Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa

Pilanesberg National Park

Size55,000 ha
Total nrs220
First elephant arrived1981
Number of animals220
Address Pilanesberg
Place Sun City
Region North West Province
Country South Africa
Website Website


Key People


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants

Elephant keepers
Record history
History of updates2020-10-18

Latest document update2020-10-30 07:03:11
Google map
Relevant literature
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Pilanesberg National Park, located at Pilanesberg, in Sun City, South Africa , was founded in 1979 and the first elephant arrived in 1981.

Living elephants

At the Pilanesberg National Park lives 9 elephants with records in this database: (detail list)
  1. Cyclops
  2. Durga born 1964
  3. Gambo
  4. Lebombo
  5. LT
  6. Nkemele (wild)
  7. Sehlare
  8. Thabo
  9. Uno (wild)

Comments / picturesThe 55,000 ha area was as farmland until 1979 when the local government decided to create a game park.

1979: five young elephants from Addo elephant park were released, of which three died, one was removed, and one (5-6 years old 1979) may have survived.

1981: 6000 animals were resettled into the Pilanesberg as part of Operation Genesis. In December 1981 the first Group of 18 elephants arrived from the Kruger National Park, 13 Juvenile males, and 5 Juvenile females, including an elephant affectionately named Less Than or LT, and between 1981 and 1983, a total of 51 young elephants arrived from Kruger.

1982. one Juvenile male and one Juvenile female from Namibia were released.

1989: the first baby elephant was born.

1983: 13 males and 11 females from KNP were released.

1992: 2 male Adult elephants from Mabula lodge released, but later removed 16th of March 1993, because they among other things, killed a tourist.

1993: 19 males and 17 females from KNP were released.

1994-05: During May 3 males who were killing rhinos were culled.

1996: Until May 1996 six males were culled.

1996-05: total population: 29 females and 22 males (of which 12 males were more than 14 years old) , and 30 Juvenile calves, a total population of 81 elephants.

1998: In 1998 the operation in the Kruger to collect males started and an initial two large males were selected for their new role at the Pilanesberg. The goal would be to dart and collar them so that their movements at their new home could be tracked. One of the elephants was named Thabo. In the same year, field ecologist Gus van Dyk and his team were back at the Kruger selecting more elephants to rehome, opting to find animals from the same area where Thabo was captured in the hope they would recognise each other, the next two were called Pilane and Mavuso, while the final two were Amarula and Lebombo.

2005: During September 2005, a wildfire resulted in Mortality of 29 (18% population mortality) and injury to 18, African elephants in Pilanesberg National Park. Pilanesberg National Park was home to 180 elephants prior to the fire in 2005. Five family units (Gold Monica, Red, Sheena and yellow) and six independent Adult bulls suffered burn injuries (47 individuals), of which 29 mortalities occurred (17.6%of pre-fire population total) ( Woolley et.al 2008)

2020: Pilane and Mavuso died.

Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa South+Africa

Previous website: http://www.pilanesberg-game-reserve.co.za/

References for records about Pilanesberg National Park

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Pilanesberg National Park, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at https://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=971. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Pilanesberg National Park on elephant-news.com

Pilanesberg National Park is mentioned on Elephant News:

DateLinks which opens in new window
2007-09-11Elephant played soccer with me - Elephant News
Population and individual elephant response to a catastrophic fire in pilanesberg national park. - Elephant News
2012-03-04Pain of translocation - Elephant News
2020-09-03Once seen as loners, male elephants shown to follow elders - Elephant News

Search more with Google for Pilanesberg National ParkThe link will automatically include Pilanesberg National Park and open a new browser window.

Search more on the Internet Web for Pilanesberg National ParkThe link will automatically include Pilanesberg National Park and open a new browser window

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