwe Game Reserve is an approximate 3.5 hour drive from Johannesburg.

Krugersdorp Game Reserve

Located just 45-mintues from central Johannesburg is the Krugersdorp Game Reserve. The reserve caters for those who want to view game and four of the Big Five without the hassle of travelling to a major national park and offers a wide variety of bird and wildlife, with 30 mammal and over 200 bird species recorded. If time is limited, the Krugersdorp Game Reserve is the ideal option for a true African safari as the tours are strictly controlled which means visitors get to see plenty of game. The lions are kept in a separate 100-hectare enclosure. Walking is prohibited but as well as traditional day and night game drives, visitors can also enjoy horseback safaris or go game viewing by mountain bike (The reserve is patrolled by Armed Guards to ensure your safety whilst out on the trail.). There is also a walk-through aviary. Additional activities include watching the lions being fed every Sunday, enjoying a balloon safari, or learning how to drive a 4×4.  The Reserve offers full lodge accommodation and conferencing as well as camping facilities. Braai and picnic facilities are available.

Mziki Safari Lodge South Africa

Nestled in the North West, in what is known as the “Heritage Province”, just 90 minutes from Johannesburg , lies Mziki Safari Lodge, an exclusive yet affordable getaway for today´s aspiring eco-traveller. Set on 12 500 acres of prime malaria-free bushveld, Mziki Private Game Reserve is home to 4 of the “Big 5” and over 50 species of mammals and 372 species of birds (one of the best birding areas in the country). Mziki offers luxury accommodation, superb traditional and international cuisine, excellent bird and game viewing and the warmth and charm of true South African hospitality. Join Mziki’s experienced game rangers on Game Drives or Bush walks to experience Africa beneath the soles of your feet. Bathe in the swimming pool and enjoy a braai (BBQ) in the thatched boma. Or try Mziki’s other outdoor relaxation areas and facilities. The Lodge is ideal for those who want to slip into relaxation and enjoy the superb South African climate.

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeespoortdam

The Elephant Sanctuary has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience, elephant back riding and overnight accommodation. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants. You will be introduced to the elephants in the forest area, and here you will be able to touch and interact with the elephants. You will see the special relationship that the elephant handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it. Walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants. See the stables where the elephants sleep at night. On some hot or rainy days you may see the elephants swimming.

Welgevonden Game Reserve

At 37 500 hectares in size, Welgevonden Game Reserve lies in the Waterberg plateau, a 2.5 hour drive from Johannesburg. Here guests enjoy unlimited traversing through the reserve and experience an environment where biodiversity conservation and game viewing are managed in harmony. The evocative wilderness area offers an exclusive, intimate experience of the African bush with only a limited number of guests having access to the reserve at any one time. No private vehicles are permitted, which ensures minimal human impact and the ultimate wilderness experience. Historically, wildlife on the reserve has never been hunted so game viewing is always up close and personal. Accommodation is offered in a number of lodges throughout the reserve.

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