The Waterberg Region, Limpopo

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.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotels, game lodges or Waterberg accommodation, explore the destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you visit the glorious Waterberg region 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.

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.

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.

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South Africa Accommodation / Limpopo Accommodation / Bushveld Accommodation / Waterberg Accommodation

Destinations in the Waterberg Region

Alma

We are not quite talking Putsonderwater here, but Alma is rather in the middle of nowhere, north of Bela-Bela and west of the N1 en route to Polokwane from Pretoria (Tshwane) and Johannesburg. However, what it has as a distinct advantage is its locati...

Bela Bela

Overnight? Bela Bela accommodation
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 l...

Dwaalboom

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 school, but ...

Ellisras

Overnight? Ellisras accommodation
Ellisras, also known as 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 fishi...

Lephalale

Overnight? Lephalale accommodation
If you’re planning a hunting trip or you want to enjoy the South Africa safari of a lifetime, book accommodation in Lephalale. Lephalale is a fast-growing town on the banks of the Mogol River. Ellisras is the last stopover for safaris en-route to Bots...

Mabalingwe

Overnight? Mabalingwe accommodation
Spread over more than 12 000 hectares of softly rolling hills, this malaria-free 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 species of...

Mabula

Overnight? Mabula accommodation
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 birds, including the world famous Big Five. Home to some 60 mammals,...

Marken

Overnight? Marken accommodation
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 deep in the hearts o...

Marnitz

Overnight? Marnitz accommodation
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 overnight spot if ...

Melkrivier

Overnight? Melkrivier accommodation
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 Mountains, one is tra...

Modimolle

Overnight? Modimolle accommodation
Madimolle lies north east of Bela-Bela, roughly two hours from Johannesburg in the midst of the Waterberg. Formerly known as Nylstroom the town's history is worth recounting as it makes a good fireside story. A particularly vehement group of Voortrekke...

Mokopane

Overnight? Mokopane accommodation
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 farming support town...

Mookgophong

Overnight? Mookgophong accommodation
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. Mookgopho...

Naboomspruit

Overnight? Naboomspruit accommodation
The gorgeous game lodges of Limpopo make for ideal places to stay on your safari adventure, and Naboomspruit has plenty of variety when it comes to holiday accommodation on offer. Mookgophong (previously known as Naboomspruit). Mookgophong is a charm...

Northam

Overnight? Northam accommodation
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 temperatures that...

Nylstroom

Overnight? Nylstroom accommodation
Celebrate the wild landscapes of the Waterberg in South Africa when you stay in one of the guest lodges, B&Bs or bush camps offering accommodation in Nylstroom. Nylstroom now know as Modimolle: The charming town of Modimolle is the commercial centre o...

Potgietersrus

Overnight? Potgietersrus accommodation
Mokopane (previously known as Potgietersrus): A mining and agricultural center. There are several nature reserves in the vicinity. Among them, the Potgietersrus Nature Reserve supports indigenous and exotic game, and is maintained by the National Zoologic...

Rooiberg

Overnight? Rooiberg accommodation
Booking overnight accommodation in Rooiberg is ideal for visitors to Limpopo that want to stay in a quiet, peaceful town away from the big city. It is situated between Thabazimbi (nestled against the dramatic backdrops of mountain ranges) and Bela-Bela (a...

Rooibokkraal

Lying very far north, so far that it is almost on the border with Botswana, Rooibokkraal seems virtually in the middle of nowhere, almost. There are other towns like Thabazimbi and Lephalale, at least 80 kilometres away. But do not let this little pie...

Rust De Winter

Overnight? Rust De Winter accommodation
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 Dam Nature Re...

Sterkrivier

Overnight? Sterkrivier accommodation
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 the prettiness...

Thabazimbi

Overnight? Thabazimbi accommodation
The private game reserves of South Africa in the Waterberg promise some really stunning accommodation in Thabazimbi. Thabazimbi is easily reached from Gauteng by car or plane, the district has a large concentration of private game reserves. With the a...

Tolwe

Overnight? Tolwe accommodation
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 towns of Letshwatl...

Tom Burke

Overnight? Tom Burke accommodation
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 station and perhaps...

Vaalwater

Overnight? Vaalwater accommodation
(Vaalwater has recently been renamed to Mabatlane). In the heart of the Waterberg, the charming town of Vaalwater is considered the "central" town of the Bushveld region. Vaalwater is situated in the uppermost reaches of the Mokolo River and the v...

Warmbaths

Overnight? Warmbaths accommodation
Warmbaths is now known as Bela Bela. Bela-Bela is world-renowned as a holiday and health destination. The hot mineral springs bubble out of the earth at about 22,000 litres per hour. The temperature of the water is a pleasant 53° C and is rich in sodium c...

Welgevonden

Overnight? Welgevonden accommodation
The array of Welgevonden accommodation available to travellers is sure to showcase this spectacular part of the South African and Limpopo countryside to perfection. Welgevonden Game Reserve is a popular weekend safari destination out of Johannesburg. Only...

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