Bela Bela Region

Accommodation in Bela Bela Region

Taryn Cohn

Two’ish hours drive from Joburg lies the small towns of Modimolle and Bella Bella (Nylstroom and Warmbaths to those of us over 25!) in the Limpopo Province.

I had the pleasure of a long weekend in staying at Mabula Lodge and Shangri La Country Hotel and although I am told there are a host of wonderful eateries and activities to do in the area, the real pleasure was never having to get back into my car and drive anywhere (except between the two venues). 

Previously known as Warmbaths, Bela-Bela (Tswana: The pot that boils)  the town is home to geothermic hot springs produce 22,000 litres per hour at 52 °C (126 °F).

Sadly the town has lost some of its earlier charm when it was the holiday destination of choice for many Joburger’s, so staying in Bela Bela is not advised. However a day visit to the baths is still well worth it.

In addition to the relaxing hot spring baths the Hydeo Cenre offers a number of treatments focussed both on relaxation and health. And there are endless pool based kid’s activities for the more youthful at heart.

Our final evening was spent at Shangri La country hotel. It calls itself “Paradise on Your Doorstep”, and to be honest this discerning traveller must agree.

Again, although it is situated not ten minutes away from Modimolle that offers a host of culinary and cultural activities the thing I recommend to do at Shangri La is, well nothing.

Situated on acres and acres of amazing grounds, you can lie by the infinity pool (and soon to come spa centre) or take a minute to centre yourself in the Chime Garden. If activity is what you are after then spend some time creating transient masterpieces in the Zen garden. For the more enthusiastic there is a tennis court and full soccer pitch. I caught site of a volleyball net but quickly hid before my illusions were shattered! I believe there is also fishing in the area but I prefer my fish on a plate rather than a line!

And with a breakfast buffet and an ala carte restaurant for fine dining, and miles of land to walk around, there is really no need to get into a car to go anywhere. In fact this is just the place to spend a weekend getting away from it all.

Images courtesy © Limpopo Tourism & parks

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