The beautiful Waterberg region, with its imposing 150m high sandstone plateau complete with 200 million year old dinosaur tracks, provides a 41,000 hectare haven for endangered species such as roan and sable antelope, tsessebe, black and white rhino. Predators such as leopard, cheetah, brown hyena, black-backed jackal and caracal can also be found, with the more common prey animals such as gemsbok, eland, kudu, impala, steenbok and klipspringer.
Smaller mammals such as banded mongoose can be encountered on walking trails and the tiny Damara dik-dik and lesser bush babies are often seen foraging near the rest camp at Bernabe de la Bat.
Over 200 species of bird have been recorded in the Waterberg, including critically endangered Cape vultures and the impressive Verreaux’s (black) eagles along the cliffs off the Waterberg escarpment.
The vegetation is dense in parts and wildlife sightings therefore require some effort, but it is a stunning and varied landscape of colourful cliffs, ravines, broad-leafed woodland, grassy plains with acacia trees – all explored by vehicle or walking on trails.
The Waterberg is steeped in history with San (Bushmen) living a traditional existence in the area into the 1960s. Further back in time, the area was the site of the tragic Battle of Waterberg in 1904, involving 1600 men of the German colonial forces and 40,000 Herero men women and children. The latter were almost annihilated, with only a few escaping into the Kalahari desert and British Bechuanaland (now Botswana). A cemetery for the German casualties can be found near the rest camp: there is none for the Herero.