5 reasons to add the Waterberg to your travel bucket list

Luxury wooden cabin with fireplace.

A luxurious eco-tent in the Waterberg region. Picture: Supplied

Published May 22, 2023


Mzansi has many must-see areas, from the Garden Route, the Karoo and the world-famous Kruger National Park to the countless beautiful towns along our sprawling coastline.

Perhaps lesser known, but certainly right up there with the very best the country has to offer, is the Waterberg.

The Waterberg region includes the towns of Modimolle, Vaalwater, Bela-Bela, Thabazimbi, Lephalale and Mookgophong. These places may less known or off the beaten track, but this area is significant for its natural beauty, including its magnificent mountains, sprawling plains and escarpments, breathtaking flora and diverse fauna.

The region is set within a Unesco biosphere reserve and serves as an example of how a distinctive ecosystem coexists with humankind. Beyond its importance as a biologically diverse district, the area offers a travel experience like no other.

Here are five reasons why the Waterberg region should be on your travel bucket list, according to Airbnb.

Every kind of accommodation

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious eco-tent with views of the wildlife from your bed, or an off-the-grid mountain cabin, the Waterberg has something to suit your needs.

“Guests can look forward to world-class hospitality when booking a stay with Ntsako, an Airbnb Home Host and a recent graduate of the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy. He is passionate about ensuring guests enjoy their time in the bush when they book a private room at the Lapalala Wilderness School,” said the e-hosting platform.

Best-in-class safari experiences

The Waterberg is home to more than 90 mammal species, including giraffe, blue wildebeest, oryx, white and black rhino, zebra, pangolin and warthog, and more than 200 indigenous bird species.

You can visit Jugomaro Predator Park, a sanctuary for lions, tigers and caracals, where visitors can join a daily feeding tour. Similarly, the Eventieria Wildlife Park is home to a variety of indigenous and exotic animal species, including white lions, wild dogs, corn snakes and iguanas.

A travel experience that gives back to the community

Increasingly, travellers are seeking travel experiences that are sustainable, local, diverse, and inclusive. One way to travel more sustainably is by opting to visit less-frequented destinations like the Waterberg, where tourism is central to empowering local communities.

“The Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy recently trained 41 new people in the Waterberg District Municipality, which helped support them to become tourism entrepreneurs to ultimately share their knowledge and homes with visitors to the area. By supporting these tourism entrepreneurs, travellers are contributing to the economic development of lesser-visited destinations, like the Waterberg,” said Airbnb.

Loads of adventure

Those who enjoy a touch of adrenalin with their nature experiences will delight in the area’s stunning hiking trails, mountain biking and 4x4 routes. There are routes to suit all levels of experience and you’re guaranteed spectacular views from wherever you go.

Locally curated experiences

From food tours to guided hikes, a beauty and wellness experience to learning more about beekeeping, the Waterberg offers as much to do as it does to see.

“The best way to learn about the culture of the area and its people is with an experienced local guide or Airbnb Experience Host, who has that insider knowledge that takes a travel experience from interesting to intimate,” said the e-hosting platform.

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