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Game Viewing Within Driving Distance From Johannesburg
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As a South African, one of our favorite pastimes is heading to the bush, reconnecting with nature and spotting as many of the Big Five as possible. Game viewing and drives are something we love doing, which is why we have come up with a list of game destinations you need to check out. Whether you’re looking to stay in the city, or want to make a weekend of it, here are some awesome spots for you to see some wildlife, take a game drive or just escape to a bushveld retreat.

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 and fall in love with nature all over again at the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve at the Cradle of Humankind. Game drives are roughly two and a half hours long, taking place six days a week, giving visitors the chance to see nature up close. You can see three of the Big Five including the lions, white rhinos, and buffalos. Keep your eyes peeled for wild dogs which have been reintroduced to the area, as well as cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, and antelopes.

Distance from Johannesburg: Between 45–58 km, depending on route.

Travel time: Fifty five minutes from Johannesburg.

Tel: 011 957 0109/0106.


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

Web: Rhino Lion

Lion & Safari Park

Our country is filled with 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 all our amazing and powerful predators, such as hyenas, wild dogs, lions and, if you’re lucky, a leopard lazing in a tree. Or, take 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: Between sixty and seventy km, depending on route.

Travel time: 58 minutes from Johannesburg.

Tel: 087 150 0100 or 076 187 3883.


Address: R512 Pelindaba Road, Lanseria, Broederstroom, Kalkheuvel.

Web: Lion And Safari Park

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 residential game reserve in Gauteng that’s next to an urbanised area. The Dinokeng Game Reserve Self-Drive Route was launched in 2014 and offers visitors various routes to enjoy with family and friends. Book the self-drive or guided drive by contacting the reserve.

Distance from Johannesburg: 105–120 km, depending on route.

Travel time: An hour and fifteen minutes to thirty minutes.

Tel: 012 711 4391.


Address: Dinokeng Game Reserve, R734, Pretoria.

Web: Dinokeng Reserve

game drive

Mongena Game Lodge

Need to escape the hustle and bustle of the 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 only the best from nature. It makes a splendid location if you’re looking to get away to enjoy some bird watching and do some game viewing. You can expect to see lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, zebra, warthogs, hyena, and buffalo.

Distance from Johannesburg: 115–128 km, depending on route.

Travel time: An hour and thirty to forty five minutes.

Tel: 012 711 8920.


Address: JR 87 Boekenhoutkloof, Hammanskraal, Gauteng.

Web: Mongena

Askari Game Lodge and Spa

Complete with an abundance of flora, fauna, birdlife, and wildlife covering 5 000 hectares, the Askari Game Lodge & Spa in Magaliesburg is just the place to be if you’re looking for a quick escape surrounded by our amazing African wilderness. The lodge offers two daily game drives, each approximately two and a half hours long, where you can view the animals were known for while enjoying the fresh air. And afterwards, why not treat yourself to one of their fantastic pamper sessions at the Askari Spa?

Distance from Johannesburg: 83–88 km, depending on route.

Travel time: An hour and twenty five to forty five minutes.

Tel: 0861 148 866.


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

Web: Askari Lodge


Two Hours Or More

Mabula Game Lodge

There is no way you’d drive out this far only for the afternoon! So, if you happen to be in Limpopo looking for a game adventure and a quick breather, make sure you 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 lodge home. Their safari drives that take place twice a day are a magical experience that you don’t want to miss!

Distance from Johannesburg: 206 km.

Travel time: Just under 3 hours.

Tel: 014 734 7000.


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

Web: Mabula

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

The Pilanesberg is one of the country’s most popular wildlife areas in the country, so if you feel like doing a little sightseeing and indulging in everything the beautiful bushveld has to offer, visit the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Take in the spectacular landscape, go on a few game drives or wildlife safaris (self-driven or guided), or do some bird watching while taking a game walk. There’s almost 200 km of self and guided game drive routes to choose from, offering plenty of hideouts and scenic picnic spots. As for accommodation, there are plenty of lodges around the area for you to suss out.

Distance from Johannesburg: 190–204 km, depending on route.

Travel time: 2 hours and thirty five minutes.

Tel: 087 820 0020.


Web: Pilanesberg Game

Bongani Mountain Lodge

And way, way, way out there in the wilderness is the secluded and breathtakingly beautiful Bongani Mountain Lodge. Not only is this a wonderful haven to relax and unwind, but it’s also a great location if you want to be surrounded by nature. They offer guided game drives that allow you to experience all the sights and sounds of the bush, as well as play ‘spot the animal’ as you come into close contact with a variety of wildlife, reptiles, and birds.

Distance from Johannesburg: 395–425 km, depending on route.

Travel time: 4 to 5 hours.

Tel: 087 740 9292.


Web: aha


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