Copyright 2018 Traveling Circus
IN THE WATERBERG NYLSVLEY REGION
The Waterberg is all majestic mountains and stupendous scenery, as well as having the largest floodplain in South Africa. Just a couple of hours out of Gauteng, the Waterberg gives you the opportunity to do a weekend dash to the mountains for some fantastic outdoor activities like hiking, birding and walking or cycling through areas where wildlife abounds. Beautiful lodges in mountain-bushveld areas are a perfect base from which to explore the Waterberg Meander or Clive Walker’s new Waterberg Living Museum. From horse-trails to a treasure-trove of crafts, there is something for everything to enjoy in the Waterberg. It has the added advantages of being close to Gauteng and free of malaria.
The Waterberg Mountains hold a host of surprises for visitors: the north-eastern escarpment of the Waterberg has the most spectacular scenery or you can spend some time following the Waterberg Meander where you can enjoy historical sites, a Goat Farm and Dairy, art galleries, hiking and eco- trails as well craft shops. You can take a closer look at the Church of St John the Baptist, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in the late 1890’s and is still beautifully preserved. Vaalwater has a small-town feeling that brings you back to earth and is the hub of the Waterberg. Here you can just sit back and enjoy the ebb and flow of life in the country.
Stop in to explore the Black Mamba Gallery and grab a bite to eat at the delightful Seringe Café before heading back to your mountain lodge whether it be Lindani Lodges and Safaris; The Waterberg Cottages or one of the other stunning lodges in the region.
Stretching more than 150km from the Marakele National Park in the south-west to the Masebe Nature Reserve in the north-east the Waterberg covers an area of 14 500 square kilometers. Within it lies the 8000 square-kilometer Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. Clive Walker says, ‘The Waterberg was one of the last areas to be penetrated by the Europeans because the Mountain Massif made it difficult to get into. The Waterberg has a sense of history with many of the original families still living in the area, generations on and Kranskop mountain is a sacred site with the spirits of departed chiefs honoured there.’ Author, poet, doctor and pioneering naturalist, Eugene Marais who lived in the Waterberg said, ‘I was caught by a sense of vastness which held me breathless for a moment.’
This region is a birder’s paradise with the largest Cape Vulture breeding colony in the country, four Provincial Reserves and over 150,000 hectares of private reserves. One of the key attractions of the region is the largest inland floodplain in South Africa. The spectacular Nylsvley floodplain, which floods every 3 or 4 years, is a registered RAMSAR site due to the importance it has for waterfowl in South Africa. Then there are the hundreds of kilometres of Limpopo River along the Botswana border which are incredibly scenic and are home to the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl.
The Mokolo Dam, Doorndraai Dam and D’Nyala Provincial Reserves are also great ways to access the Waterberg outside of the private reserves. The Waterberg-Nylsvley region offers the opportunity of a short road-trip for spectacular scenery and a variety of activities in the vast wide-open spaces.
We are planning a roadtrip through the Waterberg soon…
tell us about your favorite lodges and the things you love to do.