Situated 3 hours’ from Johannesburg in the Malaria free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains, Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway is a special place where service is understood and luxury is elegantly understated.
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway is located in the malaria-free 36,000 hectare Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, set within the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere, less than 3 hours north of Johannesburg.
Welgevonden Nature Reserve
The Waterberg Biosphere: a hidden treasure of South African Heritage: In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) designated the Waterberg area of South Africa as a recognised Biosphere Reserve. Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, our home, is located in the heart of this Biosphere, and adjoins Marakele National Park.
The UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is a 6,500 square kilometre (650,000 hectare) paradise named after the water-rich nature that the low mountain ranges and escarpments produce in an otherwise arid region. As one of three major mountain ranges in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, the Waterberg Mountain Range also contributes to a major water catchment area of the Limpopo Basin.The unique nature of the mountainous region, coupled with the water-rich soil, produces an abundance of flora and fauna that are endemic to this region. According to UNESCO, the Waterberg’s rich biodiversity is evident with the presence of more than 5,500 species of plants, of which 43% are endemic to South Africa. The region is also home to at least 18 threatened plant species, 18 mammal species 11 bird species, 4 reptile species, 4 species of fish, and one butterfly species that are all deemed of the utmost importance for biodiversity conservation. From a socioeconomic perspective, the region is equally rich and unique. The Waterberg has been inhabited over hundreds and thousands of years and is home to one of the most important San rock art areas in South Africa. Today, more than 80,000 people live in the Biosphere Reserve.The ideology of a Biosphere Reserve is to preserve both the socioeconomic and environmental distinctiveness of the Waterberg region, helping to strike a balance between the pressures of economic development, the need to generate direct benefits to the local communities, and the conservation of the area’s natural resources. As tourism is the primary source of income in the region, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve Committee—an organisation set up after a five year consultation process with all stakeholders concerned—is tasked with ensuring that the needs of all stakeholders are dealt with in an equitable manner.
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway is privileged to contribute to the innovative conservation of the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere through Welgevonden Private Game Reserve’s pioneering conservation model. Through industry-leading, innovative conservation management, Welgevonden itself is home to more than 65 mammal species, including the famous Big Five, cheetah, brown hyena, caracal, aardwolf, and over 300 different bird species. Located just two and a half hours away on road, or a mere 45-minute by flight, from Johannesburg, the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere’s accessibility and malaria-free status make it one of the finest places to watch wildlife, soak in the wilderness, and experience a hidden gem of South African heritage. As South Africans around the country are waiting with abated breath for the next opportunity to travel, we encourage everyone to explore the hidden treasures of our exceptional country.
At Clifftop, we believe that successful ecotourism must generate sustainable outcomes for the environment, for the surrounding communities, and for our commercial viability at every stage of our guest experience. We reaffirm our commitment to creating an exceptional experience that will generate sustainable benefits for the local community, for tourism, and for the conservation of our country’s inimitable heritage
Access is either by:
Access by road: An easy drive on mostly highway and excellent provincial roads. Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway is accessed via Welgevonden East Gate or, in the event of heavy rains and flooding, via Welgevonden Main Gate.
Access by air: Fly directly from either OR Tambo International Airport or Lanseria Airport to the reserve landing strip. Guests are collected and transferred to the lodge. Guests are collected and transferred to the lodge, located a 1 ½ hour drive from the landing strip. Alternatively, the lodge has two helicopter landing pads
Welgevonden Game Reserve is ideal if combining a safari with other destinations in Southern Africa.
- Getting to Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway by Road
- Getting to Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway by Air
- Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway helicopter pad co-ordinates:
- Gate Fees
- Take the N1 north out of Johannesburg/Pretoria. Just over 120km after Pretoria find the Kranskop Toll Plaza. Take the R33 off-ramp at the toll plaza (keep in the left hand lane) to Modimolle / Nylstroom.
- Drive straight through Modimolle/Nylstroom on the R33 towards Vaalwater. Drive straight through Vaalwater on the R510 towards Thabazimbi.
- To go to Welgevonden East Gate: Follow the R510 for 13 km after leaving Vaalwater, turn left on the little dirt road (look out for sign “Welgevonden East Gate”), follow it for 11km.
- GPS East Gate: S 24°17’ 50.10” E 027°55’ 16.84’
GPS Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway: S 24°17’47.10” E 027°54’17.84’
- Contact Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway as you drive through Vaalwater to ensure that a lodge safari vehicle is dispatched and awaiting your arrival at Welgevonden East Gate for a 15-minute safari vehicle transfer to the lodge.
Fly directly from either OR Tambo International Airport or Lanseria Airport to the reserve landing strip. Guests are collected and transferred to the lodge. Guests are collected and transferred to the lodge, located a 1 ½ hour drive from the landing strip. Alternatively, the lodge has two helicopter landing pads.
S 24 17 76
E 027 54 35
Altitude 1226.5 m
The conservation fees for Welgevonden Game Reserve are currently R 126.00 per person per night and you will be required to hand back your receipt to the gate attendant upon your departure.