Waterberg

The blue-hued Waterberg imposingly stretches its full length from Thabazimbi in the south west, to Lapalala River in the north east of the Limpopo Province

Limpopo Tourist AttractionsThe Waterberg Region

Known simply as Water Mountain, the blue-hued Waterberg imposingly stretches its full length from Thabazimbi in the south west, to Lapalala River in the north east of the Limpopo Province, supporting a biome of over 15 000 square kilometres.

Where? Waterberg Region, Limpopo, South Africa

Overnight? See Waterberg accommodation, in Limpopo

This rugged clime, where you find very few tarred roads or human interference to mar your visit, is possibly one of the closest to an authentic African savannah experience one can find, if many-faceted Africa can have any one landscape or experience.

The Waterberg is the first region in the north of South Africa identified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and the incredible rock formations in evidence were shaped over hundreds of millions of years by riverine erosion. This recognition goes some way to impart the beauty of this lesser known part of the country – its incredible scenery, often accentuated by late afternoon thunder storms, plummeting mountain gorges, clear streams, and rolling bushveld. That a group of Dutch travellers set on finding Jerusalem from Cape Town mistook the Waterberg for Egypt is understandable.

A large portion of the Waterberg’s bushveld country has been given over to the conservation of elephants, white rhino, leopard and buffalo. Land owners have restored land overgrazed by cattle, to attract and protect antelope, giraffe, hippo and other species, with an accompanying rise in the trend of eco-tourism, and the marketing of the Waterberg as prime game country – the Marakele National Park, near Thabazimbi, is well worth a visit, as are other game farms in the area.

The Waterberg has an extensive history with evidence of the first human ancestors as early as three million years ago. Closer to our history, the San, who produced beautiful rock paintings at Lapalala, entered the Waterberg about two thousand years ago.

Popular Towns in the Waterberg Region

Alma

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Alma lies just east of the Marakele National Park and south of the town of Vaalwater, connected to the latter by the R33. It is a tiny town in the midst of bushveld that stretches as far as the eye can see, interspersed only with...

More info and photographs: Alma Information

Bela Bela

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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...

More info and photographs: Bela Bela Information

Dwaalboom

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Just over the border between the North West Province and Limpopo, Dwaalboom lies east of Madikwe Game Reserve and north of the Pilansberg National Park virtually in the middle of nowhere. It has a cemetery, a cement factory, and a primary...

More info and photographs: Dwaalboom Information

Lephalale

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Lephalale is a fast-growing town on the banks of the Mogol River. Ellisras is the last stopover for safaris en-route to Botswana and the Okavango Delta. The region is world famous among hunters and is also known for excellent fishing...

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Marken

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Marken is a small town that is defined by its spectacular setting, right at the edge of the impressive Waterberg Mountain Range. The region has a tranquillity that transcends the hustle and bustle of the South African cities, settling...

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Marnitz

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Right on the N11, near a couple of towns with rather interesting names like Friendship and Registrasie, Marnitz lies north west of Polokwane. It is virtually on the border with Botswana, close to the Grobelersbrug border post - an ideal...

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Melkrivier

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Possibly the main attraction for visitors to Melkrivier is how close it is to Johannesburg. A mere two and a half hours worth of driving, and you’re in an entirely different world. In Melkrivier, nestled in the heart of the Waterberg...

More info and photographs: Melkrivier Information

Modimolle

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Formerly known as Nylstroom the town's history is worth recounting as it makes a good fireside story. A particularly vehement group of Voortrekkers (emigrant pioneers, mainly Dutch, who left farms, primarily in the Eastern Cape, to seek...

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Mokopane

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Once known as Potgietersrus, Mokopane lies about two hours' north east of Pretoria, not far from Polokwane, in the heart of the Waterberg. For years Potties - as the locals, both black and white, still call it - has functioned as a...

More info and photographs: Mokopane Information

Mookgophong

Overnight? Accommodation Mookgophong
Mookgophong is a charming and thriving town at the foot of the Swaershoek Mountains encircled by peaceful nature reserves and steaming hot springs. The Bushveld climate and attractive resorts in the area attract holidaymakers all year round...

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Northam

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Northam, notable virtually only for its 50 kilometre proximity to yet another little town called Thabazimbi, is one of those stoic, modest towns through which one is wont to travel in this part of the world. It is incredibly hot with...

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Rust De Winter

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Situated on the border of Limpopo and Northern Gauteng in South Africa, Rust De Winter is predominantly a large Nature Reserve and Dam with a small residential area. The reserve is approximately 80km north of Pretoria. The Rust de Winter...

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Rooibokkraal

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Rooibokkraal lies in the heart of north western bushveld where the Limpopo meets the Crocodile River and where the sun goes down behind trees silhoetted against a sky devoid of all else but open space and starlit nights. Game reserves and...

More info and photographs: Rooibokkraal Information

Sterkrivier

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Deep within the pristine splendour of the Waterberg Area, nestled within the lush South African province of Limpopo, is the suburb of Sterkrivier. Sterkrivier is the residential address of choice for a number of families and those who enjoy...

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Thabazimbi

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Thabazimbi means "Mountain of Iron" and was named after the discovery of iron ore reefs in the area. As the mine's activities increased the town of Thabazimbi grew and prospered around it. Huge mountains are the setting for the mine and...

More info and photographs: Thabazimbi Information

Tolwe

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Lying in the heart of the Limpopo province, Tolwe lies just off the R561 that branches off the N11 south of the border South Africa shares with Botswana. The little town is easily described as 'in the middle of nowhere', and the nearest...

More info and photographs: Tolwe Information

Tom Burke

Overnight? Accommodation in Tom Burke
Tom Burke, a wee town in the middle of Bushveld country, lies just north of Rietfontein Village at the intersection of the N11 with the R572. This far north, Tom Burke lies virtually on the border with Botswana, and aside from a police...

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Vaalwater

Overnight? Accommodation in Vaalwater
Vaalwater is situated in the uppermost reaches of the Mokolo River and the village is surrounded by farms and reserves offering plenty of opportunities for adventure activities and outdoor pursuits including game and bird watching, mountain...

More info and photographs: Vaalwater Information

Did you know?

The Waterberg, or Thata Meetse in Sotho, is a huge hunk of mountain that runs for 150 kilometres from east to west. It lies above the bushveld plains of the Limpopo province, covering roughly 14 500 square kilometres. At its height, at Geelhoutkop, it sweeps to 6 000 feet. Its name describes the many rivers, inland lakes and streams within its boundaries.

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