Lapalala Wilderness

Wilderness
Conservation
Bush walks
The Rivers
Biosphere

Lapalala Wilderness is a 36 000 hectare wildlife sanctuary, situated in the 15 000 square km, UNESCO proclaimed Waterberg Biosphere Reserve in the Limpopo Province. White and black rhino, buffalo and leopard are among the species to be found at Lapalala. The permanently flowing Lephalala and Kgogong rivers wind their way for 99km through the reserve. This vast area of wilderness, rare in South Africa, is located about two hours northwest of Johannesburg. Lapalala Wilderness offers a choice of self-catered destinations in the low-risk malaria area of the Waterberg.

Lapalala Wilderness prides itself on offering authentic bush experiences. Near the tiny town of Vaalwater, this rustic area in the Waterberg Mountains is a sanctuary. This is an area of true wilderness with a spectacular diversity of plants and trees. A great variety of game, and a rich bird life.


Six selfcatering bush camps have been established on 7 000 hectares along the Palala (or Lephalala, which is the Sotho word for 'barrier', a reference to its once-formidable flow) and Kgogong rivers, which wind their way for 53 km through the reserve, each camp named after a local tree species.

They are remote, unstaffed and unpretentious; four of them consist of just a single thatched cabin or hut. Some have separate living and eating areas, and all have hot-water showers and flush toilets and are equipped with the essentials (gas-fired hot-plates, paraffin, a fridge, bedding, utensils, tableware and so forth).

These camps are for the person who likes to find his own way around the veld, on foot, without the help of an expert guide.


Lapalala offers a total wilderness experience rather than a simple wildlife adventure. Game drives and walks through the Reserve offer a view of the spectaular scenery and visits to the Bushman rock art along the rivers. The Reserve offers the possiblity of encountering black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard, giraffe, hippo, sable and the endangered roan antelope, as well as a wide variety of general game.