South Africa’s kitsch casino
Designed as a back-to-nature experience for city folk from Johannesburg and Pretoria, Pilanesberg has a good network of tarred and gravel roads, allowing drivers of even the feeblest cars to potentially see the “big five” (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhino) without a hired guide. Tour operator Gametrackers runs wildlife drives and elephant-back safaris in the national park from Sun City, but if you have a car, the best option is to embark on a self-drive safari, staking out waterholes and staying at accommodation in the park such as attractive and comfortable Bakubung Bush Lodge, which has well-equipped thatched brick chalets and a restaurant.
Tour operators such as Footprints in Africa and Mo Afrika Tours offer trips to Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park from Johannesburg and Pretoria, both about three hours away. Ingelosi Shuttles runs daily shuttles to Sun City from Pretoria, Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Entrance to Sun City costs 50 rand per person; to book a hotel, visit the casino’s website.