Sometimes one needs just a small break from the everyday huff and puff. You don’t want to travel too far and be away for too long. It is then when you are looking for a place close to home but far enough not to get disturbed.
To find such a place is sometimes difficult. You can’t plan long enough ahead as the itch comes quick and most of the time there is a lot of other itching campers to. The result is that most of the placed within the perimeters you have set for yourself is fully booked or are those that is too busy and noisy and you don’t want to go there.
The perfect camping place that we normally looking for must be:
Within two hours’ drive from Pretoria
- It must offer secluded campsites away from the crowds
- Busy swimming pools and kids playgrounds is a disqualifier
- No day visitor facilities
- Offering hiking trails and 4x4 routes
- Self-drive game viewing
- Must be out in nature where you can enjoy the scenery
While planning a quick break away during June 2015 we found what look like just the right place, and loved it so much that we returned during September 2015.
This was the Waterberg Wilderness Reserve offering views over the surrounding hills and valleys and with natural streams and pools to explore. It is the ideal break away with the family for a week-end and to enjoy you 4x4 vehicle.
Why did we like it that much
We found the Waterberg Wilderness Reserve to be the ideal family break away not too far from Pretoria. It offers quite time with the family and more than enough opportunity to explore the reserve, its nature and wildlife, and as a bonus an excellent opportunity to test and enjoy your 4x4 vehicle and driving skills. A further bonus was to swim in one of the pools in the clean water of the mountain streams.
With only a few campsites far apart you get the feeling that you are the only person in the reserve. The possibility to see one of the other visitors on the routes is remote. You are free to stop where-ever you want and to get out of you vehicle and explore. Where else would you get an opportunity like this.
Late afternoon you can either watch the sunset from one of the high points in the reserve or enjoy it from your campsite while watching the fire and listen to the night sounds.
It really offers you the opportunity to unwind and to enjoy nature at it’s fullest.
Where is it
The Waterberg Wilderness Reserve is on the eastern side of the Waterberg range 204km and plus minus 2½ hours’ drive from Pretoria and close to Polokwane. Take the N1 from Pretoria to Polokwane. After the Kranskop Toll gate take the Mookgopong turn off and drive through Mookgopong with the R101. 33Kms from Mookgopong turn left towards Sterkrivier. The turn off to the Reserve 7kms on this road on your right. Follow the dirt road through farmland and past other lodges till you reach the gate to the Reserve.
Be warned that to gain access to the reserve you will need a vehicle with a high clearance and during the rainy season definitely a 4x4 vehicle.
GPS Co-Ordinates Gate: 24° 12′ 50.61 S 28° 52′ 49.63 E
Camp: 24° 12′ 20.35 S 28° 52′ 24.42 E
A choice of either campsites with good facilities or safari tents are available.
3 private campsites with one ablution block (2 clean bathrooms) and 2 exclusive campsites with own private ablutions.
1 Double bed and 1 single bed/double sleeper couch, bathroom en-suite, hot and cold running water, flushing toilet and basin. Kitchen with gas fridge and stoves. Braai area and patio.
The reserve provides firewood and hot and cold water at the campsites and safari tents. No supplies can be purchased on the reserve. The safari tents are all self-catering and you must be self-sufficient on the campsites. The safari tents are well equipped with all cooking and kitchen utensils and run off solar power lights.
What to offer/What to do
Waterberg Wilderness Reserve offer the ideal wilderness getaway for the family with their 4x4 vehicle.
There are no specific trails or 4x4 tracks but rather areas where you will genuinely need your 4x4 vehicle to enjoy the game viewing, birding and swimming in pools that the mountain streams has to offer. Both game viewing and birding is very good. A drive up the reserves own “Van Zyl’s Pass” is a must for the 4x4 enthusiasts.
Enjoying the early morning sunrise or sunset at night from a viewpoint on one of the highest points on the reserve cannot be described in words.
Campsites and the safari tents are not fenced and wild animals can roam freely through your camp. Leopard, brown Hyaena and Caracal is frequently seen. Be careful when you wander outside during nighttime.
Day visitors are not allowed on the reserve.
Hosts and contact details
Alan Munro will go out of his way to make you feel welcome and to ensure that you enjoy your stay. No effort is considered to be too big.
Expect a visit from him during the cause of the day and before you tuck in just to make sure that everything is in order and that you don’t need anything. He is passionate about the reserve and will listen to your stories and explain everything what you want to know about the reserve.
Alan and Clint Munro Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell no: Alan – 083 700 2821 Clint 082 926 0782
All the roads leading up to the turnoff from the tar road is in good condition. The dirt road from the turnoff is also in a good condition excluding the last 2kms leading to the entrance gate, but might become slippery when wet.
The last 2kms towards the gate is rocky and require a vehicle with high ground clearance or a 4x4. The same applies to the roads in the reserve.
Please visit our gallery page for photos taken during our visits to the Waterberg Wilderness Reserve.