I was in Pretoria for work, and had a full day to kill on a day trip while waiting for my flight back home. I decided to look at the painful 2am flight time as an opportunity to actually do something fun and see a bit more of the area than I usually have time for with earlier mid-day flights. I asked the very kind and helpful lady who ran the guest house (Touch of Class – which I also highly recommend!) and she put me in contact with African Tracks Safaris, which turned out to be just the perfect fit for a perfect, relaxing and incredible day. They offered a variety of options that could be tailored to just a morning tour, or multiple Safari Packages or Holiday Packages in South Africa, depending on traveler’s needs, with several “combo” options to choose from depending on time, budget, and interest. Options ranged from family-friendly day trips to The Elephant Sanctuary, day trips to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, and/or day tours to The Lion Park, all of which are ideal as a Day Tour from Pretoria and child-friendly allowing for a bit more interaction for kids and families. These can be combined with day trips to local African craft markets & Lesedi Cultural Village as well, or if you want to refresh those distant memories from freshman anthropology class, you can visit the “Cradle of Human Kind” site to appreciate the historical significance of this area in human evolution.
I opted for a day Safari in the Pilanesberg National Park, about 2 hours away, and perfect for a day trip from Pretoria. The park itself was scenic, with a few blinds where you could get out and watch the animals safely from a discreet wooden enclosure, and a decent restaurant in the middle that offered such fare as ostrich burgers and beer which, on a hot safari day, hit the spot. What really made the trip lovely though was the excellent and attentive service from our knowledgeable guide at African Tracks Safaris, Johan. Even before the trip, he went out of his way to accommodate our last-minute request for a day tour and showed up right on time with a pleasant smile and patient, courteous attitude. Friendly and outgoing, he was full of facts, and knew exactly where to find the animals despite the heat and dry season, and never made us feel rushed. This was my 2nd safari, but African Tracks Safaris stood out for the thoughtful details – from complimentary park guidebooks, bottled water, and amarula chocolates, to always making sure we had ample time for photos or just soaking it all in. Ill-prepared for an impromptu safari with only iPhones, Johan even kindly shared his photos with us after! I’ll definitely use African Tracks Safaris next time I’m in town.