Welgevonden Game Reserve is a malaria free private safari reserve. It borders Marakele National Park in the Waterberg Biosphere.
Welgevonden Game Reserve
The Welgevonden Private Game Reserve is a 34 200 ha, privately owned safari game reserve in the heart of the Waterberg in the Limpopo province of South Africa. This malaria free reserve first started as a conservation area in 1993 through a private sector initiative that resulted in the consolidation of numerous private farms.
Welgevonden borders the Marakele National Park. The Marakele National Park, as its Tswana name suggests, has become a ¨place of sanctuary¨ for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the park. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species can be found here, including elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah and a huge variety of plain¨s game. In addition, Marakele has probably got the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world.
Marakele National Park is currently divided into two parts (the 2500ha ¨Kwaggasvlakte¨ section and the Greater Marakele National Park), by a public gravel road (the Hoopdal Road). Most parts of the park are only accessible by 4x4. The proclamation of Marakele National Park, the establishing of Welgovonden Game Reserve and the development of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve has added significant impetus to conservation efforts in the region. There are future plans to remove the fence between Welgevonden and Marakele, which will allow movement of animals between the two properties. This will make Welgevonden a key part of the core area of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve was proposed as a concept that could integrate conservation and job creation, and was officially declared by UNESCO in 2001, currently covering an area in excess of 4000 kmē.
There is no malaria in Welgevonden or Marakele National Park. This makes it a very popular with travellers wanting to go on safari, but to avoid all the risks associated with malaria or the medication required to prevent malaria. In fact, South Africa is the only safari destination in Africa that has malaria free safari areas. Others include Addo Elephant Park, Madikwe Game Reserve and Pilanesberg National Park.
The Waterberg region has a long history of human occupation and evidence of Middle Stone Age, Late Stone Age (San and Khoi Khoi) and Iron Age inhabitation has been found in the area, of which two rock paintings sites also occur on Welgevonden. Recent indications are that Tswana people have lived in the area since 250 years ago, but it is unlikely that high human population densities were ever achieved.
The first white travellers arrived in 1808, and settled farms were established from around 1845. Since then, however, both cattle farming and agriculture have become sub-economic, and although a few specialized farming enterprises remain based on exceptionally good management and permanent water, conventional farming has largely been replaced by hunting and wildlife tourism.
Welgevonden Game Reserve
Welgevonden was developed on the basis of a freehold title, with the reserve being divided unto 500ha blocks that were sold to private individuals, syndicates or corporates for the purposes of private or commercial ecotourism.
There are no internal fences, but an electrified perimeter fence restricts the movement of large mammal species onto neighbouring properties, and a restocking exercise was undertaken shortly after the reserve was proclaimed. A good road network of 430 km of gravel roads exist on the reserve, which is a mean feat on the rocky, mountainous terrain and sandy soils.
The reserve is situated on the Waterberg Plateau and comprises mountainous terrain that is dissected by deep valleys and kloofs, with occasional old lands that have been allowed to regenerate since the reserves proclamation. Flat plateaus characterise most hilltops, and altitude varies from 1080 m above sea level at the main entrance gate in the north of the reserve to 1800 m above sea level in the southern section of the reserve.
The combination of the veld types of the sour Waterberg Mountains and the sweeter lowland bushveld types historically supported a wide diversity of mammal species, but by the end of the 19 th century most of the large herbivore and carnivore species that were present in the area in historical times had been exterminated by uncontrolled hunting. Over the last 10 years, many of these species have been reintroduced back into the region into reserves like Welgevonden
Featured Welgevonden safari lodge maps
Marataba Lodge Map
: Maratabe Lodge is in the malaria free safari area of the Waterberg Mountains.
Shidzidzi & Nungubane Private Game Lodges Map
: This lodge is in a malaria free safari area in the heart of the spectacular Waterberg
Kololo Lodge map
: Kololo Lodge is situated in the Kololo Game Reserve, in the heart of of the Waterberg biosphere
Kudu Lodge map
: The lodge is a tastefully renovated old farmhouse.
Makweti Safari Lodge map
: Makweti Safari Lodge is an exclusive getaway for those who value privacy, personalized service and excellent game viewing.
Ekuthuleni Lodge map
: Ekuthuleni Lodge, place of peace, has sweeping views of the savannah plains.
Mhondoro Game Lodge map
: Mhondoro Game Lodge offers five star luxury accommodation coupled with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
Nedile Lodge map
: Nedile Lodge has five exclusive suites, carefully positioned between rocky outcrops on a north facing slope with breath-taking views of the Waterberg mountains.
Sediba Private Game Lodge map
: Sediba Lodge has open-plan suites that lead onto personal decks overlooking the majestic Waterberg mountains.
Shibula Game Lodge map
: Shibula Game Lodge is a five star accredited lodge, and is situated close to the best game viewing areas in Welgevonden Game Reserve.
Tshwene Game Lodge map
: Tshwene Game Lodge can accommodate bigger groups without compromising exclusivity.
Wooded Peaks Lodge map
: Wooded Peaks Lodge is elevated over the Tshwene Valley Gorge in a secluded area in the remarkable Welgevonden Reserve.