Waterberg Savanna UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The malaria-free Waterberg Savanna Biosphere Reserve was designated by UNESCO in 2001 and an area marrying conservation with the benefits of tourism. It includes the Lapalala Wilderness Area, Marakele National Park – both offering simple accommodation – and Welgevonden Reserve with more luxurious options. The extensive Waterberg Massif reveals deep valleys, grassy hills, majestic mountains, open plains, rivers and bushveld. The varied habitats are ideal for wildlife.

The Waterberg is fascinating for its archaeology, with finds dating back to the Stone Age. Skeletons and from primitive man (Australopithecus africanus and Homo erectus) have been found nearby which suggest early humans could have lived in the Waterberg as early as three million years ago, perhaps using the overhanging cliffs as natural shelters. San (bushmen) hunted in the Waterberg around 2000 years ago, leaving rock at Lapalala depicting antelope and rhino. In the Iron Age around 1300AD, Nguni people left defensive dry stone walls, some of which can be seen today.

As well as game drives, the area offers great bush hiking, mountain biking and excellent horse-riding through the wilderness