Discover the natural beauty and wildlife of South Africa's pristine Waterberg region
The Waterberg region is located in the north Limpopo province in South Africa, and despite its natural beauty, it's one of the lesser-known tourist destinations in the country. British travel writer Christopher Clark from CNN highlights seven reasons to visit the stunning area, from wildlife encounters and human heritage, to warm baths, hiking and horse riding.
South Africa is renowned for its wildlife, vast plains, beautiful coastline and national parks. While most travellers head to Cape Town, Johannesburg or the Garden Route, many don’t even know about the rugged region of Waterberg.
Christopher Clark, a travel writer from CNN, highlights seven reasons why more holidaymakers should visit Waterberg region in the north Limpopo province and its mountains, rock formations, and winding river valleys.
The Marataba Private Game Reserve is situated on the edge of the Marakele National Park, and is home to the new Marataba Trails Lodge where visitors can enjoy unique safaris.
Unlike other safari lodges in South Africa, there are no game drives from Marataba Trails Lodge, and instead guests take guided walks with experts to beautiful grasslands, verdant valleys and steep hills to catch sightings of the Big Five in their natural habitat.
Designed for hikers, Marataba Trails Lodge, is eco-friendly and solar-powered and was built using sustainable materials including wood and stone.
The lodge can only accommodate up to eight guests at a time, and during their stay they can learn about their surrounding natural and remote environment.
Ant’s Nest and Ant’s Hill sit on a family-owned reserve near Vaalwater and are perfect for families looking to take an active break. The two lodges, named after the owner Ant Baber, offer an array of activities including game drives and walks, but its forte is horse riding, and guests can take guided rides to catch glimpse of giraffes, rhinos, and buffalos.
The Waterberg Meander offers a drive with a spectacular view, and the 350km route travels through the Waterberg Biosphere, giving travellers the chance to stop and enjoy trips to several game and nature reserves, and visit the region’s historical and archaeological sites.
Visitors can head to Vaalwater town for coffee and handmade souvenirs at The Black Mamba, or they can take the Lehlabile Cultural Tour, and learn about local food and traditions from local women from the Pedi ethnic group.
Welgevonden Game Reserve spans 37,000 hectares of farmland, and over the years it has been part of a conservation project to restore it to its original state.
Home to more than 50 animals and 300 bird species including South Africa’s healthiest white rhino population, as well as elephants and cheetahs, the wilderness area is one of the country’s most successful conservation success stories.
Visitors can stay in a choice of affordable luxury lodges, including the secluded Nungubane Lodge.
More than 400 species of birds reside in the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, and when the flood plain is at its peak water level in the summer months, 80,000 birds can be found here. As well as being one of the southern Africa’s largest bird habitats, the reserve is also home woodlands where zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, and antelopes roam around freely.
Travellers can explore the reserve via its hiking trails or by jeep safari, and if they’re lucky, they might see a leopard or brown hyena along the way.
Dating back millions of years, the Waterberg is rich in heritage, and examples of this can be found in the limestones caves in the Makapan Valley. Ancient mammal remains and fossils of human-like primates were excavated by anthropologist Raymond Dart between 1900 and 1950, and these artefacts can be found at the Arend Dieperink Museum in Mokopane. Holidaymakers can also take a guided tour around the caves.
In Marataba and Welgevonden, visitors can still see the series of rock paintings that were left by the native San Bushmen, 2,000 years ago.
Bela-Bela Warmbaths, A Forever Resort
This tourist attraction is a smaller version of Sun City Resort in South Africa and boasts a network of water slides around the natural mineral-rich warm baths, making it a great place for families.
As well as water activities, tourists can enjoy go karting, mini golf and zip-lining, and there are several cafes and restaurants. For more relaxation, the Hydro offers a range of pampering massages and treatments.
Waterberg is one of the many regions in South Africa that boasts magnificent natural scenery. Some of the most popular include the Garden Route, one of the greatest drives on earth that stretches from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town; the iconic flat-topped Table Mountain in Cape Town; and Kruger National Park, where travellers can go on unforgettable African safaris.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In South Africa Browse all
Enjoy a stay within Cape Town's historical city centre for an intriguing South African adventure.
- The Modern and elegant interior design creates a comfortable atmosphere within which to unwind.
- Relish views of Table Mountain, the Dutch East India Company Gardens and Lion's Head.
- The Cape Town historical city centre location provides easy access to Cape Town's major attractions, including Bohemian markets, 18th century buildings, museums, art galleries and quaint squares.
Travel through the wonderful winelands region of South Africa before a short stay in a fully-equipped Dubai city hotel
- Doubletree by Hilton Al Barsha is set in Dubai's Al Barsha area, close to world-class shops, restaurants and popular Dubai attractions, just behind the Mall of The Emirates.
- Rental car included for the tour of South Africa
- Travel through the Winelands and Cape Peninsula in one of the most beautiful areas of the world
Go for the experience of lifetime on this self-driven Kruger route - a classical tour that offers something for everyone with magical views along the way.
- The package includes accommodation in carefully selected 4* properties, meals as well as car hire including a GPS during your entire journey
- The tour is 7 nights and 8 days long with insights into the history of South Africa, cultural diversity, adventure, scenic beauty and unforgettable safaris
- Enjoy 4 game drives including morning and afternoon safaris to see elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, hippos and many more animals
From the amazing Blyde River Canyon to the iconic table Mountain, this tour has it all!
- Explore the underground Cango Caves at Oudtshoorn
- Visit a real Chief's village in Swaziland
- Go in search of Africa's 'Big Five' in Kruger National Park
Tour Summary South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic...
Overview South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic...
HIGHLIGHTS TOUR SAFARI, WINELANDS & CAPE TOWN South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place...
Nestled upon the St Lucia Estuary, the elephant lake hotel is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a thrilling array...
Sprinkled alongside the tranquil waterways of the picturesque V&A Waterfront Marina, The waterfront village boasts a...
Surrounded by more than 8,000 hectares of malaria free, unspoiled African bushveld, the affordable, laidback and...