Top 10 Things to do in Bela-Bela (Warmbaths)

Found in the diverse and beautiful Limpopo province, Bela-Bela (formerly known as Warmbaths) is a fascinating town to explore.

Roughly two hours’ drive from Johannesburg and an hour or so from Pretoria, Bela-Bela offers plenty to see and do.

Famed for its natural hot springs, it is the perfect place to go for resort holidays, game and nature experiences and of course, quality downtime in the countryside.

#1 Experience Adventures with Elephants

Opened in 2010, Adventures with Elephants offers visitors an amazing opportunity to experience, learn more about and educate themselves on these magnificent giants.

Visitors have the chance to meet the herd and learn all about them from “trunk tip to tail”; enjoy a self-drive on the AWE game farm (where you are almost guaranteed to bump into the elephants); self-cycle through the bush and view the wildlife from your bike; and even bathe with the ellies!

There are also opportunities to ‘bring and braai’ or picnic… And, if you can’t visit in person yet, you can even do a virtual Zoom session with the elephants!

All activities are affordable and well-priced, making them accessible to all who visit.

Note: For additional activity and price information and opening hours, please contact Adventures with Elephants directly – or visit their website.

Contact: +27 (014) 734 7730, adventures@zebula.co.za

Website: adventureswithelephants.com

Address: Adventures with Elephants, D1000 Mabula District, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

Adventures with Elephants via Facebook
Adventures with Elephants via Facebook

#2 Explore the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

Originally known as De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre but renamed in 2010 to Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre (in honour of the lady, Ann van Dyk, who devoted her life to the survival and protection of cheetahs) – this unique conservation and research centre plays in important role in protecting cheetahs, educating the public and allowing visitors to learn more about these amazing wild cats.

Aside from the incredible activities that visitors can enjoy here, you are also able to adopt animals, ‘back a buddy’ or make an important donation to this special place.

Two-hour guided tours are offered daily – as well as the option to book a cheetah run on certain mornings… This rare experience allows guests to see the speedy cheetahs in all their glory!

The professionally guided tours also introduce you to a number of other resident animals too, including African wild dogs, caracals and vultures to name a few.

There is also a lovely on-site curio shop for those who wish to browse or take home some mementos and keepsakes.

Contact: +27 (063) 693 7403, bookings@dewildt.co.za

Website: dewildt.co.za

Address: Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, R516, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

#3 Visit Bambelela Wildlife Care and Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm

Bambelela does important work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing three of South Africa’s five primate families: the lesser Bush Baby, the Chacma Baboon and the Vervet Monkey.

Here, guests can enjoy everything from memorable day visits to cosy self-catering chalets and even volunteering, with limited openings available each year.

On the guided tours, you will learn all about these unique creatures and see first-hand the precious nature of hand-rearing and looking after these wild animals and primates.

Note: Tours are by appointment only. For pricing and additional info, please contact Bambelela directly – or visit their website.

Contact: +27 (014) 736 4090,  info@bambelela.org.za

Website: www.bambelela.org.za

Address: Bambelela, Groot Nylsoog KR447, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

Bambelela via Facebook
Bambelela via Facebook

#4 Pop by L’abri Farm Shop and Brewery

If you work up a thirst or appetite in Bela-Bela, one of the most popular local spots to visit is L’abri Farm Shop and Brewery.

Here, you can find everything from fresh produce and food (such as mouthwatering pizza) to great beer and even the L’abri Lodge or bush camp.

Stock up on essentials, grab some food for the road or sample some of the amazing beer at this rustic hidden gem.

Contact: +27 (084) 426 7196, +27 (082) 605 1492

Website: N/A

Address: L’abri Farm Shop and Brewery, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

#5 Visit Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

No visit or stay in Bela-Bela is complete without a wildlife or nature experience – and happily, Mabalingwe Nature Reserve is perfect for both! Here, you can enjoy an incredible African experience, suitable for the whole family.

The 9500-hectare landscape allows visitors to truly lose themselves in the stunning South African bushveld, which is home to abundant birdlife, indigenous trees and of course, diverse wildlife too.

In addition to the self-catering chalets and bush camps, guests can enjoy fun (day or night) game drives, eco-tainment, spa treatments at Mbali Day Spa and even getting married here!

The nature reserve has incredible facilities, with everything from restaurants to fun activities, such as mini golf, tennis, as well as an entertainment area, kids’ play room and lovely swimming pools.

Contact: +27 (014) 001 7011, contactus@mabalingwe.com

Website: www.mabalingwe.co.za

Address: Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, R516 Rooiberg, Thabazimbi Road, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve via www.mabalingwe.co.za
Mabalingwe Nature Reserve via www.mabalingwe.co.za

#6 Check Out Loebies Gasteplaas 

At Loebies Gasteplaas (Guest Farm) and Predator Park, guests can enjoy a heart-warming experience at this soothing country escape.

The guest farm is also extremely child-friendly, meaning the whole family can enjoy a wonderful, quality time together.

Enjoy a tour of the predator park, check-in for a relaxing weekend escape or simply pop by for a homely meal at the tea garden.

Contact: : +27 (083) 520 9172, +27 (083) 374 5254, loebies@mtnloaded.co.za

Website: www.loebies.com

Address: Loebies Guestfarm, Klein Elandsfontein, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

#7 Head to Geluksfontein Goat Cheese Farm

Geluksfontein Goat Cheese Farm is a breath of fresh air that allows guests to enjoy guided tours, cheese demonstrations – and of course, saying hi to the lovely resident goats!

You can also grab a meal at the restaurant, Goatina Pub & Grill, where you can tuck into delicious breakfasts and lunches. (There is also wine and a selection of different beverages available.)

The farm also offers basic accommodation for those who wish to linger longer- but there is no doubt that the guided tours, goats and cheese demonstrations are the biggest drawcard here!

Contact: +27 (083) 704 4229, info@goatmilk.co.za

Website: www.geluksfontein.co.za

Address: Geluksfontein Goat Cheese Farm, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

#8 Check Out Ingilozi Park 

For those seeking an even more exotic experience, look no further than Ingilozi Park. Here, visitors can meet a variety of African animals, many of which are pretty rare and exotic..

Choose between two-hour guided drives or game viewing from the hides and enjoy seeing many different animals, including white and copper springboks, exotic antelope, white blesbok and many more.

Or enjoy a hearty bush BBQ… This feast is sure to delight and satisfy young and old alike! There is even a special kiddies’ menu, ensuring that all ages are catered for.

For activity rates and additional information, please contact Ingilozi Park directly – or visit their website.

Contact: +27 (060) 554 5950, info@ingilozipark.co.za

Website: ingilozipark.co.za

Address: Ingilozi Park, R516 Rooiberg/Thabazimbi Road, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

Ingilozi Park via Facebook
Ingilozi Park via Facebook

#9 Head to Zebula Golf Estate and Spa

At Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities, including Zebula treasure hunts, visiting the snake and reptile park, enjoying nature safaris, tennis and squash courts, swimming, game viewing while you golf and much more.

There is also an excellent spa, the Spa at Zebula, perfect for some pampering; as well as accommodation and some great restaurant cuisine too.

Visit this incredible golf estate for a host of fun experiences in Africa’s premier bush, golf and spa destination.

Contact: +27 (014) 734 7700, reservations@zebula.co.za

Website: zebula.co.za

Address: Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, Farm No 534, KQ, D1000, Mabula District, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

#10 Stop by Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm

At Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm, guests can enjoy an experience “not to be missed” – with everything from fully guided day tours, a curio shop and kiosk/café cuisine on offer at this croc farm.

Thaba Kwena, a long-standing local attraction, is now one of the biggest crocodile farms in South Africa, making it an unmissable place to visit when near either Bela-Bela or Modimolle.

Join them for a fun day out and learn more about these fearsome, yet fascinating predators.

Contact: +27 (073) 466 7113, wicus@tkwena.co.za

Website: thabakwena.co.za

Address: Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm, Buisfontein 24, Bela-Bela, Limpopo, South Africa.

Book your Bela-Bela getaway today!

Top 20 Pretoria Activities 2017.

Pretoria, or Tshwane as it’s called by some, is South Africa’s beautiful Jacaranda City. Aside from being our administrative capital in South Africa, it’s a city of great fun and adventure, blended together with a healthy dose of history and timeless grandeur.

These are some of the best activities to enjoy in and around Pretoria in 2017:

#1 Experience a cool Market @ the Sheds

If you’re after great food, art and design and above all, people, then this inner city market is just for you. Head to the market to experience Pretoria’s true colours.

Taking place (usually) on the last Saturday of every month – except when it changes to accommodate holidays and long weekends – the Market at the Sheds offers awesome socialness, quirky shopping, live music and a wide assortment of gourmet street food and drinks, including craft beer, cocktails and fine wines. On the music front, you can enjoy everything from blues to Afro-soul.

Contact: none

Website: www.marketatthesheds.co.za

Address: Market @ the Sheds, 381 Helen Joseph Street, Pretoria, Gauteng

#2 Visit Wonderboom Nature Reserve

Situated in the northern part of the city, straddling the Magaliesberg Mountains, Wonderboom Nature Reserve is a wonderful, 200-hectare reserve, famous for its giant wild fig, known as ‘Wonderboom’. The tree is over a thousand years old and legend has it, that it grows over the final resting place of an indigenous tribe’s chieftain.

Although the tree has reduced somewhat in size over the years, it has provided new growth, ensuring a circle of surrounding trees. The reserve is also home to some adorable rock hyraxes (or dassies), which sadly feed the nearby black eagles who circle the reserve.

Explore the mini forest with the interpretation trail and lovely boardwalk and then enjoy a picnic at the reserve’s good facilities.

Contact: none

Website: www.tshwane.gov.za

Address: Wonderboom Nature Reserve, Wonderboom, Pretoria, Gauteng

#3 Awaken your senses at Duncan Yard

Immerse yourself in a world of individual treasures at Duncan Yard. It’s a place that allows you to be yourself as you enjoy an art-meets-culture experience.

Duncan Yard offers a host of shops and facilities, like Beautiful Beginnings Salon, Cherryamber, Hidden Jewel, Papas – Real Food and many more. It allows shoppers to enjoy both creative shopping and delicious eats in a unique environment.

Contact: (083) 688 6025

Website: www.duncanyard.co.za

Address: Duncan Yard, Duncan Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, Gauteng

Photo credit: www.citiliner.co.za

#4 Catch a match at Loftus Versfeld

Although it is the home ground for the Blue Bulls rugby franchise, this stadium has hosted many important matches, including the one between England and South Africa on 4 June 1994. It has also successfully hosted games during 1995 Rugby World Cup and again, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, carefully joining the world of South African rugby and soccer.

Loftus is named after Robert Owen Loftus Versfeld, local founder of organised sport in the Pretoria area. Although it started out as a humble ground, today, it can easily seat about 50,000 people.

So head to the heart of local rugby and enjoy a wonderful local or international match at this historic ground.

Contact: (012) 420 0700

Website: showme.co.za

Address: Loftus Versfeld, 440 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, Gauteng

www.citiliner.co.za
www.citiliner.co.za

#5 Brave the walls at the Climbing Barn

This indoor rock climbing gym and training facility in Pretoria East is ideal for you, whether you’re a beginner or an expert climber. Here, there is personalised training on offer, and it’s also a great venue for hosting birthdays and corporate team building exercises.

As well as providing some excellent 450m and 100m walks, there is also gear available for hire and purchase at the Climbing Barn.

Learn to climb or test your skills in a relaxed environment, with professional, qualified staff on-hand to assist where and when necessary.

Contact: (082) 335 3220

Website: www.climbingbarn.co.za

Address: Climbing Wall, Plot 210, Korhaan Road, Mooiplaats, Pretoria, Gauteng

#6 Delve into Groenkloof Nature Reserve

With a long history, this reserve has seen many changes over the years but, in 1994, it became the Department of Nature Conservation’s baby and they slowly but surely began to release game, like kudu, blue wildebeest, ostrich and even giraffe back into the reserve.

Outside of the amazing game and rich bird life, Groenkloof offers a host of wonderful nature activities. These include: hiking and horse trails, mountain biking, picnicking and more. There are also overnight facilities (which you can book via email) and a Bamber Youth Camp.

Lose yourself in a world of beauty and untouched fauna and flora at Groenkloof Nature Reserve.

Contact: (012) 358 1757/1720

Website: www.tshwane.gov.za

Address: Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Pretoria, Gauteng

www.xtremespots.com
www.xtremespots.com

#7 Tuck in at Hazel Food Market

This foodie market takes place every Saturday, from 8am – 2pm, in Menlo Park. It’s well-loved for its delicious food and drinks, as well as for its harmonious atmosphere, which allows both parents and children to relax and enjoy themselves on a fun, family day out.

Here, you will find some of Pretoria’s finest fresh products, sold straight from the producers, at this authentic food market in the heart of Pretoria’s Old East. There are benches scattered around and an awesome jungle gym and jumping castle to make use of, too.

Contact: (078) 593 7716

Website: www.hazelfoodmarket.co.za

Address: Hazel Food Market, Thomas Edison Street, Menlo Park, Pretoria, Gauteng

#8 Experience riveting Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Found outside of the city centre, this 3800-hectare reserve surrounds the beautiful Rietvlei Dam, which provides some 15% of Pretoria’s population with water.

The reserve is home to endangered Bankenveld grassland and some 2000-odd animals, which include: cheetah, buffalo, white rhino and a host of buck species to name just a few. There is also great bird life here, which can be enjoyed at the two reserve’s two dams in particular.

Visitors can enjoy freshwater fishing, non-motorised water sports, as well as two-day hiking trips, horse trails and guided game drives (although visitors must provide their own vehicles and advance booking is essential).

You can also camp overnight in the park at the Rietvlei campsite (advance bookings are a must though).

Contact: (012) 358 1812

Website: www.gauteng.net

Address: Rietvlei Nature Reserve, 14 Game Reserve Ave, Pretoria

#9 Explore Pretoria Botanical Gardens

Only one of nine South African National Botanical Gardens, Pretoria Botanical Gardens are a 76-hectare oasis of beauty and natural flora.

The Garden is divided into two sections by a 35-metre high quartzite outcrop, although a paved nature trail provides easy access to both varied sections.

You will find many plants exclusive to South Africa, as well as an amazing wealth of flowering plant and tree species respectively. It makes for an engaging day out, particularly for nature lovers.

Contact: (012) 843 5071

Website: www.sanbi.org

Address: Pretoria Botanical Gardens, 2 Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria, Pretoria, Gauteng

#10 Visit Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve

Amid the foothills of the Moreleta Kloof, one finds an exquisite natural gem in Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve.

This 100-hectare reserve is home to various game, including springbok, zebra, blesnok, duiker and ostrich, as well as an abundance of birdlife. Walking routes have been clearly marked out. Routes vary in length from 1.5 to 3.6km.

The reserve is open daily and entry is free of charge but dogs and bikes are not allowed.

Contact: (012) 358 1510

Website: moreletakloof.co.za

Address: Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve, Helios Street, Moreleta Park, Pretoria, Gauteng

#11 Take to the trees with Acrobranch

This awesome adventure centre in Pretoria North allows visitors to slide, balance, crawl and dash, as they experience the thrill of tackling obstacles, found high up in the treetops.

Acrobranch is also a wonderful venue to enjoy birthdays, school trips and even team building exercises, as it provides you with epic aerial adventure.

It offers safe adventure for all ages, with internationally-imported equipment and harnesses to keep participants safe and sound during their fun fest.

Contact: (086) 999 0369

Website: acrobranch.co.za

Address: Acrobranch, 18 Honingnestkrans Street, Soutpan Road, Pretoria, Gauteng

#12 Explore the grounds of the Union Buildings

One of South Africa’s most important and recognisable heritage landmarks, the Union Buildings were designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1910 to commemorate the Union of South Africa.

The 285-metre-long sandstone building offers amazing gardens and panoramic gardens and has consistently served as the background to many pivotal occasions in South Africa.

Although visitors cannot enter the buildings themselves, they are free to explore the terraced gardens, which offer wonderful views out over the city. They’re the perfect place for a picnic or wedding photo shoot and also offer a venue for local concerts and festivals.

Contact: (012) 300 5200

Website: none

Address: Union Buildings, Government Avenue, Elandspoort, Pretoria, Gauteng

#13 Visit Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

Established in 1971, this wonderful conservation project performs a vital role in both the conservation and protection of cheetahs. To date, it has bred over 800 cubs, and that tally is still climbing.

Visitors can enjoy educational tours around the centre. These include three-hour guided or private tours, as well as the popular feeding tour. This involves an informational and educational round trip, as the team feed the resident cheetahs, wild dogs and other animals.

Contact: (012) 5049906/7

Website: dewildt.co.za

Address: Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, Pretoria, Gauteng

www.groupon.co.za
www.groupon.co.za

#14 National Zoological Gardens

This 85-hectare zoo is not only the largest in our country but it’s also the only one with national status.

It is home to some 3117 specimens, made up of mammals, birds, fish, reptile and others. Over 600,000 people visit this zoo annually and the length of its excellent walkways is 6km in distance.

The zoo is also home to an aquarium, which is the largest inland marine aquarium in SA, and a reptile park.

Contact: (012) 339 2700

Website: www.nzg.ac.za

Address: National Zoological Gardens, 232 Boom Street, Daspoort, Pretoria, Gauteng

#15 Celebrate history and heritage at Freedom Park

Celebrating South Africa’s heritage, Freedom Park is a centre of knowledge, which strives to tell South Africa’s story as accurately and well as possible.

This national and international site celebrates liberty, diversity and human rights, serving as a cultural institution. It houses a museum and memorial and provides wonderful insight into our country.

If you would like to book a tour, you can email or fill out the online booking form.

Contact: (012) 336 4000

Website: www.freedompark.co.za

Address: Freedom Park, Koch Street & 7th Avenue, Salvokop, Pretoria, Gauteng

#16 Pay a visit to Sammy Marks House

So-called Randlords Sammy Marks built up his wealth through great business enterprises over the years. This resulted in Zwartkoppies Hall, which, in his will, his declared should be preserved and turned into a museum.

Today visitors can pay to enjoy seeing the wealth and splendour of the mansion’s 48 rooms. Highlights include the billiards room, huge kitchen, well-stocked library and much more. The vast gardens are also a delight, with guided tours available of the house and surrounding estate.

Contact: (012) 755 9541

Website: www.gauteng.net

Address: Sammy Marks House, Bronkhorstspruit Road, Savannah Country Estate, Pretoria, Gauteng

www.ruralexploration.co.za
www.ruralexploration.co.za

#17 Experience Colin’s Horseback Africa and Walking with Lions

This family lodge offers both horse riding safaris in the African bush, as well as amazing lion tours and other holiday fun!

Visitors can choose to go on a horse ride safari or else, join in on a morning or afternoon lion tour. Observe lions in their natural habitat or saddle up and navigate your way through the bush with this dedicated, capable horse riding family.

Contact: (012) 735 9909

Website: www.horseridinginafrica.com

Address: Colin’s Horseback Africa and Walking with Lions, De Tweedespruit gavel, Tourist route 4, Sand Road, Pretoria, Gauteng

#18 Make feathered friends at Bester Birds and Animals

This small zoo in the heart of Pretoria East suburbia is a family-run zoo, which focusses on the community and its families.

Currently they are renovating the zoo to improve the cages so while, you can still visit, some cages will be empty… the good news is, kids can explore these and see life through the bird’s eye view.

Contact: (012) 807 4192

Website: www.besterbirdsanimals.co.za

Address: Bester Birds and Animals, Simon Vermooten Road, Pretoria, Gauteng

#19 Head on over to The Big Red Barn

Offering all kinds of delights, this antique hay barn looks out over expansive fields, grasslands and the Kaal River. There is a lot of fun to be had here, with the Cycle Park, Acrobranch and Olifants Café just some of the main highlights to be enjoyed.

Olifants Café serves delicious countryside eats, perfect for curing post-exercise hunger pangs. Enjoy a fun day out for the whole family that this cool spot.

Contact: (072) 617 7667

Website: www.thebigredbarn.co.za

Address: The Big Red Barn, 7 Nelson Road, Olifantsfontein, Pretoria, Gauteng

#20 Pay a visit to Rosemary Hill

Situated in a beautiful farmland, this charming, family-run coffee shop works closely with The Waldorf School to both educate and grow the minds of children and maintain organic farming practices too.

They offer delicious breakfasts, scones, cakes, light meals and even morning, afternoon or evening high teas. They are able to host beautiful functions, like birthday parties and farm weddings.

Contact: (012) 802 0052

Website: rosemaryhill.co.za

Address: Rosemary Hill, 257 R964, Pretoria, Gauteng

These are just a few of so many wonderful reasons to visit Pretoria and enjoy all it has to offer!