Enjoy Big Five viewing from your own private lodge

Situated in a malaria-free area in the heart of the Waterberg in Limpopo, Welgevonden Private Game Reserve was established some 20 years ago, with about 55 of the total of 70 sites developed to date. 

Accessed via the R33 and with the road between Modimolle and Vaalwater having recently been upgraded, travel time from Gauteng has been reduced, with Welgevonden now less than three hours’ drive from Johannesburg on tarred road.

Assis Pontes, Pam Golding Properties area manager in Lephalale (formerly Ellisras), says this successful estate has transformed an area which was predominantly used for cattle farming to its original wilderness. “Continued rehabilitation of vegetation, the re-introduction of the Big Five back to the area and its ability to showcase the Waterberg Biosphere in all its splendour, as well as its accessibility to Gauteng, makes this a highly desirable location to enjoy a bush lifestyle. It’s an ideal getaway offering wildlife, wilderness and space, particularly for city dwellers or overseas buyers – the latter whom can take advantage of the current exchange rate. The developers have continued to build a successful reserve over the past two decades, and will leave a legacy for future generations.

“Comprising a combination of commercial lodges, corporate lodges for own use and share block lodges, because of its exclusivity many owners simply want to use the properties for their own leisure, or entertaining clients and staff. Owners consist of a broad spectrum from locals to international buyers, business leaders and companies. And with mosquitoes still of major concern in Africa, this being a malaria-free area allows visitors more freedom and comfort in which to enjoy game viewing and the relaxing way of life,” he says.

Home owners have traversing rights over the entire 37 500 hectares of the game reserve, which, in addition to the mountain bushveld, sweeping views and rivers running through it, has four access points and two gravel landing strips.

Aptly meaning ‘well found’ Welgevonden is a place of rugged scenic beauty. Home to over 50 different mammals, the diversity of habit encourages such a wide range of wildlife as well as over 250 bird species, including rare blue cranes. Committed to preserving an environment where biodiversity conservation and game viewing are managed in harmony, Welgevonden has an established leopard research programme as part of an attempt to understand leopard ecology and conservation issues, and utilises the African ‘Maluti’ livestock guarding dog in a project which has proven highly successful. No private vehicles are permitted, ensuring minimum human impact.

Pontes says vacant sites usually measure about 500 hectares each and sell between R3.5 million and R4 million, making the price of Welgevonden, with its Big Five attractions, on par or more competitively priced than normal game farm prices which range from R8 000 to R10 000 per hectare. Currently Pam Golding Properties is marketing a number of game farms and lodges ranging in price from R3.9 million to R12.8 million.

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