Pilanesberg Geology, Fauna and Flora

The circular outline of the Pilanesberg Complex reflects the fact that it is an eroded volcano with a diameter of 28 km and an areal extent of 530 km2 that intruded around 1200 million years ago.  Pilanesberg is the fourth largest park in South Africa, with a wide variety of habitats which include syenitekoppies, forested ravines, bush veld and rolling grasslands and lightly wooded areas.

To most people, the name Pilanesberg Complex means an excellent game reserve where it is possible to see the Big 5 - the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros and the cape buffalo, only a two hour drive from Johannesburg. The central Mankwe Dam is a great tranquil place to spot wildlife, including crocodiles, at the water’s edge. To a geologist however, the Pilanesberg represents one of the world’s largest alkaline complexes, with outcrops of unusual rock types such as nephelinesyenites, foyaites and tiguaites.

The day tour aims to present a brief introduction to some of the important geological features of the unique Pilanesberg Complex. However, there is much more to see that just the rocks, as the major tourist attraction of course in the opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife. In addition to the large mammals, the park is home to over 300 species of birds and the park presents a tranquil setting of ever-changing scenery as you drive along the roads and game trails. The tour will be led by an experienced field guide who will present some of the historical background to the setting up of the park and will be able to identify animals, birds and trees for those who are interested.

En route to the Pilanesberg you will cross part of the Bushveld Complex, and pass near Rustenburg, the platinum capital of the world. You will see a number of the shafts of the platinum and chromium mines. Once in the park, we can’t guarantee that you will see the Big 5, but the tour is suitable for all who want to appreciate the geology, fauna and flora or a very special part of South Africa and we can guarantee a memorable day out.

Cost: R2 000 per person

Terms and conditions apply