The Waterberg isn't as well known as some of South Africa's other wildlife areas, but you'll discover beauty, tranquillity, and plenty of game in this protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Choose a private reserve such as the Welgevonden, or visit the Marakele National Park, home to rare black rhino.

Did you know?

Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic, reputedly banished ‘difficult' Boer farmers to the Waterberg.

The malaria-free, scenic Waterberg is a rare wildlife haven. A protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, its four mountain ranges form a spectacular backdrop to the first-class game reserves of Welgevonden, Entabeni and Lapalala Wilderness.

From stylish thatch and wood lodges, to secluded bush hideaways, you can enjoy a truly luxurious safari experience in this ecotourism Eden, where the welfare of the environment, wildlife and community remain at the forefront.

There are over 1 500 private game lodges in this lovely region, and although not all the Big Five are here, you could spot rhino, elephant, buffalo, lots of antelope, and if you're very lucky, the elusive leopard.

In Marakele National Park, where the highest sandstone and red quartzite peaks of the Waterberg soar, you'll find wild, dramatic beauty, as well as attractive, affordable, parks accommodation.

Go on a hunting safari, visit intriguing rock-art sites, seek out over 300 species of birds in the reserve then head for nearby Nylsvlei wetlands, a Ramsar site and bird watchers’ paradise.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Limpopo Tourism and Parks
Tel: +27 (0)15 290 7300

How to get here

Fly to Polokwane, and then take the N1 south to Bela-Bela. By road, take the N1 north motorway directly to Bela-Bela.

Best time to visit

The Waterberg is a year-round destination, although Summer (October to February) can get very hot.

Around the area

Makapans Valley, an important palaeontological and archaeological site; Mokolo Dam (excellent fishing); Nylsvlei Nature Reserve.

Length of stay

Two to three nights.

Where to stay

Marakele National Park, Mabula Game Reserve, Mabalingwe Game Reserve or any other of the numerous reserves and lodges in the area.

What to eat

As this is a popular hunting area, venison is always a good bet.

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