The 34,000ha Welgevonden Game Reserve falls within the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere, situated in the Bushveld district in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, and is regarded as a protected habitat.
The Waterberg, as the name implies, serves as a water reservoir for this arid region.
Interestingly, the area has been inhabited over hundreds of thousands of years and is an important San rock art area in South Africa.
Rolling wooded mountains cut by deep rocky ravines and majestic gorges make Welgevonden Game Reserve an evocative part of Africa. Aptly meaning ‘well found’, this is a place of rare and rugged beauty, plentiful wildlife and birdlife.
Welgevonden is home to over 650 different mammals, including the Big 5. There are rare and unusual species too, such as brown hyena, pangolin, aardwolf and aardvark – all best seen at night.
The grassy plains abound with antelope from the largest eland to the diminutive duiker. Cheetah, lion and leopard are also regular sightings. It is the diversity of habitat on the reserve that encourages such a wide range of wildlife as well as over 300 bird species, including rare blue cranes, South Africa’s national bird. Download our Wildlife and Bird list.
The reserve currently boasts a healthy white rhino and elephant population. The conservation programmes on the reserve include elephant and lion management programmes as well as participation in the Limpopo Leopard Research Project. The conservation initiatives do not only focus on protecting the larger mammal species, but also on the protection of rare or threatened bird species (such as the Blue Crane) and plant species.
The development and transformation of local rural communities is a key factor in enhancing protected area management for the biosphere. Local communities must be enabled to actively take part in the protection and preservation of the area. Community initiatives and partnerships run by the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve as well as the lodges aim to support economic and employment opportunities within the local communities.
The Welgevonden Game Reserve also aims to maintain a low human footprint and limits the number of lodges and guests allowed within the reserve. Private vehicles may not enter the reserve and the number of vehicles allowed at rare sightings is controlled. The unspoiled environment provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy unrestricted views of the beautiful habitat and unique wildlife.