Holiday Accommodation in Vaalwater

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Olievenfontein Game Reserve VaalwaterSelf-catering
Olievenfontein Game Reserve is a stunning self-catering reserve set in the breathtaking malaria-free Waterberg mountains. Lying at 1.500 meters above sea level, it offers spectacular views over the Waterberg, great game viewing and a fantastic climate. Olievenfontein Game Reserve offers absol...


Nedile Lodge      VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Nestled deep within the Malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve, situated in the breathtaking Waterberg Biosphere is the spectacular Nedile Lodge, where guests are met by pure luxury, warm hospitality and terrific activities to enjoy. Nedile Lodge offers guests a truly African holiday experience, f...

Clearwater Kudu Lodge VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Emperor Tours South Africa VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Indabush Game Lodge cc VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Jobedi Game Lodge VaalwaterSelf-catering
Lapalala Wilderness Reserve VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Lindani Game Farm VaalwaterGuest House
Matswani Safari Lodge VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Mhondoro Game Lodge      VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Sediba Private Game Reserve      VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Shibula Lodge & Bush Spa      VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Shidzidzi VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
The Wild Fig Tree VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Touchstone Game Lodge VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Tulani Bushcamp VaalwaterCamping & Caravan
Wooded Peaks Game Lodge      VaalwaterHotel / Lodge
Zebras Crossing Private Safari Lodge VaalwaterHotel / Lodge

Vaalwater/ Waterberg

Tourist Routes/ Meanders
The African Ivory Route

The Rhino Museum in the Lapala Wilderness is the first museum devoted entirely to the conservation of the rhinoceros. It highlights the evolutionary history, habitats and landscapes, the rhino wars, illegal trade and use of rhino horn and conservation efforts to preserve rhinos. Considering that both black and white rhinos almost became extinct, that there are only four major populations of rhino surviving in Africa today (in Kenya,Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa) and that South Africa at present has the highest population of both species,a visit to this museum is certainly worthwhile.

The Waterberg Museum situated at the original Melkrivier School houses fascinating information on the cultural history of the area, dating from the first hominids a million years ago, to the first white pioneers and latter-day personalities such as naturalist and poet Eugene Marais who lived in the Waterberg.

The Church of St John the Baptist just outside Vaalwater, en route to Melkriver, is a charming thatched church made from local materials and designed by the famous architect Sir Herbert Baker. The Vaalwater area boasts several herb farms which can be visited.

The Mokolo Dam and Nature Reserve is a popular fishing and picnic spot on the Mokolo River, 50 kilometres northwest of Vaalater. The dam is also the site of  one of the Africa Ivory Route camps.

The scenic beauty of the Waterberg can best be enjoyed by exploring the area on foot along the many hiking and walking trails developed for this purpose on most properties and reserves.Too numerous to list, details can be obtained from the Community Tourism Association.

The majestic Waterberg wilderness area offers an unrivalled African bush experience, the ultimate in 4x4 excursions and the opportunity of staying over in rustic self-catering hideaways or luxury upmarket lodges that blend effortlessly into the splendid scenic surroundings.

The close proximity to the Gauteng metropolitan area (only two and a half to three hours' drive), the absence of malaria and an excellent tourism infrastructure make the region a sought-after holiday destination.

The Waterberg Range, so called because of the many rivers, streams and wetlands, is the collective name for the Sand River Mountains, the Hoekberg, the Swaershoek Mountains and the Moepel Range. The southern slopes of the mountains are characterised by vertical cliffs and awesome rock formations, whilst the northern slopes descend gradually to the vast bushveld savannah plains beyond.

The mountains stretch for 150 kilometres in an arc from Thabazimbi in the West, past Modimolle to Mokopane in the east. Besides spectacular mountain scenery, the Waterberg offers a fascinating range of indigenous trees and shrubs and incorporates many game and nature reserves. The area offers sanctuary to some 75 mammal species, including the Big Five, as well as the African python and the Nile crocodile. With more than 350 bird species, the Waterberg is a birdwatcher's paradise.

The Waterberg has a long history of human occupation and has been inhabited by a succession of people over hundreds of thousands of years. From Stone Age people, to the San (Bushmen), Khoikhoi herders and Iron Age people, all have left their traces in the form of paintings or iron smelting furnaces. The region is rapidly emerging as one of the most important San rock art sites in South Africa and boasts many fascinating rock paintings and geological sites to visit.

In 1990 the Waterberg Nature Conservancy was established in which several conservation areas were united to conserve more than 150 000 hectares of Waterberg habitat. The conservancy incorporated privately owned farms, nature reserves and 26 rural villages in the Bakenberg area, as well as the close on 900 labourers who lived there.

The Waterberg Savannah Biosphere Reserve was established in 1996 to maximise the area's considerable potential for conservation, sustainable development and social upliftment. The initiative aimed at linking conservation and development, allowing local communities and authorities to become stakeholders in the development and conservation of the area in which they live. In this way partnerships were created between private sector, community structures and government. Through creating education and training opportunities, the biosphere has had a significant impact on the lives of all who live within its boundaries.

The reserve incorporated the Waterberg Nature Conservancy, the protected areas of Masebe Nature Reserve, Moepel Farms, Mokolo Dam, Marakele National Park and the Nylsvley Nature Reserve, as well as several private reserves such as Lapalala Wilderness, Touchstone Game Ranch, Kwalata and Keta.

The reserve has become one of the major conservation and tourism areas of the province and, following recognition by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was awarded international status in 2001 as the first savannah biosphere reserve in Southern Africa.

The difference between a biosphere reserve and a provincial or national park lies in the former embracing an integrated land use development plan which includes agricultural areas and settlements of all cultural groups living in the area, as opposed to purely conservation areas. Ownership of a biosphere reserve is vested in a representative community structure.

Because much of the Waterberg is not suited to crop or cattle farming, vast pristine areas still exist and game farming is practiced extensively. With more than 250 game lodges scattered throughout the region and a wealth of other adventure opportunities, the Waterberg has become an important adventure and and ecotourism destination.

TOURIST INFORMATION
Waterberg Community Tourism Association.
PO Box 49, Vaalwater 0530. Tel:014 755 3564/3535
Cell: 083 229 2421 Fax: 014 755 3566
E-mail: bigfivetobacco@icon.co.za; lodge@quselle.co.za

TOUR OPERATORS
Waterberg 4x4 Adventures
Tel: 014 721 0828.
Quselle Afri-Adventures
Tel: 014 755 4118
Group Africa Super Tours
Tel: 082 683 6877
Waterberg Central Reservations
Tel: 014 7920815
E-mail: sonja8wcr.co.za

ACTIVITIES
Hiking and Walking Trails
Consult Tourism Association. Tel: 014 755 3535

Horse trails
Horizon Horseback Adventures. Tel: 014 755 4003
Uintaba Lodge. Tel: 083 443 5904.
Shelanti Game Ranch. Tel: 014 765 0097
Waterberg Game Park. Tel: 083 630 3615

Mountain hiking & 4X4 trails
Born Wild Game Lodge. Tel: 082 876 6005
Jobedi Game Ranch (Only 4x4). Tel: 011 662 1492
Mount Leisure Bush Camp (Only bikes) . Tel: 014 721 0927
Shelanti Game Ranch. Tel: 014 765 0097
Waterberg 4x4 Adventures (Only 4x4). Tel: 014 721 0828
Waterberg Game Park (Only bikes). Tel: 083 630 3615

Hunting & Photographic Hunting
Burgerspoort Safaris. Tel: 014 755 4134
Indabush. Tel: 014 755 4113
Quselle Afri-Adventures. Tel: 014 755 4133
E-mail: hunt@quselle.co.za
Kwagga Safaris. Tel: 014755 3514

GENERAL INFORMATION
Rhino Cultural Museum. Tel: 014 755 4428
Waterberg Biosphere Reserve.
Tel: 014 755 4062
Waterberg Nature Conservancy.
Tel: 014 755 4003

WATERBERG GAME PARK AIRFIELD
Co-ordinates
52406.8 E02823.0
Cell: 083 625 8299