Did you know?
The Waterberg protects the only savannah biosphere in the world.
The Waterberg Biosphere sprawls over a mountain wonderland only three hours’ leisurely drive from Johannesburg.
Including national parks, wilderness areas, private game reserves and tribal areas, one of its greatest developments is the Waterberg Meander.
The Waterberg Meander is not just your average map of coffee-shops and tourist tat. Here social upliftment projects are part of a fascinating mountain destination in and around the Waterberg Biosphere.
From landscape to landscape, you can go from person to person, seeing craft shops, visiting cultural villages and ancient archaeological sites.
You can spend a morning with a family of Pedi potters, who still produce their wares in the same way that their ancestors did (and archaeologists have found exactly such pots in digs around the area).
You could visit the now rather famous Beadle crafts, where a group of (mostly) women have a social upliftment project, affixing decorative beads to leatherwork and making unusual bridles, belts and sandals.
If you’re interested in embroidered goods, head to Kamotsogo Craft Art in the little town of Vaalwater. This is a project that empowers women through skills development. The goods are exquisite and produced right there.
For an overview of the upliftment and skills training happening in the community, go to the Waterberg Welfare Society, which is very active and well-supported. Their visitor centre is well worth a stop.
If you’d like to find out a bit more about the culture of the Pedi people, book a Lehlabile Cultural Tour. A group small group of elderly women from a local farm, who are leaders of the community, would be delighted to show you the traditional ways of food, décor, song and dance.
Groups are also welcome to stay overnight at Telekeshi Ramasobana cultural village, where there is excellent birding, a chance to visit an astounding rock art site, and to learn more about the fascinating people of the Waterberg.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Waterberg Biosphere Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 14 755 4002
Best time to visit
Don't expect to find much happening on a Sunday - most people in this area take it as a day of rest.
Around the area
This malaria-free area is an excellent alternative for wildlife viewing. And a particular attraction is that there are many horse-riding options. In fact, you can stay at a horsey farm and ride every single day if you'd like.
Length of stay
There's a lot to see and do, so budget at least 2 days if you can.
Where to stay
There is a wide range of attractive accommodation options in the Waterberg, with game lodges to suit all pockets.
The Waterberg Meander will have you reaching for your wallet fairly often, but the goods are not very expensive. And the charm is that you can purchase goods from the creators.