Makwetis cuisine reflects an artful fusion of exotic spices from ancient trade routes, home made soups, game meats and a wide assortment of health conscious choices. Fine South African estate wines from our cellars compliment our gourmet meals.
Candlelit dinners are served in a formal dining room, or under a starry night sky in the boma by a flickering campfire.
Connoisseurs have acknowledged Makwetis cuisine, the world over.
The Game Reserve
The origins of the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve started with a dream.
The du Plessis family, who owned the original Welgevonden farm, wished to return the land to its origins, and so started to procure neighbouring farms to realise their dream. Today, the reserve comprises 38 000 hectares, of pristine bushveld, and is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in South Africa.
Since 1994 wildlife has been returned to this wilderness area, each repatriation, being carefully considered and monitored to ensure the success of the reintroduction. Today, visitors are treated to a diversity of wild life not encountered in other reserves. 16 Species of antelope, the largest private collection of white rhino in the world, dominant lion prides collectively numbering some 25 individuals, over 60 elephants, a healthy population of buffalo, cheetah and the amazing, endangered brown hyena. Leopards roam the craggy landscape, and are estimated in numbers up to 20 individuals.
For bird lovers the Welgevonden has recorded in excess of 254 species of birds.
Unique to the Welgevonden are the spectacular views of African landscapes in combination with excellent game viewing a combination unique on the South African safari circuit.
The vegetation too, offers an amazing diversity, from proteas to sycamore fig trees, sweet grasses to the reed grasses that embrace the many streams that run through the reserve. Thick forest vegetation gives way to large of open plains, reminiscent of the African dream
The reserve has been proclaimed a National Heritage site.
To maximise this unique areas considerable potential for conservation, sustainable development and social upliftment, the area has been proclaimed a Biosphere. Great strides have already taken place with the establishment of the 15 000 square kilometre Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, the largest savannah biosphere reserve in Africa Makweti Safari Lodge forms part of this amazing initiative.
The Safari Experience
Safaris are conducted twice daily in open safari vehicles, or tailored to individual requests.
Each vehicle is custom built, to maximise comfort. Our rangers are highly qualified, and have been specifically chosen for their passion of the land and the animals, and their ability to share their enthusiasm.
The Sterkstroom, the Taaibos and the Grootfontein Rivers, flow serenely through the landscape, flanked by steep hills and open plains.
An excellent network of gravel roads takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Africa. Some routes take you high up to commanding panoramic views, with the brooding presence of the Kransberg, the highest peak in the Waterberg Mountains. Moving south through high cliffs and steep hills one suddenly encounters the rolling grass plains that are second in beauty, only to those encountered in east Africa, home to large herds of wildebeest and zebra.
Whilst on game drive through this spectacular wilderness, one can encounter an abundance of wild life including white rhino, kudu, blue wildebeest, giraffe, eland, zebra, elephant, lion, buffalo and the ever-elusive leopard. Tsessebe and red hartebeest also make for excellent viewing and an abundance of birds fill those quite moments between wildlife sightings. The night comes alive with the appearance of the less often seen brown hyena, bushpig, genet, porcupine, civet, and other nocturnal species.
Makweti, located centrally in the reserve, is the ideal spot from where to start your journey into the unforgiving, rugged landscape of the Waterberg. Going east one finds the steep valleys dipping down towards the Sterkstroom River, which holds a wealth of flora from the small riverbed grasses to the dominating fig trees. Tucked away in a very secret place, behind a grove of yellowwood trees, are magnificently preserved bushmen paintings dating back more than 400 years.
A typical day on Safari
The morning safari departs from the lodge as the suns rays begin to warm the African bushveld, and return to camp for a hearty breakfast in the late morning.
Return to camp for a scrumptious meal followed by an optional walking safari, accompanied by an armed ranger.
In the late afternoon, safaris depart from the lodge, and continue until the orange hues of sunset mark the time for a sun downer cocktail. After dark, your ranger seeks out the nocturnal species on route back to the camp
Return to camp for a gourmet dinner before retiring to a symphony of nature
Getting to Makweti Safari Lodge
Just two and a half hours by road from Johannesburg International Airport or 2 hours from Pretoria for those arriving by train from Cape Town. Makweti offers transfer services from both centres, or charter flights in a choice of aircraft, including a Tiger Moth flight as a co pilot. Our reservations office is able to assist, with travel arrangements of your choice.
For self drive passengers a map details our recommended route. All guests are collected from the Main Welgevonden gate for a transfer to the camp by safari vehicles. No private vehicles are permitted to enter the reserve.
The Welgevonden Game Reserve offers a choice of tar (1500m) or dirt airstrips. Co ordinates are available from the reservations office.