Accommodation in Waterberg

Taryn Cohn

With over 15000 hectares to explore, the Waterberg offers attractions for visitors who have a penchant for the outdoors, wildlife and history.  The Waterberg Biosphere is a massif of approximately 15,000 square kilometers in north Limpopo Province, South Africa. Waterberg is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

We started the weekend at Mabula lodge- staying in the Lodge itself. Mabula has both private accommodation (for the lucky few ) and timeshare options but for a stress free, and surprisingly affordable option, the lodge’s double and twin rooms in the bush include breakfast, lunch and dinner and two game drives per day!

We opted for an afternoon game drive, as the idea of getting up with the birds is, well quite frankly for the birds! Instead a leisurely (and large) breakfast followed by a morning’s hard work by the pool was the ideal way to start a weekend. I discovered a new found love for rock shandy’s, which may have had something to do with the novelty of having them brought to your poolside deck chair in a never ending supply.

With little to do but relax the day is nicely punctuated by the regular mealtimes, and surprisingly by lunch we were ready to eat again. Another buffet of the most delicious options of hot and cold items that made it hard to face bearing your bikini bod at the pool after lunch.  Hence,a visit to the inhouse spa was just the thing to prepare for dinner!

Now Mabula’s spa does deserve a mention. Unlike many resort “facilities” this was not the requisite small room run by some chatty local with bad taste in curtains. Mabula’s recently refurbished facility is really superior. Comfortable massage rooms separated by actual walls, hushed tones and great slippers are all part of the experience. I recommend the 90 minutes special although it’s generally advised to start rather than end with the waxing! Nothing like ripping the hair out of your skin for a rude awakening.

And if waxing isn’t enough to shake your senses, there is nothing like a game drive to get up close and personal with a few of nature’s gracefully beasts to do the trick. In an open top jeep, hosted by very knowledgeable rangers (who are also handy with bottle openers and snack food) one can get a little too close to natures graceful creatures. Parking upwind from a lion following a hearty meal (his no ours) doesn’t do much to enhance the reputation of the King of the Beasts. But I guess when nature calls…

Mabula Private Game Reserve boasts 12 000 ha of 'Big Five' (and we saw four in one drive). Additionally, it has the attraction of being a completely malaria free private game reserve.

The most incredible experience was ending the game drive at a candle lit enclave under the trees for a Bush Braai. Imagine if you will white clad tables in a boma under the trees with a selection of food, both braaied and otherwise impeccably served by the chefs themselves. (And the thrilling threat of being stumbled upon by the aforementioned lion at the back of my mind).

And on the topic of food, can I just suggest- come hungry- for all meals.

Sadly, all good things come to an end and after two days that could have been two weeks, it was time to move on. Back through the town of Bela Bela, home of the the Forever Resots Hot Springs.



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