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Why did we hand pick Itaga Private Game Lodge?

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  • Big 5 game reserve within easy reach of the big city
  • Elegant classic bushveld lodge
  • Great views over a waterhole in front of the lodge

Itaga Private Game Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 12 years and older

28km from Bela-Bela


-24.8464, 28.0475


The lovely Mabalingwe Nature Reserve is a private reserve of significant beauty and diversity, playing host to bushveld and mountain habitats and a wide array of wildlife.

Four of the Big Five animals - elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard - roam freely in the vast conservancy, while the reserve’s lions are kept in a large high-security enclosure, to which Itaga guests can be driven if they wish.

The luxurious game lodge is set in the middle of the undisturbed wilderness, surrounded by dense bush and fronted by a waterhole. After being welcomed with a refreshing drink, you are led to one of the large, private thatched units, decorated with classy African flair. The huge single-paned windows, spacious patios and outdoor showers make the surrounding bush an ever-present companion. Inside, however, is far from wild, with snug double or twin beds, climate control, hair dryers and bathroom amenities providing plenty of comfort.

The two standard chalets both have en-suite bathrooms with a bath, with one having an indoor shower and the other a bush shower.

Extra amenities in the six superior chalets include tea and coffee facilities, digital safes, bathrobes and slippers, while all have an en-suite bath and both indoor and outdoor showers. For those who want to sleep late or sneak in one more game drive before they leave, the superior rooms allow guests to check out two hours later than in the standard rooms. 

Everything is catered for at the lodge, with the rates including brunch, dinner and high tea, along with a daily afternoon game drive. A selection of snacks and light meals is available from 10am to 4pm each day, so there is no chance of going hungry.

The lodge has received rave reviews for its cuisine. Brunch, served at the pool deck or in the dining room, starts with a varied continental spread, followed up by a substantial South African breakfast, cooked to order.

Dinner is enjoyed by candlelight in central lodge’s elegant restaurant, and offers a selection of two starters, two mains and two desserts. After dinner, you can indulge in a liqueur, cognac or cigar in the lounge, sip a refreshing beverage in the cocktail bar or head upstairs to the TV lounge and library.

During the day, splash around in the pool, relax on the sundeck overlooking the bush, or clamber onto the elevated ‘upper deck’, an idyllic sundowner spot with amazing views over the plains.

Game drives are conducted by expert and friendly rangers, who will answer any questions you have about the animals, birds and plants you encounter on the drive. A morning game drive can be arranged at extra cost.

The camp is encircled by an electric fence, so you won’t have to worry about bumping into a big and nasty while walking to your chalet after dinner.

Rates & Summary

6 Superior Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in double/twin beds
En-suite bath, shower and outdoor shower
Private patio

2 Standard Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in double/twin beds
One with en-suite bath and indoor shower
One with en-suite bath and outdoor shower
Private patio


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


Children 12 and older are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Itaga Private Game Lodge is situated in the malaria-free Mabalingwe Nature Reserve close to Bela-Bela, and offers Big Five game viewing, fine cuisine and luxury lodgings. Itaga offers ultimate privacy and luxury in chalets secluded in the game-rich bush. While enjoying your sumptuous evening meal, you can keep an eye out for the big mammals that often visit the floodlit waterhole.


  • Big 5 game reserve within easy reach of the big city
  • Elegant classic bushveld lodge
  • Great views over a waterhole in front of the lodge


Each chalet is spaced a good distance from the next so privacy is guaranteed.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The good gravel approach roads are suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Game viewing
  • Gift shop


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Electric blanket included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • No under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast & dinner
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Braai area available
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • No babysitting
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted







Rugged mountains, rolling bush and abundant wildlife characterise this area. The Waterberg is one of Limpopo’s most popular eco-tourism regions. Over the past decade it has come to rival Mpumalanga’s legendary Lowveld, with the added plus of being malaria-free.

The Waterberg offers a range of wildlife and safari experiences. These vary from Big 5 private reserves and game lodges to remote wilderness hideaways and self-catering bush camps. There are also national and provincial reserves.

The region is named after the Waterberg mountain range - ‘water mountains’ in Afrikaans - that stretches west to east for about 150km from Thabazimbi to the Mokopane. The mountains form the shoulder of the Palala Plateau – the bushveld of which rolls westwards all the way to Botswana.

True to their name, the Waterberg mountains include many rivers, streams, swamps and wetlands. The Limpopo River forms the western boundary of the region and the Mogalakwena River the eastern. The Waterberg has vast tracts of bushveld savannah punctuated with clusters of trees and tall savannah shrubs. The Springbok Flats are to the south. 

The Waterberg is more than three million years old – and there are numerous archaeological finds and San paintings that give us glimpses of its past.

Mining has long been essential to the Waterberg’s economy. An Iron Age mineshaft found in the Waterberg was carbon dated to 1 500 AD. Five hundred years later, mining is still taking place. The Waterberg is one of the richest mineral deposits in the world. It’s part of the Bushveld Igneous Complex - a unique geological complex of volcanic rocks formed some 600 million years ago. The complex extends over 50 000km² and is rich in platinum, iron ore, vanadium, tin, tungsten, chromium and coal.

The Waterberg region includes the towns of Bela-Bela, Modimolle, Mabatlane, Lephalale, Mookgophong and Thabazimbi. The largest town is Bela-Bela, a lively centre for surrounding farms and game reserves, and famed for its hot springs. The name Bela-Bela means ‘water that boils’ in Tswana.

The towns of Modimolle and Mookgophong are steeped in interesting Iron Age, Nguni and Voortrekker history. The quaint village of Matlabane is a meet-and-greet spot for many travellers to the area, and Lephalale is the centre for the region’s thriving hunting industry.

The heart of the Waterberg is the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, a 400 000ha protected wilderness area offering a mix of nature, culture and heritage. It was declared by UNESCO in 2001 on the basis of its mountainous habitat, magnificent red sandstone cliffs and evidence of human occupation dating back thousands of years. It was first inhabited by the San people, who left their legacy in the form of rock art and cave paintings.

The only savannah reserve of its kind in southern Africa, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve includes private and provincial game reserves. It also has areas of cultural and archaeological significance. The region has a strong conservation ethos, and eco-tourism and sustainable practices underpin many lodges and reserves here.

The Waterberg offers an exciting mix of wildlife and wilderness experiences – from traditional game lodges to tailor-made adventures. You can go hiking, camping, 4x4 off-roading, horseback riding and birding. The Waterberg is famed for two significant birding sites. The Nylsvley Wetlands is home to over 400 species of waterbirds. The Marakele National Park is home to the largest Cape vulture colony in the world. The area also has conservation training programmes, wildlife rehabilitation centres and educational school camps.

Look out for

Marakele National Park - The name Marakele is Tswana for ‘place of sanctuary’ and this wild and remote reserve is just that. Marakele has craggy hills and deep wooded kloofs, with rare cycads, tree ferns and yellowwood trees. This is an unspoilt part of the Waterberg, home to all the large game species from rhino to elephant and the big cats. It is also home to the world’s biggest Cape vulture population – over 800 breeding pairs.

Nylsvley - The Nylsvley Conservancy is a favourite destination among South Africa’s birding community. It is part of the country’s largest flood plain. Stretching over 70km from Modimolle to Mokopane, Nylsvley is a world-renowned RAMSAR site. In the rainy summer months the grasslands of Nylsvley are transformed into lake that stretches for kilometres. It virtually becomes an international bird airport. The Waterberg Nylsvley Birding Route covers Nylsvley, the Waterberg mountains and Marakele National Park.

The Waterberg Meander - The Waterberg Meander is a self-drive route through the heart of the region that takes you to a series of interesting sites, community projects and tourist attractions. Visit local arts & crafts projects, explore the ancient hill of Melora, meet the Waterberg Red Beds, an unusual geological formation, check out the glorious mountain peaks known as the Seven Sister of the Waterberg, or visit a monument dedicated to explorer David Livingstone.

Bela-Bela’s hot springs - Long known for their healing properties, the hot mineral springs at Bela-Bela bubble out of the ground at about 2 200 litres per hour, at a temperature of around 53ºC. The water is rich in sodium chloride, calcium carbonate and other salts with natural healing properties. The Bela-Bela Aventura Resort is a popular spot for its water world activities. There are many health and pampering opportunities in and around Bela-Bela.

The annual Big Five Marathon - The 42km-long Big Five Marathon is known as the wildest of them all – they say it’s tougher than South Africa’s famous 88km-long Comrades Marathon. Held at Entabeni Game Reserve in the Waterberg mountains, this annual marathon attracts thousands of runners from around the world. Out here there are ravines and gorges, rivers and lakes, and stretches of unspoiled bushveld. There are no fences; just wide open spaces and a tough challenge for marathon runners.

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