A secluded paradise in the northern Limpopo Province, Waterberg is named for the many reservoirs, swamps, rivers, and streams created by the protruding mountains. The same waters that make this region a fertile sanctuary have endured for millenia, as evidenced by several significant archeological discoveries of cave art and Stone Age bushmen artifacts in the area. The 5,700 square-mile region was named a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO for its incredible history, geography, and wildlife. Found at the convergence of South Africa’s arid western and damp eastern regions, Waterberg’s plains and bushveld mingle with ranges and marsh to attract a number of Africa’s most famous denizen mammals.

The Big Five reign in Waterberg: black and white rhino, lion, buffalo, elephant, and leopard coexist with cheetah, brown hyena, hippo, and a myriad of resident antelope including sable, kudu, eland, impala, and tsessebe. Over 400 species of bird have been recorded in the region, and the threatened Cape Vulture is a regular appearance in the skies of the savannah. Water birds thrive here, as do colorful specimens including hornbills and oriole. Even the mischevious chacma baboon and vervet monkey can be seen and heard among the trees. What’s more, the area is considered malaria-free thanks to the absence of water insects. Cherished for its excellent game viewing, the region is also rich in iron, coal, platinum, and other minerals. Indigenous crops include citrus, tobacco, cotton, and rice.

One of the most impressive sites within Waterberg is Marakale National Park, a mountainous national park located in the reserve’s southwest corner. This is one of Ker & Downey’s favorite places to experience the drama of the bush in remote luxury, relaxing in the sanctuary of the valley beneath towering red cliffs and witnessing the Big Five graze from the comfort of a five-star lodge.

Experience the beauty and diversity of the Waterberg region as part of your customized Ker & Downey South Africa journey — contact our travel experts to get started.