Big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve

The Big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve close to Johannesburg:

Mongena Game Lodge is situated in the malaria-free Dinokeng Game Reserve, the only free-roaming Big 5 game reserve in the province of Gauteng, South Africa, covering approximately 21 000 hectares for guests to explore on an African safari.

Varying terrain and vegetation, ranging from bushveld to grassy floodplains and thornveld including the Mongena 28 ha lake and its surrounding wetlands supports browsing and grazing species that are best enjoyed either by a guided game drive with qualified rangers or via the Wilderness Way self-drive game route. Guests have the opportunity to view lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, brown hyena, wildebeest, red hartebeest, tsessebe, eland, kudu, impala, waterbuck, ostrich, jackal, hippo, crocodile and over 300 bird species, including fish eagles, the endangered blue crane and a breeding pair of martial eagles.

Background of Dinokeng Big-5 Game Reserve

In 1996, the then Premier of Gauteng, Tokyo Sexwale, announced a project to develop a Big 5 game reserve in the area north-east of Pretoria. The Provincial Government’s vision was to capitalise on, and develop, tourism through the creation of a significant game reserve, which would bring employment and economic development to poorer communities in the province. All capital expenditure to establish the reserve was funded by government as part of its facilitative contribution to creating the Dinokeng Big-5 Game Reserve.

The Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve is a unique concept where private landowners agreed to their land being incorporated into the game reserve, while government would support the expenditure on infrastructure to create the reserve. Landowners still retain their landownership and continue to benefit from developing their own tourism facilities and services, particularly beds, on their land holdings, and also from game related reserve income. Government now achieves economic development, job creation and stimulation of tourism via a conservation initiative, without having to purchase significant land to form a reserve.

Current Status

Negotiations continue in order to include key landowners in the area peripheral to the current project and planning is in place to add the third implementation phase, bringing the reserve to 30 000 hectares, in the near future.

Conservation Fees

Dinokeng Game Reserve Conservation fees are in effect. This fee is regulated by the Dinokeng Management Association and will be utilized for the upkeep and management of the Reserve.  This once-off fee per entry is applicable to all guests entering the Reserve with a stay of 1 hour to 30 days and is payable upon exit of the Game Reserve.  Upon entering the Reserve, guests will receive a ticket at the boom gate from the automatic ticket reader.  This ticket needs to be presented for payment and validation at any product owner/lodge/operator enabling the guest to open the boom gate upon exit.  There are also cashiers at the boom gates to assist guests.

  • approximately 21 000 hectares of African bush for guests to explore
  • Home to the Big 5 who roam freely within the reserve
  • Only reserve within Gauteng with the Big 5
  • 40 minute drive from Pretoria
  • 90 minute drive from Johannesburg