Game Lodges and Bush Camps close to Pretoria
If you are looking for a weekend safari or bush weekend to get away from the stress of everyday city life, then look no further than these parks and reserves situated reasonably close to Pretoria (between 1 – 4 hours drive of the city centre):
The recently formed Dinokeng Game reserve is an 18 500 hectare conservancy consisting of a number of farms, game farms and small holdings in Gauteng – an easy hour’s drive of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Great general plains game viewing can be experienced, with the Big 5 present in certain sections. There are a variety of accommodation options in Dinokeng from very affordable self-catering camps to fully catered luxury lodges.
Welgevonden is located within a wilderness expanse of the majestic Waterberg Mountain range close to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Welgevonden means ‘well found’ which is a fitting description for this beautiful area which is made up rocky plateaus, open woodland and reclaimed farmland dissected by crystal clear streams and ravines. The 36 000 hectare malaria-free reserve is home to healthy numbers of wildlife, many of which have been recently re-introduced, including members of the Big 5. South Africa’s national bird – the blue crane – is a rare and special bird found on the reserve.
One of South Africa’s youngest national parks, Marakele (meaning ‘Place of Sanctuary’) is a stunningly picturesque park located in the Waterberg, an easy three hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Today the wildlife species found in the park reflect what used to roam this mountainous terrain, including the Big 5. Of particular interest is the substantial Cape Vulture Colony, which can be viewed from the top of Marakele’s accessible mountains. A rudimentary road network exists within the park with the highlight being the extraordinary views from the top of the Waterberg Massif.
Situated approximately 4 hours from Johannesburg, the malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s premier game reserves. Madikwe hosts a tremendous variety of habitat types which in turn result in an exceptional diversity of animal species. The Big 5 reserve hosts all the larger game species including a high density of lions, both black and white rhino, feisty elephant herds and Madikwe’s famed African Wild Dog packs.