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SSet in the foothills of the beautiful Waterberg mountains, Bela-Bela's hot springs were originally used for healing purposes by the Tswana people hundreds of years ago. Today these legendary waters have been turned into a series of fountains, pools and bathing areas at various health and holiday resorts.
RRound up your family and friends and head for this charming historic town in the Waterberg bushveld. Bela-Bela offers you relaxing hot springs to swim in, mountains to climb and hike, unspoilt landscapes and many well-preserved wilderness areas. Frolic in their fun water world or take a game drive if you love wildlife and birds. Bela-Bela means “boiling boiling” in the Tswana language, which refers to the hot springs that are this town's main attraction.
PPack your swimming costumes and towels. Bela -Bela's ancient hot springs remain nature's gift and you can swim, soak, slide down watery tunnels or just lie in the shade and relax.
This is hiking, game-viewing, cycling, wandering country. Big skies and red sandstone mountains, abundant game and remarkable birdlife. Take your pick from a number of reserves including Mabula, Kunkuru and Sondela. Lapalala Wilderness has long been at the heart of conservation in the Waterberg, and here you can meet two orphaned rhinos, one black, the other white, and find out about their history and habitat.
BBirds, from ducks, sand pipers and kingfishers to storks, buzzards and fish eagles, are the main attraction at the nearby Nylsvley Nature Reserve. Nylsvley’s floodplain is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and is one of the top birding spots in the country.
From cycling to marathon running, there’s also lots of sporting action in Bela-Bela. Over 15 000 people from around the country gather at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve near Bela-Bela annually for the Mabalingwe Lion Man Mountain Bike Race, one of the most popular mountain-bike events in South Africa.
The Warmbaths Dam, some 8km from town, is a popular spot for water sports and fishing. There are excellent golf courses in the area, many of them with wild animals sharing the greens.
You can also take a guided tour at the Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm near Bela-Bela, one of the largest commercial crocodile farms in the country.