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Pilanesberg calling

Published Apr 20, 2006

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The Pilanesberg is one of South Africa's living treasures, a natural wonderland teeming with the Big Five and a host of other wild animals. And the great thing is, it's between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half hour's drive away for most Gautengers.

Obviously one of the big attractions in the area is Sun City, a pleasure playground for young and old. Even if you're not into casinos, which used to be the lifeblood of the complex in the early Sol Kerzner days, you could spend a blissful time away not even knowing that they exist. There are just so many fun activities that, money allowing, you could be kept busy for days.

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There are several accomodation options, from the self-catering holiday club to the family-oriented cabanas, Sun City Hotel, the Cascades or the ultra-luxurious Palace.

They have special rates during winter, starting on May 1 (for example, a standard twin room in the Cabanas will cost R399 per person sharing - breakfast included).

For more info on rates, check the website www.suninternational.co.za or call 011-780-7800. Apart from Sun City, which adjoins the game reserve, there is also plenty of other accomodation available.

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Geraldine Fröhling explores the area

Accommodation

- The four-star Bakubung Bush Lodge offers 76 air-conditioned, thatched roof, studio rooms and 66 chalets, which curve into a horse-shoe around the outside entertainment areas. It has won an Asata/Diners Club Best South African Game Lodge award and a Best Bush Conference Venue 2000 Venue Finder award.

- The five-star Kwa-Maritane Bush Lodge has 90 luxury rooms, 25 equipped self-catering chalets and 28 cabanas. It won the Best Game Lodge award at the 1998 and 2001 Conference and Exhibition Venue Awards. Tel: 086-1840-080.

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- The five-star Tshukudu Lodge ("Place of the Rhino") in the Pilanesberg offers six newly refurbished luxury cottages and two newly refurbished standard cabins nestled on an isolated rocky outcrop.

Prices range from R2 070 per person per night for dinner, bed and breakfast (double) to R5 850. For bookings or further inquiries for all three of these venues, call Tel: 086-1840-080 or visit www.savenue.com

If you're on a leaner budget, you may want to do the self-catering/camping thing in the park. At Golden Leopard Resorts, you have various reasonable options:

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- Self-catering, including a safari tent (sleeps two) at R425/R445, a camp site (R170/R180 per night) or caravan site (R185/R195).

- Bed and breakfast in chalets or tents, ranging from R475 (tent) to R700 (four-sleeper chalet during peak season). There are also dinner, bed and breakfast options which are slightly more pricey. For more info, call Tel: 086-1840-080.

Accommodation with a Gallic flair: Just 20km away from Sun City, Francoise and Alain Le Marrec - who relocated here about three years ago - have opened a guest house with an authetic French flavour (hence its name: Authentique).

Each room has a different theme, for example, the Provence room, the Paris room, the Normandy room, the Cote d'Azur room and the African room. They've recently expanded to nine rooms, including a newly opened family room.

Breakfast - which usually includes something uniquely French like crepes, French toast or a French cake called Quatre Quart - is included in the price. They also have a pool and a petanque playground adding to the French feel.

Rooms range in price from R490 for a two-sleeper room to R640 for a four-sleeper room. To book call 014-573-3422 or e-mail [email protected] telkomsa.net

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