Game Viewing Within Driving Distance From Johannesburg


As South Africans, one of our favourite pastimes is heading to the bush to reconnect with nature and spot as many of the Big Five as possible. Living in Joburg, we’re lucky to have several games reserves within driving distance, so they’re ideal for a weekend getaway. Here’s a list of these for you to check out. 

Less Than An Hour’s Drive

Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve

From day and night game drives to touring the Wondercave, you’ll have the opportunity to reconnect with nature at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve in the Cradle of Humankind. Game drives are roughly two-and-a-half hours long, taking place six days a week and giving you the chance to see nature up close. Three of the Big Five are resident here — the lion, white rhino and buffalo. Also, keep your eyes peeled for wild dogs (which have been reintroduced to the area), cheetah, hippo, crocodile and antelope.

Distance from Johannesburg: Between 45km and 58km depending on the route

Travel time: 55 minutes from Johannesburg

Tel: 011 957 0109/0106 / 3049

Email: info@rhinolion.co.za

Address: Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, 520 Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp

Web: www.rhinolion.co.za

Lion & Safari Park

Our country boasts the most incredible wildlife, so why not experience it for yourself at the Lion & Safari Park in Harties. You can enjoy a guided mini-tour (one-and-a-half hours), where you’ll spot powerful predators, such as hyenas, wild dogs, lions and, if you’re lucky, a leopard lazing in a tree. Or go on a self-drive with your own vehicle between 08:30 and 17:00, allowing you to take your time and admire nature at your own pace.

Distance from Johannesburg: 60km to 70km depending on the route

Travel time: 58 minutes from Johannesburg

Tel: 087 150 0100 or 076 187 3883

Email: info@lionpark.com

Address: R512 Pelindaba Road, Lanseria, Broederstroom, Kalkheuvel

Web: www.lionandsafaripark.com

rhino and lion nature reserve

About An Hour’s Drive

Dinokeng Game Reserve

Whether you’re spending a night, a weekend or simply visiting for the day, don’t miss your chance to see the famous Big Five at the Dinokeng Game Reserve, situated just outside Pretoria. This reserve is the first free-roaming Big Five game reserve in Gauteng that’s next to an urbanised area. The Dinokeng Game Reserve Self-Drive Route was launched in 2014 and offers various routes for you to enjoy with family and friends. Book the self-drive or guided drive by contacting the reserve.

Distance from Johannesburg: 105km to 120km depending on route

Travel time: From 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes

Tel: 012 711 4391

Email: reception@dinokengreserve.co.za

Address: Dinokeng Game Reserve, R734, Pretoria

Web: www.dinokengreserve.co.za

Mongena Game Lodge

Need to escape the crazy city? Then why not head to a bush lodge that guarantees a safari experience like no other? Mongena Game Lodge is a malaria-free retreat where you can experience the best of from nature. It’s a great location if you’re into bird watching while the game you can expect to see includes lion, elephant, rhino, cheetah, zebra, warthog, hyena, and buffalo.

Distance from Johannesburg: 115km to 128km depending on route

Travel time: From 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes

Tel: 012 711 8920

Email: relax@mongena.co.za

Address: JR 87 Boekenhoutkloof, Hammanskraal, Gauteng

Web: www.mongena.co.za

Askari Game Lodge and Spa

With an abundance of bird life and wildlife covering 5 000 hectares, the Askari Game Lodge & Spa in Magaliesberg is situated in the Plumari Private Reserve, which is also home to the Big Five. The lodge offers two daily game drives, each approximately two-and-a-half hours long in the mornings and evenings, as these are the times when the wildlife is most active.  Afterwards, why not treat yourself to one of their fantastic pamper sessions at the Askari Spa?

Distance from Johannesburg: 83km to 88km depending on route

Travel time: From 1 hour and 25 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes

Tel: 0861 148 866 or 014 577 2658/9

Email: cro@guvon.co.za or reservations@askarilodge.co.za

Address: Askari Game Lodge & Spa, R560, 01 Doornspruit Road, Magaliesburg

Web: www.askarilodge.co.za

askari-game-lodge

Two Hours Or More

Mabula Game Lodge

There is no way you could drive out this far only for the afternoon! But if you happen to be in Limpopo looking for a game adventure and a breather, book a stay at the Mabula Game Lodge. Not only will you experience diverse landscapes ranging from grassland plains to rocky stretches, but you’ll also find free-roaming wildlife, including the Big Five, who call this reserve home. Safari drives take place twice a day and are a magical experience that you don’t want to miss!

Distance from Johannesburg: 206km

Travel time: Just under 3 hours

Tel: 014 734 7000

Email: mabulares@extraordinary.co.za

Address: Mabula Private Game Reserve, Rhenosterhoek Spruit Road, Bela-Bela

Web: www.mabula.com

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The Pilanesberg is one of the country’s most popular wildlife destinations, so if you feel like experiencing everything the beautiful bushveld has to offer, visit the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Take in the spectacular landscape, go on game drives  (self-drive or guided) or do some bird watching during a game walk. There’s almost 200km of game drive routes to choose from with plenty of hideouts and scenic picnic spots. As for accommodation, you’re spoilt for choice with many lodges in the area.

Distance from Johannesburg: 190km to 204km depending on route

Travel time: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Tel: 087 820 0020

Email: safaris@PilanesergGameReserve.co.za

Web: www.pilanesberggamereserve.co.za

Bongani Mountain Lodge

And way, way, way out there in the wilderness, in the Kruger National Park to be exact, is the secluded and breathtakingly beautiful Bongani Mountain Lodge. Not only is this a haven of relaxation, but it’s also a great location in which you can immerse yourself in nature. They offer guided game drives, as well as the chance to play ‘spot the animal’ as you come into close contact with a variety of wildlife, reptiles and birds.

Distance from Johannesburg: 395km to 425km depending on route

Travel time: 4 to 5 hours

Tel: 010 442 5888

Email: cro@aha.co.za

Web: www. aha.co.za

pilanesburg

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