Mabatlane/Vaalwater is a charming little village in the heart of the Waterberg area. It’s a centre for surrounding agriculture and game reserves. It’s also a well-known meet-and-greet spot for travelers in and out of the Waterberg.
It offers a small selection of coffee shops, bistros, and arts & craft shops. Mabatlane/Vaalwater is one of the assorted delights of the Waterberg region, which include private game lodges, nature reserves, wilderness areas and mountain escapes. The region is named after the Waterberg mountain range - ‘water mountains’ in Afrikaans.
It stretches west to east for about 150km from Thabazimbi to the Mokopane. The Waterberg mountains have many rivers, streams, swamps and wetlands. The Limpopo River forms the western boundary of the region and the Mogalakwena River the eastern.
Look out for
The Black Mamba - A pleasant bistro and arts & craft complex, The Black Mamba is a renowned gathering spot in Vaalwater. The shop is a great outlet for unusual, funky and original African arts and crafts from all over the continent. It also has books, clothing, earthy décor and small gifts. The nearby Bush Stop Café is another good meeting spot, offering light lunches and a laid-back atmosphere.
The Welgevonden Game Reserve - This is one of the largest privately-owned reserves in South Africa, covering 37 000ha of bushveld in the malaria-free Waterberg and offering the essential Big 5 bush experience.
Marakele National Park - Marakele is a Tswana word meaning ‘place of sanctuary’. This remote reserve has big game and big skies. The landscape has dramatic kloofs and cliffs. Over 800 breeding pairs of Cape vultures live here.
Nylsvley - The Nylsvley Conservancy is part of the largest flood plain in South Africa. In summer, these wetlands attract as many as 80 000 migrating birds.
Waterberg mountains - Part of the Waterberg UNESCO biosphere reserve, these mountains offer an exciting mix of outdoor and bush adventures. These include game viewing, hiking, wilderness trails and conservation programmes.