Bela Bela, Waterberg

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.

Bela-Bela offers accommodation close to Johannesburg (about two hours’ drive), while still enjoying the more laid-back pace of the Waterberg for those after a relaxing holiday in South Africa. This is the “place of the warm baths”. In fact, its name used to be Warmbaths, more often called Warmbad, an Afrikaans translation. Loosely translated from the Tswana word, 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.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

ITS A GREAT PLACE

tumelo (johannesburg)

Verified reviewexcellent

Got to love the hot springs at Bela Bela

Michelle (Cape Town)

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