It was with great excitement that we embarked on our long-awaited tour to the Pilanesberg. Being that the Covid-19 Pandemic prevented us from embarking on any tours for the past year and a half, we held our collective breath as the day of departure drew closer and closer, and thankfully finally arrived.
Our tour guide, Scott, welcomed us with a friendly smile as we readied everyone to board the bus. From the outset it was clear that Covid safety protocols were at the forefront of Scott’s mind and strict rules were conveyed to the group to ensure the health safety of all on the tour.
Upon boarding of the bus, we met Biza, our driver, whose name so resembled our school’s that we took it that it must be a sign of a successful trip ahead. Once again, all Covid safety protocols were adhered to, including the provision of a larger bus to ensure that the majority of passengers were able to enjoy an empty seat next to theirs as we travelled. Thanks must go to Scott and Pro Tours for ensuring the cleanliness of the vehicle and the wellbeing of each and every one of us from day 1 to day 3.
The first stop on our tour was the Anne Van Dyk (De Wildt) Cheetah Centre. Along the way, Scott provided insight about the places and sights we passed, which proved to be most interesting. The guided tour of the Cheetah Centre by the friendly group of staff amazed many of our learners as they were able to see and learn about animals they had never seen ‘for real’ before such as Vultures, Cheetahs, Hyenas, Wild Dog, a Honey Badger and many others. We definitely had a fantastic few hours at the centre.
Our accommodation for the tour was at a lovely venue called Makinky Manzi. We were at all times treated like VIP’s by the staff and the food was delicious. While the pool was cold, it was fantastic to cool down and chill for the afternoon after spending a lot of time on the bus, and our learners were able to chat and get to know each other a little better. Upon nightfall the roar of Lions, while fantastic to hear, caused some of our group to become worried, but thankfully all stress was relieved when we were informed that that neighbouring plot is a Lion park.
The next morning we departed for the Pilanesberg National Park where we looked forward to a guided game drive on the Park’s game viewing vehicles. Our game drive guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable, which made for a very interesting experience. We were fortunate to see numerous animals, including all of the big 5, with a leopard walking past our vehicle no more than 5 meters away. What a sighting! A visit to Predator World on our way back to Makinky Manzi proved to be awesome, since we were able to see animals from beyond the borders of South Africa such as Tigers, Pumas and Wolves.
The next morning we departed Makinky Manzi for a visit to the Canopy Tour where we ziplined through the gorge in what can only be described as a truly exhilarating experience. The feeling of ‘flying’ felt well within reach as we glided from one platform to the next. A truly unforgettable and life-changing experience.
Our tour, though only 3 days long, was memorable and thoroughly enjoyable. We would like to extend a very big ‘thank you’ to All Africa Tours for the well organised and safe tour of the Pilanesberg. We learned a lot and we will look back fondly on our experience in time to come.
Written by Don Preddy, Executive Head at BESA Leadership Academy.
Scott, our tourist guide, managed the tour efficiently from beginning to end. His historical knowledge of the places we visited was impeccable and fascinating. Thank you All Africa Tours for organising and managing a memorable tour.
Written by Rachel Archery teacher at BESA Leadership Academy.