The clouds cleared at about 09:00 leaving the landscape crisp clear. Jackets were quickly swapped for T-shirts, quite the opposite from the day before. A common Kingfisher calling out in a fever tree nearby, what a beauty!
An actual Cheetah run followed an introduction to the Cheetah, its background and struggle for survival in today’s conservation climate. In addition to learning about Cheetah, guests were delighted to learn about African Wild Dogs, Karakul cats, Meerkats, Cape Vultures and Honey badgers. The cheetah run took the top spot for the morning. So fast, so quick!
Just about to leave on our Day Tour from Pretoria for the North West Province. What a lovely overnight downpour we had. The Cheetahs at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre are waiting, ideal conditions for this lovely tour. Our guests from the UK who made their way to Pretoria on the Blue Train is just about ready for departure, another quick coffee and off we go!
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.
A Spectacular Day Trip from Pretoria amongst Cheetahs, African Wild Dogs, the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary, African Arts and Craft, Lesedi Cultural Village and African Cuisine!
It’s an early morning start for all. An awesome Day Trip from Pretoria to the North West province awaits! Our guests from Australia arrived at 06:45 at the Centurion Gautrain station from Sandton, Johannesburg.
We have to be at the De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary latest 08:30. Still, a way to go as we breeze through the morning rush hour traffic. A quick coffee stop with breakfast along the way and off we go to the Cheetah sanctuary nestled at the foothills of the Magaliesberg Mountains a few kilometers north of the Hartbeespoort dam.
Large Marula and Fever trees amongst African bush with typical African birdsong greet us on arrival. The atmosphere is relaxed, though serious. Cheetahs are endangered and are in need of protection. A King Cheetah nearby…what a beautiful animal indeed!
We stop by the African Wild Dog enclosure on our Safari drive, such a unique animal and also endangered. Luckily there are centres like these contributing to their protection.
Midday and we’re off to the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary where we learn about Spider monkeys, Lemurs, Bush Babies, Squirrel monkeys, Capuchin monkeys in a natural setting. It’s a thrilling experience in a lovely sanctuary. Wooden walkways snake through natural forest, ravine and valleys. A fantastic way to view and experience the monkeys up close and personal. Some hopped on for a ride while we were strolling through the forest, others curiously stared at us.
Next up, an African Arts and Craft Market of delight! We browse the vast number of items on display and negotiate a best price at leisure. It’s so much fun haggling with the traders! Lunch at the market is a welcoming break before heading back to the traders to pick up a last minute sale.
With African Arts & Craft shopping bags filled to the brim, we head for Lesedi, an African Cultural Village, our final destination on today’s tour. A vibrant African tribal culture awaits. African tribal dances and cuisine at its best! Traditional homesteads of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele tribes are explored. Lesedi Cultural Village offers an awesome African Tribal Experience – a Pan-African Feast!
It’s 20:00. Our Day tour from Pretoria winds down as we leave for Sandton City, Johannesburg where our guests will overnight. The buffet dinner with a variety of meat such as beef, lamb, chicken, boerewors, ostrich and crocodile along with pap, rice, vegetables, salad’s and dessert rounded off a perfect day. Fantastic!
“What an experience!”
September 1st announces the end of winter with summer approaching. It’s already warm over here in Pretoria, touching the late 20’s (°C). Port Elizabeth reached almost 40. It’s pretty dry after winter, hopefully, rain arrives soon. The Black Wildebeest and Zebra at the Voortrekker Monument were looking for shade by midmorning when we arrived.
Our guests from New Zeeland spent the early afternoon on a Day Trip viewing Pretoria with a lovely tea stop in Baileys Muckleneuk.
Tomorrow, they are off to Cape Town on Rovos Rail!
A fantastic tour awaits!
Breakfast on Safari from Pretoria, South Africa, in the Timbavati – Greater Kruger National Park, this morning.
What a fantastic setting!
What a lovely Day Trip in Pretoria it was going sightseeing amongst many things to do in Pretoria! The temperature was perfect…… Zebra and Blue Wildebeest came wandering past just as we were about to pass by Fort Klapperkop. Beautiful as always. The Voortrekker Monument was a hive of activity with Down Town Pretoria, comfortably quiet and little traffic! The Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings (office of the president of South Africa) towered gracefully above the presidential gardens. Lunch with a lovely cup of coffee was enjoyed at Huckleberry’s restaurant in the park at Magnolia Dell. Thank you for joining our day tour of Pretoria today. Enjoy the flight home to the Netherlands on Sunday.
Even though it is dry season on our Day Trip from Pretoria on Safari in the Pilanesberg National Park resulting in animals having to wander further off to find something to eat, an abundance of game still greeted us on arrival. We saw Hippo basking in the morning sun, though not to far from the safety of their dam they call home. Elephants close by, dusting themselves after a mud bath, the relatively rear Tsessebe antelope, loads of Giraffe, beautiful Rhino and even some elusive Lions in the distance. Just missed a big herd of Cape Buffalo though. The “Ostrich burger” and pizza for lunch at the restaurant went off well. It was a great pleasure to share this part of South Africa with you and trust you will enjoy the rest of your time in South Africa before heading back to Atlanta. Thank you so much for joining us on tour.
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