23 Jan Top Wildlife Lodges in South Africa
Choose South Africa’s Top Wildlife Lodges for an Unforgettable Experience
There is probably a trace of the adventurer in all of us. Among those who were in their youth when South African TV first went nationwide in 1976 and the subsequent generation, the roots of this aspiration may lay in the fascinating documentaries produced by the likes of Sir David Attenborough. For those whose youth predates the advent of this historic event, this inner desire can be attributed to the movies and to fictional characters, such as Tarzan of the Apes and Allan Quatermain, the big game-hunting hero of Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines. While hunting wildlife, where this is still permitted, may not be for everyone, a visit to one of the country’s top game lodges, and a chance to see and photograph one or two of Africa’s iconic Big Five in the wild, is an experience that has a near universal appeal.
Game viewing has become a huge industry and the increasing number of overseas visitors to our national parks and private reserves, set on catching a glimpse of elephants at a waterhole or a lion in search of its prey, now represent an important source of hard currency and a vital boost to the country’s economy. While almost everyone in the world with access to TV, radio, a free press or the internet will have heard of the Kruger National Park, it is only in the last decade or so that many of the smaller, yet no less fascinating, private reserves have been gaining international attention. In practice, much of that attention must be attributed not just to their varied and abundant wildlife population, but also to the excellent accommodation, service and facilities that are to be enjoyed at the nation’s top game lodges.
Of the nine provinces that, together, now make up the Republic of South Africa, it is in those in its north-eastern corner that the greatest concentration and diversity of indigenous fauna is to be found. Mpumalanga and Limpopo are co-hosts of the Kruger, while the latter province is home to a region of more than four thousand square kilometres now known as the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve after its status was declared by UNESCO in 2001. Within it lays the Welgevonden Game Reserve, an area with a particularly appropriate Dutch name that means “well found”. The entire biosphere reserve is a malaria-free area, while Welgevonden provides a safe haven for the elephants, rhinos, water buffalos, leopards and lions that together complete the Big Five. In practice, the five represent barely a tenth of the more than 50 species of mammals that, together with more than 300 bird species, promise visitors to the region an incomparable bushveld adventure.
When not roaming the bush with a digital camera or SLR in search of some impressive wildlife shots, for which purpose top game lodges generally provide the services of an experienced local guide, comfort is important and our exceptional facilities provided at Fifty Seven Waterberg are the very essence of comfort. Spacious en-suite rooms elegantly furnished to 5-star perfection and private patios that command stunning wilderness views are just a small taste of the luxury that await visitors to the bushveld retreat known as Fifty Seven Waterberg.