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Waterberg

Waterberg

The Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province of South Africa is bordered by the Limpopo River and Botswana border in the West, the provincial boundary in the South and the Magalakwena River in the East. The region is renowned for its hot spring resorts and the beautiful mountain terrain of the Waterberg mountain range. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen on the numerous private game reserves in the region. The spectacular scenery of the region ranges from broad rolling hills to magnificent red sandstone cliffs. Among the hills and mountains of the Waterberg region there is evidence of human occupation dating back thousands of years.

The Waterberg region offers more than 14 000 km of spectacular scenes. There are the Nylsvley Wetlands, where the greatest variety of water-birds are concentrated, the Cape Vulture breeding grounds near Thabazimbi, the Marakele National Park and Lapalala Wilderness Game Reserve and the many curative hot mineral springs. The most important towns of the Waterberg region are Bela-Bela (Warmbaths), Nylstroom, Naboomspruit, Vaalwater, Thabazimbi and Ellisras. Each town in itself is worth visiting, boasting a number of historical, cultural and natural attractions.

The Waterberg region of Limpopo is vast, peaceful and incredibly beautiful. It is a fascinating area with a rich cultural legacy and natural splendour. It is particularly appealing to those in need to find of a place to unwind. The Nylsvley Wetlands are home to the largest number of water birds in southern Africa with more than 400 species. The visitor can be almost guaranteed to sight more than 200 species in a single day. Visitors can stay over in the camping ground, or in one of the many lodges close by to. Bird watchers will also witness Cape Vultures as they ride the thermals over the Marakele National Park near Thabazimbi. The Park, with its rare cycads, tree ferns and yellowwood trees is home to around 800 breeding pairs.

The region encompasses vast tracts of bushveld savannah punctuated with clusters of trees and tall savannah shrubs, the extensive and mountainous Waterberg area and the Springbok Flats in the south. The Waterberg as we know it today is more than three million years old. Archaeological finds and San paintings are just glimpses of the region's past. Part of a pit prop from an Iron Age mine-shaft found in the Rooiberg area west of Bela-Bela gave a radio-carbon date of approximately 1500 AD. 500 years later mining is still an extremely important part of the economic structure of the Waterberg region, which is one of the richest areas of mineral deposits in the world, and forms part of the Bushveld Igneous Complex - a unique complex of volcanic rocks formed more than 600 million years ago and considered to be one of the geological wonders of the world. The complex extends over an area of 50 000 square kilometres, and is rich in platinum, iron ore, vanadium, tin, tungsten, chromium and coal. The region has a thriving mining industry which will last for many years to come.

The African Ivory Route, which has its origins in the legendary exploits of early ivory hunters and gold traders, runs through the Waterberg region. Today the route is an important ecotourism and 4x4 adventure destination much sought after by safari enthusiasts. Traversing rugged mountainous terrain and stunning wilderness areas, the route offers scenic camps, exciting off-roading and many other adventure opportunities for safari enthusiasts. The route will appeal particularly to the person drawn to the African wild. Scattered throughout the Waterberg region are many curative hot mineral springs where visitors can relax and enjoy a sense of well-being.

The Waterberg region in Limpopo Province, South Africa, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and array of outdoor activities.

Here are ten things to do or see in the Waterberg region:

  1. Game Viewing: Explore the diverse wildlife of the Waterberg by embarking on a game drive in one of the many private game reserves or national parks in the area. Spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo) as well as other fascinating species such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes.

  2. Hiking Trails: Lace up your boots and hit the trails to discover the natural beauty of the Waterberg on foot. The region offers a variety of hiking trails suitable for all levels of fitness, from leisurely walks to challenging treks. Don't miss the Waterberg Wilderness Trails or the Marakele Wilderness Trails for an immersive wilderness experience.

  3. Marakele National Park: Visit Marakele National Park, which is home to a stunning diversity of landscapes, including mountains, valleys, and grasslands. Enjoy game drives, birdwatching, and scenic picnics while surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

  4. Waterberg Biosphere Reserve: Explore the UNESCO-listed Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, which encompasses a mosaic of habitats and supports an incredible array of flora and fauna. Learn about conservation efforts and the region's cultural heritage at visitor centers and heritage sites within the reserve.

  5. Hot Air Ballooning: Experience the beauty of the Waterberg from a unique perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Drift serenely over the landscape as you soak in panoramic views of mountains, rivers, and wildlife below.

  6. Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Waterberg by visiting local villages, interacting with community members, and learning about traditional customs and lifestyles. Don't miss the opportunity to sample traditional cuisine and crafts.

  7. Adventure Activities: Get your adrenaline pumping with a range of adventure activities available in the Waterberg, including zip-lining, abseiling, quad biking, and horseback riding. Thrill-seekers can also try their hand at rock climbing and bungee jumping.

  8. Birdwatching: With its diverse habitats and abundant birdlife, the Waterberg is a paradise for birdwatchers. Grab your binoculars and head to birding hotspots like Nylsvley Nature Reserve and the Mabula Private Game Reserve to spot a wide variety of bird species.

  9. Visit Bushman Paintings: Discover ancient rock art sites scattered throughout the Waterberg region, providing insights into the lives and beliefs of the area's early inhabitants. Take a guided tour to explore these fascinating archaeological sites and learn about their cultural significance.

  10. Relaxation and Wellness: Unwind and rejuvenate amidst the tranquility of the Waterberg with a range of wellness activities and spa treatments offered at luxury lodges and resorts in the area. Indulge in massages, yoga sessions, and holistic therapies surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.

Whether you're seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, cultural immersion, or simply a peaceful retreat, the Waterberg region of Limpopo Province offers a wealth of experiences to suit every traveler's interests.

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Waterberg Accommodation and Information. Waterberg, Limpopo.
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