Waterberg & Limpopo

The wide open plains of bushveld north of Johannesburg stretch as far as the wide Limpopo River. The dramatic natural beauty of the Waterberg mountains rises out of these plains...


North of Johannesburg, the wide open plains of bushveld stretch as far as the wide Limpopo River and Zimbabwe. The Limpopo province encompasses several discrete areas: the Waterberg safari region, the northern Kruger safari region and the Soutpansberg. So we've divided it into mountainous Waterberg region and the far northern Limpopo.

Waterberg Safari Options

Rising out of the bushveld plains are the dramatic and beautiful Waterberg Mountains. These lie only 2½ to 3 hours drive from Johannesburg.

The Waterberg is primarily a safari destination. Its attraction is that it offers malaria-free game-viewing within easy driving distance of Johannesburg. This is great for families who don’t want the hassle of flying to the Kruger. Or the more arduous drive to Madikwe. It also makes for a great combination with the Kruger given its relative proximity and contrasting terrain.

The Waterberg is known for its luxurious and romantic game lodges as well as a number of family friendly safari options. The Waterberg safari options include Welgevonden Private Game Reserve and Marakele.

See HERE for more info.

Far northern Limpopo Safari Options

Further north the mystical rocky outcrops stand out around Mapungubwe National Park and the Soutpansberg. In this northern part of Limpopo is a  little-known region of mountains, forests and holy ruins. Here you can enjoy adventurous safaris staying at community-orientated safari lodges.

Again there are several discrete areas to visit.

  • the area around the ruins of Mapungubwe National Park en route to Mashatu.
  • The Soutpansberg with its hiking, gentle game-viewing and cultural interest
  • Tzaneen and the Magoebaskloof
  • The northern Kruger National Park

see HERE for more info.


Why you may love it

  • Malaria-free reserves suitable for family safaris
  • Big Five game reserves
  • Spectacular mountain scenery
  • Venda culture
  • Remote locations far from the madding crowds
  • Mapungubwe National Park with its ancient ruins

When to visit Waterberg & Limpopo

Nov to mid-March

Summer in Waterberg & Limpopo

Limpopo has a Summer rainfall climate with rains starting somewhere in November. The rains are heaviest in January and February but usually take the form of late afternoon or evening downpours which are actually welcome as it cools the air and keeps everything lush and green. Temperatures are hot and humid during the day and stay warm in the evening and night. Limpopo tends to be warmer than Waterberg because the Waterberg is higher in altitude and also further south (away from the equator). This is not the best season for safari as the bush is lush and verdant so it’s harder to spot the game. Plus animals don’t need to come to rivers and waterholes so much to drink. However birding is excellent and the game-viewing is still reasonable within the private game reserves. Afternoon thunder showers can also affect the safari activities. And summer is the time for mosquitos so ensure you have taken malaria prophylactics and cover up at night.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

Mid-March to mid-May

Autumn in Waterberg & Limpopo

Autumn is a pleasant transitional period. By the end of March the rains have stopped, making game-viewing much easier. But it remains warm so sun-lovers won’t be disappointed. Nights are cooler but still very pleasant to eat outside though this starts to change in May… Again the Waterberg is noticeably cooler at night.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

June to mid-Aug

Dry Winter in Waterberg & Limpopo

This is our dry winter climate with virtually no rain for months. This is the best time for game-viewing as the bush is less dense and the animals flock to the rivers for water. Daytime temperatures are very pleasant (21-24c). But – especially in the Waterberg - you will need to have warm clothing once the sun sets. And for any early morning game drives. Night-time temperatures can easily go below 5C in the mountainous Waterberg, especially in June and July. But it starts warming up in August.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

Mid-Aug to October

End of dry season in Waterberg & Limpopo

Technically this is spring elsewhere. But it doesn’t feel very spring-like. Basically it is the end of the dry season it remains a very good time for safari, though the bush tends to be less attractive. The temperatures heat up quickly in September and October prior to the start of the summer rains which usually start in November. However October can bring some early heralding showers.
MAX TEMP 25 ℃ / 77 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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Milandi’s review of Kololo Game Lodge

Kololo is one of the most affordable places to stay in the Welgevonden area.  It is more relaxed than most of the private lodges that we normally use.

It is unusual for two reasons. Firstly their meal basis is Dinner, bed & breakfast and one activity. Which contrasts with the more normal full board and all game activities. These means that it can be more affordable. It is also ideal for an overnight stay especially if you may be arriving too late for an afternoon drive.

You can choose between a 3 hour drive into the Welgevonden. OR, if you stay 2 nights, you can enjoy a 6 hour drive with a picnic breakfast. This leaves at 6am and returns just prior to lunch.

Secondly, they have a choice of 2, 4 and 6 sleeper chalets so it's ideal for families. I wasnt crazy about the standard rooms as they are rather small. But the superior chalets are very nice and good for our clients looking for an affordable and flexible option. So great for multi-generational groups that want to be together and on budget.

Cedarberg : Milandi Joubert
Did you know
  • NamePreviously collectively called the Northern Transvaal
  • BordersLimpopo shares borders with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

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