Looking for the nearest Big 5 Game Reserve?

Game Lodge Specials to Big 5 Game Lodges

Take advantage of Game Lodge Specials and Bush break weekends close to where you are. In South Africa we are lucky to be able to enjoy, within a few hours drive, of our major cities pristine bushveld and some of the best game viewing on the Continent.

BushBreaks in luxury lodges close to Joburg that suit your travel needs and your budget are just an enquiry form or telephone call away. Plan your bushbreak honeymoon months in advance with us or check for last minute Bushbreak specials close to Joburg or game lodges close to Durban!

Should you wish to speak to one of our safari specialists for travel advice or suggestions on last minute special offers, please call us on 031 572 4042 (South Africa) / +27 (0)31 572 4042 (International)

Game Reserves near Johannesburg

Pilanesberg Game Reserve

  • Johannesburg to Pilanesberg: 188km
  • Drive Time: under 3 hours
  • Closest Airport: Pilanesberg Airport
  • Closest Jnb Airport: Lanseria Airport
  • Distance from Airport: 157 km


Mabula Game Reserve

  • Johannesburg to Mabula : 163 km
  • Drive Time to Mabula: 2 hours
  • Closest Airport: Pilanesberg Airport
  • Closest Jnb Airport: Lanseria Airport
  • Distance from Airport: 157 km



  • Dinokeng to Johannesburg: 82km
  • Drive Time to Dinokeng: 1 hour
  • Closest Airport: OR Tambo
  • Alternative Airport: Lanseria (68 km)
  • Distance from Airport: 63 km


Madikwe Game Reserve

  • Km from Johannesburg: 219km
  • Drive Time: 3 hours
  • Closest Airport: OR Tambo
  • Closest pvt Airport: Madikwe
  • Distance from OR Tambo: 245km

Bushwalks at Welgevonden Game Reserve

Welgevonden Game Reserve

  • Km from Johannesburg: 275km
  • Drive Time: 3 hours
  • Closest int Airport: OR Tambo
  • Closest pvt Airport: Welgevonden
  • Distance from Airport: 158km


Nambiti Game Reserve

  • Km from Johannesburg: 383km
  • Drive Time: 3.5 hour
  • Closest Airport: Pietermaritzburg
  • Closest Town: Ladysmith
  • Distance from Airport: 158km


About the Reserves close to Joburg

Experience the big five while driving around the crater of an extinct volcano and a dam. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is situated around 20 km away from Sun City Resort allowing you to experience the big five as well as family activities. Stay at one of the private lodges in the Reserve and combine it with a night at one of the Sun City hotels.
Although you could stay at Sun City and do a day trips in, we do recommend staying in Pilanesberg for a proper bush experience. Only two hours north of Johannesburg, Pilanesberg is also one of the largest parks in South Africa covering some 55 000 hectares. The park is open to day visitors and the public but some of the private lodges have private traversing areas, which provide good, quieter game viewing, including the Big Five.


Directions from Pretoria to the Pilanesberg: Use the N4 and turn right onto the R656 to Pilanesberg.

This is one of the smaller game reserves spanning around 1 200 hectares. It is situated in the foothills of the Waterberg Mountain Range. Here you will experience the likes of Hippo, African python and Nile crocodile as well as the big five.
Sadly this reserve does not allow day trips but they do offer accommodation which includes all meals and two safari activities. Activities at this reserve include horse safaris, bush walks, hot air balloon safaris, snake demonstrations, archery and spa treatments.

Directions from Pretoria to Mabula:

Once on the N1, take the Pietersburg highway turn to Bela Bela.
Take the Codrington off-ramp and turn left at the yield sign 5 km after the yield sign, turn right at the T junction. Turn left at the garage, pass the Forever Resorts Aventura. Turn left at the traffic circle left onto the Thabazimbi/Rooiberg road After 34 km, turn right onto Rooiberg Road and follow the signs

Dinokeng lies in the catchment area of two rivers that flow into the Olifants and Limpopo rivers. The reserve is believed to be the first free-roaming Big 5 game reserve next to an urbanized area.
The grassland bushveld habitats of Dinokeng support an abundance of indigenous wildlife. The region is home to a range of game including zebra, hyena, giraffe, buffalo and eland across the five provincial nature reserves of Rust de Winter, Mdlala, Mkhombo, Leeuwfontein and Roodeplaat and a number of conservancies.

Directions to Dinokeng

Take the R21 North then N1 highway North towards Polokwane, Proceed through Pumulani Toll Plaza, Take the Hammanskraal/Boekenhoutkloof Turnoff/exit, Turn into easternly direction (right over highway from Jhb/PTA) onto tarred road towards Boekenhoutkloof
Turn left onto the tarred Rust de Winter Road at the Dinokeng Game Reserve sign and follow the road for 1 km, Proceed through Tau Gate at the Dinokeng Game Reserve

Game Lodges and Reserves close to Durban


  • Durban to HluhluweUmfolozi: 271 km
  • Drive Time: 3-4 hours
  • Closest Int Airport: King Shaka Int Airport
  • Closest small Airport: Richards Bay
  • Distance from KSIA: 210 km


Phinda Private Game Reserve

  • Durban to Phinda: 300 km
  • Drive Time: under 4 hours
  • Closest Airport: PVT strip
  • Closest Airport: Richards Bay (131 km)
  • Closest Int Airport: King Shaka (267 km)


Mkuze Game Reserve

  • Km from Durban: 321 km
  • Drive Time: 4.5 hours
  • Closest Airport: Richards Bay
  • International Airport: King Shaka
  • Distance from Airport: 340 km


Nambiti Game Reserve

  • Km from Johannesburg: 383km
  • Drive Time: 3.5 hour
  • Closest Airport: Pietermaritzburg
  • Closest Town: Ladysmith
  • Distance from Airport: 158km


About the Reserves close to Durban

This is the oldest proclaimed park in Africa and it is also one of the few state-run parks in KwaZulu Natal. The Park features black rhino as well as the largest white rhino population in the world making it worth the drive. The park covers around 96 000 hectares of land which is rather hilly but it still offers a variety of animals. Game viewing options include self-drive, guided game drives, guided walks and boat trips in the dam.
The park features a number of lodges that cater for a range of budgets.

Directions from Durban to Hluhluwe:

Take the N2 north bound out of Durban for 220 km. You will pass through 3 Toll roads enRoute. Turn left on to the R618 west bound and follow the signs

One of the most prestigious of all South African reserves Phinda Private Game Reserve is perfectly positioned along the borders of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park.
It's proximity to the coast and the wetlands helps Phinda boast five different ecosystems. Choose from a variety of Luxury Phinda Lodges in the 23 000 hectare area, each has it's own unique character and charm but all have luxury facilities in common. Enjoy twice daily game drives where expert rangers lead you through your unforgettable bush break adventure, or truly connect with your surrounds during a bush walk.
The game viewing is superb with cheetah an exciting specialty!

Directions from Durban to Phinda:

Take the N2 highway northbound towards Stanger/KwaDakuza; There are 3 toll roads on route to Phinda, Remain on the N2 until 10 km after the town of Hluhluwe. Take the sign-posted “Phinda” off-ramp and at the top turn right onto the bridge and head towards T-junction, Turn left onto a gravel road and follow it for approximately 4 km until you reach a railway line Cross the railway line and turn immediately right
Ahead of you is the entrance gate to the Munyawana Private Game Reserve. Follow the signs to your lodge from there

The Mkuze Game Reserve is located in Northern Zululand and spans around 40 000 hectare. The Reserve was declared a protected area on the 15 February 1912. The Reserve is known for the diversity of habitats including savannah, woodlands, sand forests, riverine forest, pans, grasslands, cliffs and rocky ridges. The reserve makes up the north western spur of the st Lucia wetland park, which was declared a world heritage site in 1999. Costs: For more about accommodation and rates take a look at: www.mkuze.org

Directions to Mkuze

Do not confuse the National reserve, Mkuze Game Reserve, with the Private Game Lodge of Mkuze Falls which is in the Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve

If you are heading to the one of coastal areas on the East Coast north or south of Durban, then Nambiti is a great place to break up your journey and get some quality game viewing in to make a perfect Beach and Bush holiday. Nambiti has a good selection of 4 and 5 star properties and the game viewing is excellent

Directions to Nambiti from Joburg

Direction from Joburg to Nambiti, Head towards Durban on the N3 for about 300km, Take exit 246 for R103 toward Ladysmith, Follow signage to N11 to Newcastle and the 1st Nambiti gate is on your right after about 20km. Make sure you know which gate you need to go through.

Directions to Nambiti from Durban

Drive to Ladysmith on the N3. Take the Ladysmith / Bergville Toll off-ramp. Turn right to Colenso and then left on the R103 to Ladysmith. Alternative link road presently has roadworks and can cause delays.
Enter the town, turn left and drive through exiting on the N11 road towards Newcastle. Approximately 20km from the last traffic light out of Ladysmith on the N11 is the southern Woodlands entrance and 7 kms after that is the Elandslaagte Gate turnoff to the 2nd gate