Waterberg Plateau Park
Often skipped out, or at best given a single night’s layover, as people race for pole position at a waterhole in Etosha National Park up north, the Waterberg has many game farms and lodges that warrant a longer stay.
The 200 meter-high, flat-topped Waterberg Plateau is sometimes described as the Lost Eden because, once up there, the animals have no way down. Leopard, buffalo, and the rare and endangered roan and sable antelope live atop this magnificent brick-red sandstone block.
The plateau can be explored on a Nature Conservation guided game viewing vehicle or guided wilderness trail. In the shadow of the plateau is a restful resort with bird studded camp sites where parrots chatter above your head, and cottages with impressive views over the surrounding savannah.
The plateau supports open grassland and broad-leafed woodland; the foothills and plains are marked by savannah woodland with acacia the dominant tree. Several springs well up to provide lush undergrowth and yet another wildlife habitat.
Age-old geological attractions en route to the northern regions offer interesting diversions and provide some spectacular scenery.
This area was the scene of a terrible massacre of the Herero people by the German colonists and a graveyard within the resort is a poignant reminder of the dead.
- Walking safaris and hiking trails through spectacular scenery
- Conservation projects offering interaction with Africa’s rare cats
- Luxury lodges in private game farms
- Age-old geographical attractions
- Natural self-drive destination and a convenient bridge between north and south
Rare species including white rhino, buffalo, and sable and roan antelope have been introduced to the Waterberg Plateau Park and the existing game includes giraffe, kudu, leopard, hyena and cheetah. While no match for Etosha National Park as a wildlife destination, the park has two excellent – and very popular – long walking safaris that provide a fascinating close encounter with Namibia’s wilderness. One is guided with no set route and the other is a self-guided demarcated trail.
Several excellent game farms have developed over the years and offer exceptional private safaris with luxury accommodation and good numbers of Africa’s big game.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund is several amalgamated game farms with private lodges on the western side of the Waterberg Plateau Park. The AfriCat Foundation is part of luxury lodge/game farm combination where they rehabilitate animals such as cheetah to be re-released into the wild.
On a farm, 60km south of Otjiwarongo, is a series of fossilised dinosaur footprints estimated to be between 150 and 200 million years old. Further north, near Grootfontein, is the Hoba Meteorite: the largest meteorite ever found and a huge hunk of metal 1m high and nearly 3m across.
Map of Waterberg Plateau Park