New game reserve in the Waterberg to open its doors this December

Posted on 18 October 2022

The Qwabi Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg is getting the final touches into place to open to the public this December after an extensive R120 million renovation.

New game reserve in the Waterberg to open its doors this December

Qwabi is located within the Waterberg,  a conservation stronghold and an important UNESCO-declared biosphere reserve, which the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has named as a critical biodiversity area.

Qwabis’s inclusion in the Newmark Hotels and Reserves portfolio will offer guests a bespoke African bushveld experience in the 11 000 hectare private game reserve.

‘Qwabi is an extraordinary slice of the African bushveld. My team and I feel very privileged to have been appointed as co-custodians of Qwabi and to turn the reserve into a world-class destination,’ says Neil Markovitz, CEO of Newmark Hotels & Reserves. ‘

‘We have also embarked on an intensely focused genetic management programme, bringing in healthy black-maned lions from a Kalahari bloodline and elephants from bloodlines that carry large tusks – as a few examples,’ he added, as the reserve intends to reintroduce species. 

In terms of accommodation at Qwabi, the lush reserve is already home to three standalone lodges, all of which are currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment by interior designer, Francois du Plessis.

Letamo, the largest lodge on the reserve, will be the first to reopen its doors to guests in time for the December 2022 holidays, and guests can expect 58 rooms ideal for families and multi-generational small groups. This includes 10 luxury suites with private plunge pools.

The lodge will include a kids’ club offering explorative adventures, alongside a padel court and two swimming pools, one of which overlooks a waterhole popularly frequented by wildlife. The lodge will offer various dining options, ranging from the elegant main restaurant to intimate dining spaces for couples, and a vibrant outdoor boma. A rejuvenating spa will boast multiple treatment rooms and relaxation spaces, adding to the lodge’s appeal as a wilderness wellness retreat.

Two more intimate safari destinations on Qwabi are expected to reopen in the first quarter of 2023 – Babohi and Semela

Babohi will be exclusively for adult guests, offering a serene bushveld escape defined by its fine cuisine, refined accommodation and polished service. Here, the accommodation will offer 25 rooms, ranging from premium rooms to suites boasting private plunge pools, alongside an opulent presidential-style suite for guests seeking additional privacy. The lodge will offer extensive facilities for guests, including a large swimming pool, dedicated wellness spa, fitness centre, restaurant, bar, vinoteque (cellar) and boma.

The final lodge to reopen, Semela, will feature 24 guest rooms, as well as a swimming pool, restaurant and bush bar; making it ideal for group bookings and corporate getaways.

Guests at all three lodges on Qwabi Private Game Reserve will be able to enjoy the remarkable wilderness of the Waterberg. 

Set approximately three hours by road from Johannesburg, and 60kms from the town of Bela Bela in a malaria-free area, Qwabi Private Game Reserve is easily accessible for self-drive visitors, although guests may also fly into the reserve via helicopter.

Accommodation is priced from R6,650.00 per person sharing, per night, full board, including game drives. Book and confirm your stay before 31 October and save 20%.

Picture: Supplied

ALSO READ: 5 cool campsites in the Overberg


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