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TThe Waterberg district of Limpopo is a true natural wonder. It features ancient mountains, a rich tapestry of biodiversity, thousand-year-old rock art and a site of critical archaeological and paleontological meaning. Its rolling savannahs also make it a popular safari destination for you and your family, where herds of wildlife, an abundance of birds and diverse plant life can be enjoyed.
The Waterberg district offers a fantastic tourism experience that combines some of South Africa's best features. Mountains, Big Five game viewing and exploring a captivating pre-historic past are just some of its attractions.
A major Waterberg drawcard is the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. It is the only savannah biosphere reserve in southern Africa and features a mix of rock formations, formed over millions of years, significant San (Bushmen) rock art sites and abundant bushveld plains, which support a diverse array of fauna and flora.
TThe Waterberg district is renowned for its spectacular views, which are most evident within the sprawling biosphere reserve. Its pristine bush environment has also precipitated the rise of eco-tourism in this area. There are now a number of game reserves that offer authentic safari experiences, including Big Five game viewing.
The Waterberg, Limpopo
VVisit the Mabula and Mabalingwe Game Reserves or the Marakele National Park with what is regarded as the world's largest colony of endangered Cape vultures, to see Africa at its finest.
While the Waterberg mountains speak of San existence thousands of years ago, the nearby Makapans Valley points to human presence in the region millions of years before. The valley is regarded as one of the country's most significant archaeological and paleontological sites, as it has yielded hominid fossils dating back three million years.
Make sure you visit Mokopane and book a guided tour of the valley and its intricate network of caves, which have been declared a national monument.
OOther outdoor pursuits that can be enjoyed in the Waterberg area include excellent fishing at the Mokolo Dam at Lephalale, bird watching at the exquisite Nyl floodplain in the Nylsvley Nature Reserve (Modimolle) and hiking in Mookgophong.
The Waterberg is also known for its hot mineral springs – many of its towns actually developed around these natural phenomena, which can still be enjoyed today in Bela-Bela and Mookgophong.
Vervet monkeys are playful, mischievous primates that can be found all over eastern South Africa and are hugely entertaining to watch – as long as you keep the kitchen windows closed.
Thakadu River Camp is a Fair Trade Tourism-certified, 5-star lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve, a malaria-free park that brings social and financial benefits to the local Tlokwa community that owns it.
The Big 5 and a bewildering array of life can be found on South Africa’s savanna – regions rich in plant, bird, insect and animal diversity protected in parks like Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and Kruger.
A trans-border adventure from South Africa to Mozambique will take you from game viewing in the bush to idyllic Indian Ocean playgrounds, via the urban delights of Maputo: ‘the Havana of Africa’.
Pafuri Camp and The Outpost – 2 luxury Kruger National Park camps in a Limpopo landscape teeming with life – also generate income for the Makuleke people dispossessed by apartheid.
Marataba Safari Lodge in Marakele National Park, Limpopo, pampers guests in luxury tented accommodation, with the natural and historical attractions of the Waterberg to sample all around them.
The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area brings together protected regions in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, preserving rare vegetation, endangered wildlife and cultural heritage.
The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park joins South Africa’s Kruger and Mozambique’s Limpopo national parks – when the Zimbabwe link is complete, it will be one of the greatest game reserves on earth.