The second-largest continent with 54 countries - Africa covers six per cent of the Earths surface. It also has the second-largest population in the world with 1.3 billion inhabitants (2018) after Asia. Did you know Africa has between 1500 - 2000 spoken languages? The most widely spoken is Swahili and with over 100 million is a Bantu language believed to have originated from other languages such as Arabic. It is also considered to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with occupation perhaps dating to as early as 7 million years ago. Today it is the source of the world's longest river - The Nile and home to the big five.
View From Sun City Resort ©MDHarding
Big Five Safari - Africa
One of the most popular things to do in Africa is to see the big five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and cape buffalo) in their natural habitat. There are a few ways you can do this including a lodge stay, pre-booked safari for multiple nights or day trips.
We decided to do two guided safari drives from Sun City to Pilanesberg National Park. It's right on the doorstep of Sun City and Malaria free. It's also the location of one of the world’s outstanding geological phenomena: a crater of a long-extinct volcano and the result of eruptions some 1,200 million years ago – the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Home to the big five and an abundance of flora and fauna.
Senegal Parrot, Mocking Cliff-Chat and Red-Eyed Yellow Southern Weaver Bird ©MDHarding
Reaching Sun City
We flew with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow direct to Johannesburg and had a transfer booked via Virgin Holidays (three centre trip, Sun City, Zambia and Cape Town with all transfers and flights included) to take us to Sun City. The flight takes just under eleven hours and transfer three hours.
There are other options available.
One Of The Beautiful Waterfalls At Cascades Hotel, Sun City, South Africa ©MDHarding
About Sun City
Sun City Resort (Lost City) opened in 1979 one of South Africa's premium resorts and named one of the top ten best resorts by Booking.com.
The resort has a number of hotels, attractions and restaurants for all the family.
We stayed four nights at the 5* Cascades Hotel but could have easily stayed longer. Named for its waterfalls and pools throughout. The oasis of calm is filled with tropical gardens, close to the entertainment centre and Gary Player Golf Course. As well as being on the doorstep to the Pilanesberg National Park & Game Reserve there is also the option to visit the Lion Park and Elephant Sanctuary.
Itinerary for four nights:
Day 1. Arrive at the Cascades Hotel late afternoon and enjoy dinner in one of the two onsite restaurants.
Day 2. Stroll around the beautiful gardens, enjoy the resort activities and book ahead for tours (you may prefer to do this on day one).
Day 3. Early morning safari drive back for lunch and then a further late afternoon safari drive followed by dinner at the resort.
Day 4. Lion Park visit am and Elephant Sanctuary tour pm.
The hotel is currently undergoing refurbishment. Once re-opened you can enjoy a full cooked breakfast, free wifi and unlimited access to Valley of Waves.
Don't miss a stroll through The Maze Of The Lost City. It's incredible!
Entrance To The Lost City, Sun City ©MDHarding
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg National Park and Game Reserve named after the Pilanesberg Mountain. The park is the fourth largest in South Africa with an area of 550 km2. The volcano crater situated in the park erupted 1300 million years ago. Pilanesberg was originally owned by three of the local tribes. Many of the Stone Age and Iron Age sites around the reserve show proof of the presence of man.
Over 7000 animals can be seen in the park including the big five and also 360 bird species.
We didn't quite manage to see the big five in the park but seen different animals and birds on both the morning and late afternoon safari drives. Fingers crossed we see a leopard in the wild one day.
White African Rhino and Calf At Pilanesberg National Park ©MDHarding
If you are short on time and have a budget, the day trip safaris drives are an excellent option. We visited in October and the weather was lovely.
I hope you enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Sun City/Pilanesberg National Park. As always would love to answer any questions you may have. You can reach me via email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com
Until next time, stay safe & well x