Situated a mere 153km North of O.R. Tambo, lies the ever popular town of Bela-Bela. Nestled in the foothills of the Waterberg Mountain range, it offers visitors the ideal base to connect with nature. With a subtropical climate, this is a year round destination and ideal for the whole family. This malaria free area of the bushveld never ceases to amaze and is a must on any travellers itinerary.
Tswana tribes first moved into the region around the 1800’s where they discovered the hot springs. These springs deliver 22 000 liters therapeutic water at 53°C per hour. They were soon followed by the Voortrekker, Carl Van Heerden who established the first farm and named it “Het Bad”. In 1873 the Transvaal government bought the land and established a resort around these springs. Named after a Dutch biologist, Pieter Harting, it was known as Hartingsburg. During the Anglo Boer War the farm “Het Bad” was occupied by the British and in 1903 renamed it Warm Baths. On 14 June 2002 it was renamed by the South African government to Bela-Bela, meaning “boiling-boiling”.
We invite you to pack your bags and join us on this adventure as we discover the wonderful and exciting activities this charming town has to offer. So whether you’re an adrenalin junkie wanting to glide amongst the abundance of trees and birds or just seeking silence under the stars with a loved one, Bela-Bela offers something unique to everyone.
There are numerous reserves and private game lodges for those who are up for an unforgettable encounter with Africa’s magnificent animals. Guided bush walks, game drives and horseback safaris will allow you to cherish these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The luxury accommodation and friendly hospitality will insure that your soul is rejuvenated upon departure. There are also several places where you can interact with animals like lion, elephant, primates and other mammals to experience the gentle side of these somewhat intimidating creatures.
The region with its abundance of indigenous trees and plants boasts more than 365 bird species. From ducks, sand pipers and kingfishers to storks, buzzards and fish eagles this area is truly a bird haven. So grab your binoculars and camera to see if you are fortunate enough to capture the rare spotted crake in the wild. There are also a multitude of hiking trails available varying from nice leisurely strolls suitable for young and old to challenging trails taking you over rugged mountain terrain and through streams. One thing is certain though, you are never far from nature and the bounty of wildlife and birds never cease to amaze.
Due to its high average annual rainfall there are plenty of perennial dams adjacent to the region. Bela-Bela is known for some excellent bass, carp and tilapia fishing but be sure to hold on tight as the subtropical climate and vegetation assist these aquatic creatures to grow into exceptional specimens. There are several private and public dams you can visit to put your tackle to the test.
The rugged and wildly beautiful terrain challenges both man and machine. The many 4×4 trails are sure to put you and your equipment to the ultimate test. The mountainous terrain provides challenging inclines and declines and with plenty of water it provides dirty fun. The courses vary from grade 2 to 5 so there lies a challenge for all skill levels. Along with the 4×4 trails, quad biking in Bela-Bela is guaranteed to launch you into the thrill zone! Choose from a number of scenic trails, graded in terms of difficulty and the technical skill required from riders, the area offers quad adventures for the whole family. With the different tracks available there is always a new challenge to master, from negotiating the rugged terrain to controlling the quad bike over obstacles. Quad biking is about as much fun as you can get off-road but great care must be taken to ensure that nature is not spoilt simply in the name of fun.
This historic town is the gateway to the Limpopo Province and bushveld, the heartbeat of the hunting industry. With the abundance of plains game found in South Africa available in this region, there is no shortage of hunting opportunities. This is Big 5 country, many outfitters and hunting lodges are available for the trophy and biltong hunter and there is plenty on offer for the patient bow hunter. The bounty of game- and water birds make this a popular wingshooting destination and guided excursions can be arranged to privately owned land. This is a very popular hunting destination due to its close proximity to Gauteng and the abundance of game and is sure to offer a dream trophy to the hunter.
Situated in the centre of town is the world famous hot water springs which are the heartbeat of this community. Numerous pools, slides and super tubes offer entertainment to young and old while the accommodation and camping facilities in the Forever Resorts caters for all your needs. Other than the resort, there are several guest farms, lodges and guest houses to choose from to make your breakaway a most memorable one.
This small town has a big heart and the activities on offer are endless. Be sure to visit this unspoiled wilderness and experience true hospitality. With many restaurants, pubs and coffee shops to quench the travellers thirst a stopover at the foothills of the Waterberg Mountains is a must.
Join us next month as we share our wonderful adventures around the small town called Bela-Bela.