Perfect Joburg weekend break: Mabalingwe Nature Reserve in Limpopo

Posted on 17 December 2012

In the thriving Waterberg bushveld, accommodation options at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve are as diverse as the flora and fauna of its surrounds. The reserve is only an hour from Johannesburg, making it a great weekend break for city slickers.

Self-catering visitors, campers, 4×4 enthusiasts and caravanners are welcome, as well as guests who prefer to take their breaks with a healthy dose of luxury. You also have the chance to see four of the Big Five on a game drive, from your own vehicle or on a guided hike.

The caravan park has 67 stands, each with its own power supply. There are two swimming pools (hot and cold), a liquor store, a shop, a playground, well-maintained ablution blocks and a central entertainment area with DStv. The park is generously shaded and spacious, so kids can bring their bicycles, tricycles or rollerblades.

Mabalingwe has two bush camps as well as a a 4×4 camp. Facilities vary, but all have clean ablutions, electricity and a kitchen area.

The rooms at Tlou Lodge are fully furnished and each has two beds as well as an en suite bathroom. The lodge is perfect for a weekend break without the fuss: all extras are catered for, including breakfast and dinner, leaving you ample time to take in the scenery.

There is also a six-sleeper self-catering lodge that has three en suite rooms, television, a fully equipped kitchen and a patio with braai facilities. The newly built SekelbosGat Lodge is a luxury 10-sleeper lodge with three double rooms and one twin room, all with en suite bathrooms. The lounge area includes a double sleeper couch. There’s an outside entertainment area with a patio, braai, splash pool and enclosed garden, making it well suited to large families or groups to get together and enjoy the outdoors.

With a host of quaint roadside stalls and neighbouring reserves nearby, staying at Mabalingwe is the perfect base from which to explore the whole of the Waterberg region. A highlight at Mabalingwe is the pair of newly born lion cubs.

While most of the game at Mabalingwe is free-roaming, the lions are kept on a separate part of the reserve and can be viewed only during twice-weekly feeding drives on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. It’s a conservation exercise that Mabalingwe prides itself on, but those looking for an authentic African bush experience might be a little disappointed.

There’s a restaurant, ladies bar and bush pub, an ATM, fuel station, liquor store, caravan park shop and plaaswinkel.

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

Camping from R165 for a 4×4 stand (sleeps six). Self-catering from R1 650 a night for a six-sleeper unit. DB&B from R595 a person a night sharing in the Tlou Lodge rooms. SekelbosGat Lodge is from R3 500 for the unit a night (sleeps 10).

Tel 014-736-9000, email [email protected],

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