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Hi All


Just had the most awesome weekend away with my wife and young one!


I am apprehensive at best when flying my family members around - so it is more a case of over preparing than anything else.


We cracked a nod to go to Welgevonden and chose to go 50 mins by air as opposed to 4 hours by car (to the lodge).


We left Friday 9 am and were on the ground in Welgevonden at 09h48. So close and such a different world.


I only did 3 game drives - preferring to spend time in camp in the morning bird watching and enjoying the silence.


We had awesome game viewing with Lions seen several times, Cheetah on a kill (Impala), Rhino, Buff, general game, etc. My highlight was spending over 3 hours with Elephants from the lil' ones to the big tuskers. Being quiet and staying still - we had the animals approach our vehicles within metres in a relaxed, calm manner. It is always so special staring into the eyes of an elephant.


Sharing these experiences with the family make it so much more wonderful!


Every weekend or chance you get - go for it. There are always more days to spend at the office, more tasks to complete, etc etc.


Safe Travels





Edited by ryanbeeton
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Years ago I put out a request for info on this place on another forum, before safaritalk was even around. I finally get an answer. Thanks Ryan!

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ryanbeeton - please do provide some more details about accommodation, drives, wildlife there etc. Matt

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Here's another person who would like more info on this reserve!

(and the neighbouring Marakele, if anyone knows it)


I have recently discovered the Waterberg area while working on a personal project (made maps from the area). So many lodges in Marakele! Sedile, Nediba, Makweti, Ekuthuleni, Shibula, Tshwene, Clifftop, Mhondoro, Kudu, Pitse... Choice overload!



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ryanbeeton - please do provide some more details about accommodation, drives, wildlife there etc. Matt




This link will provide the forum with information on the different types of accommodation available in the reserve.


Welgevonden is a comfortable 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive from Jhb. Malaria Free - which is great for those with young children.


The reserve has increased to almost 50 000 ha in size - though many areas of the reserve are very rocky. The reserve is situated in the Waterberg plateau - and there are several ridges that run through the reserve which make traversing the large distances quite a challenge as these areas are very rocky, take time to cross and there is not a large concentration of game on them.


There are some scenic areas with open areas and vleis which attract game to congregate in these areas. Lion populations are not high but with the amount of lodges and homes on the reserve, they are found daily. Leopard do well here but are not a common sighting. I was told that the reserve has the largest population of privately owned white rhino in SA.


It is certainly not as scenic as the Lowveld Bush or Madikwe, but it is a nice getaway relatively close to Jhb - over a weekend you should see Lion, Elephant, Buff, Rhino, Lichtens Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala, Zebra, Kudu & Eland. There are Sable, Roan & Gemsbok but we did not see them.


My rating would have it behind the Lowveld Reserves & Madikwe, but definitely the best in the area - vs Marakele, Thabazimbi, Ellisras, Vaalwater etc. Def more game than Mapungupwe but nowhere near the scenery that Mapungupwe offers.


Biriding seemed good around the lodge - though there were many aloes, impala lilies and colorful plants and trees planted at Sekgwa lodge that attracted them. I saw Black Sunbird, White Bellied Sunbird, Yellow Eyed Canary, Streaky Headed Canary, White Throated Robin, Boubou Shrike, Grey Lourie, Crowned Plover, Wattled Plover, Rock Bunting, Golden Breasted Bunting, Blue Waxbill, Chinspot Batis, Bar Throated Apalis, Fork Tailed Drongo, Familiar Chat, Mourning Dove, Burchells Coucal, Red Winged Starling, Puffback Shrike & Black Eyed Bulbul - all while sitting on a deck chair enjoying a few cold ones on the lawn of the lodge. I did not try find birds on the game drives but did see Stanleys Bastard which was a new bird for me (I have over 600 recorded).


A drawback for me was they do not allow off road traversing. This can be problematic if you pick up lions hunting and they leave the road or other animals are more than 50 metres off the road - if you are paying a grand alight plus, it would be good to traverse off road.


For me, the weekend was more about spending chill out time with my lil one and my wife. The game was an added bonus. Getting to fly in a Cessna 182 was great fun too - the freedom of the skies is something everyone should experience once in their lives. Too wake up at 06h00 on a Monday, have coffee and rusks on your verandah while the golden glow of the sun creeps across the landscape and the birds come alive is pure bliss...................... and to think of all those souls sitting in the traffic fighting their way to an office to earn money to pay bills. I count my blessings everyday!


Safe Travels to all



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Thanks, Ryan, this info is a keeper.

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