Waterberg safaris tours & holiday packagesThe rolling hills of the South African bushveld
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Track the Big Five over hills and through scenic valleys and ponder the perfection of an umbrella thorn tree.
If you are looking to spot the Big Five on a tight schedule, the Waterberg region is the place to do so. The area is home to several private Big Five game reserves such as Welgevonden and Marataba, which have spent millions of dollars rehabilitating old farmland, turning it into pristine wilderness and reintroducing lions, elephants and rhinos, among other species. Although any sightings depend on an excellent guide and a bit of help from Lady Luck, it's not uncommon to spot the Big Five during a weekend stay at one of the reserves.
As far as scenery goes, the Waterberg offers some impressive bushveld vistas, with tumbling hills and fertile valleys covered with savanna grassland and patches of acacia trees.
Forget Karen von Blixen's farm at the foot of Kenya's Ngong Hills, I want a game farm in the Waterberg! In summer, the rolling green hills dotted with umbrella and camel thorn trees make for some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern Africa.
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Visitors to this area are spoilt for choice when it comes to adventure activities. Take a hot air balloon ride at dawn over the Waterberg range. Or go on a bush walk (these are offered at some of the lodges) and track elephants, rhinos and lions on foot, accompanied by an armed guide, naturally. Near Marataba private concession and Marakele National Park, you will also find one of the biggest breeding colonies of Cape vultures in the world. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in this area, which makes it a paradise for birdwatchers.
If you're in Johannesburg on business, the Waterberg is an ideal location to extend your trip and enjoy a short safari. The area is located less than four hours from Johannesburg, so if you wrap up your meetings by lunchtime, you could be enjoying sundowners in the bush at dusk.
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