Welgevonden Game Reserve


Welgevonden Game Reserve (Dutch for "well found" or a "serendipitous journey"), is a 36 000 hectare game reserve in the Waterberg region. A pleasant 2,5-hour drive or an easy 45-minute flight from Johannesburg into one of the airstrips, makes Welgevonden one of the most accessible premier malaria free wilderness reserves in the country. It forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve which was officially declared by UNESCO in 2001 and currently covers an area in excess of 4000 km. Here guests enjoy unlimited traversing through the reserve and experience an environment where biodiversity, conservation and game viewing are managed in harmony. Welgevonden protects a unique and special environment and the reserve's management is deeply committed to ongoing conservation research and development. Welgevonden is home to more than 50 mammal species, which includes the Big 5, it is also home to the rare species like aardvark, pangolin, brown hyena and cheetah, all making for an exhilirating game drive.

Why Go:

  • Tourists are offered a range of outdoor activities
  • The region offers a beautiful and rugged scenery
  • The region is safe for children, as it is Malaria-free
  • Excellent place for bird viewing along with hundreds of species
  • Off-the-beaten-track destination with great wilderness appeal
  • Various lodging options, which include private reserves, bush camps, and parks to choose from


Welgevonden is home to over 50 different mammals including the Big 5. The reserve has one of the largest populations of white rhino of any of Africa’s private reserves as well as kudu, giraffe, zebra, warthog, cheetah, brown hyena, the honey badger, close to 300 bird species and a whole lot more. At the same time, the restricted number of vehicles allowed in the park and the fact that the animals have never been hunted means that the they remain largely unphased by human proximity, allowing for particularly close and personal encounters.

More About the Wildlife


Welgevonden lies in the transitional zone between the dry western and moist eastern regions of South Africa and is characterized by rugged mountain landscapes, rolling hills and deep valleys. Magnificent yellowwood and cedar trees, five-meter-high cycads, and tree ferns are just some of the botanical delights.

Best Time to Visit

Despite the dusty haze that develops in the parched depths of the Dry season (May to September), this is still the best time to spot Welgevonden’s wildlife. The animals are easily found as they stay close to rivers and waterholes. And when they do duck into the bush, there’s not much ground cover to hide them. That said, birders will want to visit in the wetter months when migrating birds pass through.

More About the Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

Welgevonden’s two distinctive seasons dictate how you dress while visiting the park. It’ll be wet-weather gear on top of cool clothes in the rainy but hot summer months (October to April). And you'll need lots of warm layers to combat the cold nights of the dry winter season (May to September).

More About the Weather and Climate

Wildlife & Animals

Welgevonden is home to over 50 different mammals, including the Big Five. There are rare and unusual species too, such as brown hyena, pangolin, aardwolf and aardvark – all best seen at night. The grassy plains abound with antelope from the largest eland to the diminutive duiker, and cheetah, lion and leopard are always close by. It is the diversity of habitat on the reserve that encourages such a wide range of wildlife as well as over 300 bird species, including rare blue cranes.
Abundant Common Occasional Rare None
  • Elephant


  • Giraffe


  • Hippo


  • Buffalo


  • Zebra


  • Wildebeest


  • White Rhino

    White Rhino

  • Black Rhino

    Black Rhino

  • Lion


  • Leopard


  • Cheetah


  • Hyena


  • Wild Dog

    Wild Dog


Best Time to Visit

The best wildlife viewing in Welgevonden is during the dry winter months from May to September. At this time animals gather around predictable water sources and are therefore easier to spot.
  • Best Time to GoMay to September
    (Dry season)
  • High SeasonNever
    (The park is little visited)
  • May to September

    Dry season

  • Never

    The park is little visited throughout the year

  • Never

    The park is little visited throughout the year

  • April-May

    Mild weather and little rain

  • September-October

    Mild weather and little rain

  • May to August

    Chilly mornings and nights

  • December to February

    Hot and afternoon rain

May to September
- Dry Season – Winter
October to April
- Wet Season – Summer

Weather & Climate

The wet summer months (October to April) are hot. Dry winters (May to September) are moderate during the day, but cold at night and in the morning, making the packing of warm clothing essential.
Climate Chart
- 983-1,986m / 3,225-6,516ft
Averages based on 50 years of monthly climate data, taken from 1km² (0.39mi²) interpolated climate surfaces.
© chart & park data: SafariBookings. © climate grid data: WorldClim project. All rights reserved.
Dry season
- May to September – Winter

The dry winter season is from May to September, which is also the best time to visit Welgevonden Game Reserve.

Wet season
- October to April – Summer

October to April is the wet summer season and temperatures can increase to uncomfortable levels.

Getting There

The Welgevonden is located about 250km/124mi north of Johannesburg. Your point of entry into South Africa will most likely be O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, where you can rent a 4WD and drive on to Welgevonden.

Getting to the Welgevonden Game Reserve by air

There are multiple flights to O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg. If you want to check ticket prices, you can log on to:


Charter flights are generally arranged by your tour operator as an inclusion to your safari package.

Getting to the Welgevonden Game Reserve by road

After a major rehabilitation project of the road network in the park in 2016, most of the roads are now passable in a 2WD car. The trip from Johannesburg will take you about 3 hours.

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