Bela Bela, Waterberg
Once you've booked your accommodation in Bela Bela, explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Bela Bela.
Just under two hours' drive due north of Johannesburg is Bela-Bela - place of the warm baths.
Which, indeed, used to be its name. Warmbaths. Back before we became a democracy in South Africa when it was more often called Warmbad, in Afrikaans. Loosely translated from the Tswana, Bela-Bela means pretty much the same thing – 'water that boils on its own' or 'the pot that boils'. The hot springs reach 53 degrees Celsius, and claim multiple minerals and beneficial curative properties. You will find them in the Forever Resorts downtown where a series of swimming pools and water slides confine the water.
Lying in the heart of the Waterberg, surrounded by nature reserves and bushveld-type countryside, Bela-Bela continues to derive most of its economic benefit from the springs with a range of wellness centres, and spas. The myriad conservancies, wilderness areas and game farms combine to form the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve – a beautiful part of the Limpopo province.
There are numerous reasons Bela-Bela is as popular as it is (avoid the town during peak season if your idea of a holiday is peace and solitude). It is only an hour from Pretoria, it is great for family holidays – children-friendly venues abound – and its mild climate means that you are almost guaranteed of sunshine.
Add the allure of the Big 5 to this line-up (many of the game farms in the area include elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard) and you can understand why it would be a winning combination, particularly as it is also a malaria-free region.
Bela-Bela is well equipped for visitors with restaurants, coffee shops, its own Waterfront, random and interesting roadside stalls on the R101 and nearby nature reserves that include the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, one of the best places for spotting birds in the country.
Get the Scoop
Bela Bela Reviews
"Got to love the hot springs at Bela Bela"
- Michelle, Cape Town
Visitorials: We ♥ South Africa
Bela Bela Visitorial
Featured in: Visitorials: We Love South Africa
We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Bela Bela. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Bela Bela because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Bela Bela
The Waterberg - a unique wilderness area - is regarded as game country and is no stranger to game reserves like Atherstone Nature Reserve. You'll find it on the border with North West and just south of the border with Botswana. The well known Madikwe Game Reserve ... more information
Elements Private Golf Reserve starts with the advantage of location in the Limpopo Province, one of the most breathtaking malaria-free bushveld regions of South Africa, and the golf course is an unsurpassed Peter Matkovich design. These elements come together to make Elements Private Golf Course one of ... more information
Translated, Entabeni means 'place of the mountain', which goes some way to describe its location deep in the heart of the malaria-free World Heritage Waterberg biosphere in the Limpopo, south west of Lapalala Wilderness Game Reserve. The Waterberg is the first region in the northern part of South Africa ... more information
Kwalata Wilderness, close to Lapalala Wilderness Game Reserve in Limpopo, lies in the heart of the biosphere reserve in the beautiful Waterberg just over 300 kilometres from Johannesburg. The greys and blues of the Waterberg Mountain range provide an infinite backdrop to the bushveld, copious numbers ... more information
Spread over more than 12 000 hectares of softly rolling hills, the malaria-free Mabalingwe Game reserve is host to the big 5, and also hippo, giraffe, hyena and sable to name but a few of the 36 species of wildlife. For the bird lovers there are more than 220 bird species that have been spotted here ... more information
Only two short hours drive North of Johannesburg lies the African wonder that is Mabula Private Game Reserve. This 12000ha of malaria free reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and birdlife, including the world famous Big Five. Home to some 60 mammals, 300 bird species, 100 ... more information
The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains has become a 'place of sanctuary' for a vast variety of wildlife mainly due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moist eastern regions of South Africa. The Marakele National Park is characterised by ... more information
The Nylsvley Nature Reserve is situated in the upper reaches of the Nyl River near the town of Naboomspruit in Limpopo, and includes part of the largest floodplain vlei in the country. The Nylsvley Nature Reserve is well known for its exceptional avifaunal diversity, with 370 species recorded, of which... more information
Almostly 42 kilometres due north of Groblersdal, Schuinsdraai Nature Reserve surrounds the Flag Boshielo Dam (formerly known as Arabie Dam) in the Sekhukhune District of Limpopo. Two aspects make the reserve popular – the fishing, and the scenery - for by all accounts ... more information
Shakama is a privately owned game farm in the southern range of the Waterberg. The Shakama farm covers 640 hectares of natural landscape and lies in the centre of over 10 000 hectares of bushveld ranches. The owners have embarked on a programme, based on and ecological study, to breed a number ... more information
As a testament to its emphasis on eco-tourism and conservation, the Waterberg boasts Africa's only Rhino Museum, devoted entirely to the conservation of rhinoceros. The species, that has roamed Planet Earth for more than 30 million years has been brought to the brink of extinction in less than 30 years ... more information
Set in the foothills of the Waterberg, Tilodi Wilderness is a private game reserve that promises an unspoilt bushveld experience against the backdrop of undulating hills, wetlands and seasonal rivers, just two hours from OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton ... more information
Situated in the magnificent Waterberg Mountain Range of Limpopo, the Waterberg District is the ideal getaway where the weary traveller can relax and revel in the great natural beauty of the bushveld savannah and its rich wildlife heritage. The Waterberg Mountains stretch along more than 5 000 km² of... more information
The Malaria free Welgevonden Game Reserve is situated just 2.5 hours north of Pretoria. Welgevonden Game Reserve is a declared Heritage Site of 33000 hectares and borders the Marekele National Park, situated in the breathtaking Waterberg Biosphere. A true bushveld environment is home to some of ... more information
This pristine 660-hectare bushveld estate boasts a sensational new world class Peter Matkovich designed golf course. It is also home to a variety of indigenous 'non-predator' free-roaming game species. Situated a short drive from Zebula Nature Reserve, Zebula Country Club lies within 660 hectares... more information
Things To Do in Bela Bela
Restaurants in Bela Bela
Events and/or Festivals in Bela Bela