Welgevonden Game Reserve is a 35,000 hectare stretch of exceptionally beautiful scenery amid river ravines and mountains in the Waterberg district of the Limpopo province. It is malaria-free and home to the Big 5.
In an under three hour drive or a one hour flight from Johannesburg, you can escape into the Welgevonden Game Reserve, home to the Big 5.
The Waterberg District, where Welgevonden Game Reserve is situated, is a malaria-free, high-altitude wilderness, where several rivers and tributaries rise. It is a rare pleasure to traverse the grassy uplands, with their spectacular views, golden cliff tops and secretive ravines.
Welgevonden means ‘well-founded’, while the Waterberg gets its name from the many springs that appear to bubble out of dry rock after summer rains. The pristine watercourses are full of life, the clean water clucking and gurgling over the river-smoothed rocks.
If you’re interested in botany, ask your field guide about the resurrection bush. If you’re visiting during winter or it’s a dry summer, they will show you a small twiggy plant that looks dead. Cut off a little section and put it in water. Within hours, it will have revived and the leaves will be moss green.
This is a land of milkplums, wild syringas, silver cluster-leaf trees, marula trees, large-fruited and velvet-leaf bushwillows, round leafed teaks and common wild pears.
Insect fanatics will also be intrigued by the ‘Schwarzenegger’ termite, which builds nests under large boulders, gradually lifting them up half a metre above the ground – grain of sand by grain of sand.
And various ant-eaters are plentiful
You stand an excellent chance of seeing aardvark and aardwolf here which, along with the meerkat, the porcupine and the bat-eared fox are part of the Shy 5. Other interesting nocturnal creatures like civets and brown hyenas are also often seen.
Welgevonden Game Reserve is a particularly restful place and you’ll leave feeling revived and restored.