is located in the Waterberg Mountains
area in the North
of South Africa
Set on a 50 square kilometre private reserve in the heart of the Waterberg, this high quality lodge is a wonderfully relaxing retreat in a non-malarial area, very popular with experienced safari travellers and families with children.
The lodge is centred on a large main building under thatch, with lovely lounge and dining areas leading out to terraces and swimming pool, with broad views over the surrounding hills.
Guest accommodation is in five gorgeous and quirky cottages ...
Hideaway is a "superior deluxe cottage", a secluded little place, ideal for honeymooners, but with additional space for two children, featuring private plunge pool.
World's View is a "superior deluxe cottage", rather larger, with bedrooms on two floors, suitable for up to five guests, also featuring a private plunge pool.
Eagle's Nest is a "superior standard room", located high above the main building and with stunning views, with one bedroom for two people.
Family is a "deluxe cottage" with two main bedrooms, one of which has a further loft bedroom for children, suitable for six people. There is also a large lounge area.
Lookout is a "deluxe cottage", also suitable for honeymooners, with one bedroom that can also include an extra bed for a child, making three people.
Activities include horse-riding, with the property having almost a hundred horses. Everyone is welcome to join in, from experienced riders to people who have literally never sat on a horse before, this is the place to learn. The animals in the reserve are completely at home with horses, which means that you can ride up close to zebras, giraffes and rhinos in a really relaxed and natural way. It really is rather special.
Another big activity here is mountain biking, with the reserve having a good network of trails from easy to advanced. It is also possible to visit some neighbouring reserves where there are some serious single track trails.
Other activities include vehicle safari, walking safari and night vehicle safari. Guests are also welcome to join staff on animal welfare and translocation projects, which can be really interesting and involving.
The reserve is owned by Ant and Tessa Baber, whose ascendants first settled in this area in 1886. So the family has been responsible for both claiming this area from nature and now returning it to its natural state. They are really lovely people, as are their staff, many of whose families have also been on the property for generations. All this makes for a very intimate and personal experience, you certainly are more like guests here than numbers.
The owners are key players in the Save the Waterberg Rhinos charitable trust, which seeks to protect almost 1000 southern white rhinos which live in the area, a major part of the world population. The reserve is obliged to spend an enormous amount of money each year on anti-poaching and guests are asked to pay a small levy to assist in these efforts.
Access is usually by road from Johannesburg, a drive of around 3 hours, mostly on main roads, but with the last part of the journey climbing up into the mountains and finally onto dirt tracks for the last few kilometres into the lodge. It is also possible to charter a plane from Johannesburg direct into the reserve airstrip.
The main potential downsides are the relatively small sized of the reserve, the encircling fence, the absence of lions and elephants and the inconvenience of connecting in and out via Johannesburg.Prices