NEW: Wildly luxurious ethical safari in repopulated Pilanesberg

Conservation safari holidays Pilanesberg, South Africa

19 May 2019

Truly wild, utterly luxurious private safari experience opens to visitors 

New to market Savannah Safaris offers guests the thrill of being up close and personal with the ‘Big Five’ before unwinding and reliving tales from the front line back at their own 5*, private lodge with Masterchef-winning catering, in ecologically rich Pilanesberg Wildlife Park. 

But it’s not just about the Big Five - Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard, Buffalo - at malaria-free Pilanesberg. South Africa’s fourth largest national park is a re-populated ancient volcano with concentric rings of lava and stone formations that provide a range of habitats, set between the Kalahari and the Lowveld. This ‘return to nature’ project has been repopulated with a plethora of native animals, amphibians, birds and flora including Cheetah, Impala, Zebra, Hyena, Jackal, Baboons and Kudu. 

Savannah Safaris is the only private, fully inclusive, high-end safari on the market and includes Victoria Falls, Stellenbosch and Cape Town options. 

The experience is led by luxury travel expert Adrien Bramoullé, who designed the experience for families and small groups who want to learn about conservation from the comfort of a private luxury lodge. Schooled at one of the country’s leading farming-oriented boarding schools, often camping at Pilanesberg and swimming in the lake, he has been heavily involved in the working party removing signs of human habitation and restoring the traditional environment at this unique wildlife park. 

Adrien said: “Our visitors are encouraged to bring not just cameras, but sketching materials too for an unrushed, personalised experience. This is not a tickbox animal spotting exercise. We’re passionate about protecting these animals and their habitat, and sharing our knowledge.”

Visitors are taken to natural vantage points and carefully chosen hides across 57,000 hectares of rocky outcrops, hilltops, scrub thickets and watering holes  to study the animals as they graze, play and doze. 

He said: “This is a truly wild safari experience. The animals here are not fed or tracked. Our expert guide rangers have studied the animals, their routines, feeding patterns, and family groups, and take great pride in sharing their knowledge on twice-daily drives in their purpose-built vehicles with safe, high-level viewing decks. They’ll identify animals and birds from their calls long before you see them!”

Savannah Safaris’ gated guest lodge is in the Black Rhino area of Pilanesberg and is totally given over to the group. Set among lush, terraced gardens, there are four chalets - two 2-bed and two 4-bed, with decadent bathrooms and private outdoor showers. Fully glazed gable walls from the sleeping decks watch straight out over the bush. A central chalet has a pool and spa tub, bar, TV room and pool table, braai and barbecue, inviting guests to relax under unbeatable starry African skies. Gourmet catering is provided by French Masterchef winner Veronique Lafitte.

Savannah Safaris offers four holiday options, including a two-week bespoke itinerary taking in Victoria Falls, Cape Town and a hot air balloon ride. It is a short hop from Cape Town or Johannesburg by flight or car. 

The safari experiences

Platinum Savannah Safari – 14 nights, up to 6 guests | 42,000 EUR [47,000 USD or 36,000 GBP]

Extended bespoke itinerary, all inclusive,Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Victoria Falls, Pilanesberg safari and private lodge, balloon ride, Sun City trip, all internal flights and transfers

Gold Savannah Safari – 7 nights, up to 6 guests | 26,000 EUR [29,000 USD or 22,500 GBP]

Bespoke itinerary, all inclusive, Pilanesberg safari and private lodge, balloon ride, Sun City trip, all internal flights and transfers

Silver Savannah Safari – 7 nights, up to 6 guests| [18,000 USD or 14,000 GBP] 

Classic itinerary, all meals and drinks, safari at the Pilanesberg lodge, optional extras

Self-catering Safari – 7 nights, up to 10 guests | 9,000 EUR [10,000 USD or 8,000 GBP] Classic itinerary, safari at the Pilanesberg lodge, optional extras

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