What to do and see in Bela Bela, South Africa: The Best Places and Tips

November 26, 2017 Vivienne Hutton

Discover the best top things to do in Bela Bela, South Africa including Adventures with Elephants, Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm, Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, The Hydro, De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah Ranch, Zebula Golf Course, L'abri Farm Shop and Brewery, Waterberg Zipline Adventures, Sondela Rehab Centre Bela Bela, Feracare Wildlife Centre.
Restaurants in Bela Bela

1. Adventures with Elephants

Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 14 734 7730
Excellent
89%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 379 reviews

Adventures with Elephants

Offering way more than the usual “Touch and Feed’ elephant experience, Adventures With Elephants offer unique intimate hands-on educational elephant interactions, elephant-back Safaris, swims on elephants, starlight Safaris as well as tailor-made events such as weddings, team-building, corporate functions and filming. Info:Adventures With Elephants is an educational elephant interaction facility / venue located on a beautiful 300 hectare wildlife reserve. AWE is situated an hour’s drive north from Pretoria and is a short 35 km from Bela Bela off the R516 on the D1000 adjacent to the Zebula Country Club. Adventures With Elephants is managed by the Hensman family who have been privileged to have lived and worked with elephants since 1988 and as such offer unrivaled elephant experiences.

Reviewed By nbeukes

The experience was amazing and very fun and informative.
David was extremely knowledgeable about all the elephants and their behavior in the wild and at their current habitat. The staff were professional and friendly. What an really awesome experience!!! Not to be missed!!!! Would really love to do it again!!! Hopefully they will be able to raise awareness about these amazing creatures and ensure their existence for all generations to enjoy!!!!

2. Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm

447 Groot Nylsoog KR, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 14 736 4090
Excellent
82%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 117 reviews

Bambelela Wildlife Care&Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation Farm

Reviewed By baffinaberdeen - Aberdeen

This is the real deal....the whole process of getting primates damaged by us humans back to release into the wild in social groupings...the interaction with the babies at the end of our visit was heart melting, and seeing those too damaged to be released living...Morethank you for visiting XXX

3. Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

R516 Rooiberg Road, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 14 736 9000
Excellent
42%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
5%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 134 reviews

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve

Reviewed By bronwynn193 - Johannesburg, South Africa

Spend 4 nights camping at Mabalingwe caravan Park... Awesome once again.. The hotel and the restaurants make it more then great as you have a variety.. And to drive around in your own vehicle doing game drives are the best.. And then we love the Kalahari Oasis for a pit stop

4. The Hydro

1 Chris Hani Drive | Warmbaths Resort, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 82 308 858
Excellent
49%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 39 reviews

The Hydro

Reviewed By Afroexpert - Pretoria, South Africa

The high-quality mineral Springs of BELA BELA [old name WARMBATHS/ WARMBAD], situated just one hour’s drive north of Pretoria (Tshwane) or 1,5 hours north of Johannesburg, must rank as one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. The pools of the Hydro are large, sparkling clean and reasonably priced and bear comparison with the best in the world.
The water rises up from the dark depths at a temperature of about 60˚C. That is far too hot for us humans to take, so the water has cold water added to ensure a uniform temperature in the Main Indoor Pool of 36˚C. Within a smaller enclosure is the Rheumatism Pool for those in need of something stronger, at a temperature of 40˚C. That is hot! And is not recommended for more than 20 minutes. It is amazing what a big difference in feeling there is with just a 4 ˚C increase. 36˚C = bearable; 40 ˚C = unbearable… The huge indoor pool leads out seamlessly to another large outdoor pool, where, on a sunny day in the Winter, it is an absolute joy to swim and lie in the warm water [temperature 35˚C], the sun shining on your face, with a sharp wind of about 15˚C. The whole outside area is enclosed with a high wall and arched, covered areas running along the wall, where one can sit or lie on chaise-longues, in either sun or shade. There is also a small “plunge pool” with a temperature of 28˚C. The depth of the pool is important: 1,5m only. That means that it is almost impossible to be out of your depth.
Outside the Hydro, there is a huge outdoor swimming area for children to play in, Winter or Summer. So the Hydro is the “Main” [adult] indoor pool area, while the children’s outdoor pool area is set a distance away. There is also a Spa for those wanting mud-baths, massages and what-have-you.
It is true that the majority of “regulars” are elderly people, taking to the waters in order to warm up their joints, arthritis and rheumatism. But why should they have all the fun? Take a day off, drive up to Bela-Bela (meaning “the pot that bubbles”), pay the R100 – R150 [US$7.50 - $11.50] entrance fee [depending upon the season] valid from 7 am to 4 pm (First Session) or the Second Session after 5pm till 10 pm, and sink into the warm, enveloping waters. Within minutes you will be a “New You”! After a couple of hours, you will be calm and collected. Those knotted shoulder muscles will have relaxed. Your troubles will have disappeared, and your blood pressure will have dropped by a couple of points as your cardio-vascular system dilates with the heat. Head for the Hydro, not the children’s open pool.
I would take along a padlock to lock away my valuables, as these are not available for rental.
I slept that night as I have not slept for years…

5. De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah Ranch

R516 | About 40km West of Bela Bela Off the Road to Thabazimbi, Bela Bela, South Africa +27 87 751 4001
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 25 reviews

De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah Ranch

Reviewed By Bhejanespecialevents - Durban, South Africa

Only 40 km from Bella Bella via gravel road. We were welcomed by very friendly staff, had some refreshments and on our game view vehicle. The lady tour guide, Nelda was very informative and a pleasure to listen to. It was obvious that she know her subject and that she love the bush and her work. The animals are well looked after and the tour was definitely a must to do.

6. Zebula Golf Course

D1000 Farm 534, Vaalwal KQ Road | Mabula District, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 14 734 7708
Excellent
49%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
4%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 66 reviews

Zebula Golf Course

Zebula Golf Course is a classic Bushveld par 72 course, set in the open plains of the reserve with herds of game roaming freely. The course is relatively flat yet undulating, inviting to play with generous fairways and clusters of trees that act as hazards. Voted the Golf Digest's Best New Golf Course 2004 and awarded the 5 star Golf Experience for 2010 by Compleat Golfer, Zebula has matured wonderfully over the past few years into a truly great course to play. Zebula was designed by the legendary Peter Matkovich, a golf professional for 25 years, and a world-respected golf course designer for more than 15 years. When it comes to golf course design, first and foremost Peter is an environmentalist - seamlessly blending nature and design to create golf courses that are inherently sensitive to local environments. In fact, love for the indigenous remains a cornerstone of his designs; to him, golf should offer a retreat, an escape, from one's busy life. The layout, built to USGA specifications with kikuyu fairways and bent grass greens is so much part of the bushveld experience that one wouldn't be surprised to encounter a lofty giraffe or a shy zebra or two during your golfing experience. The wonderful year-round climate and the judicious use of naturally occurring water practically guarantees the course will be green year round. Complemented as it is by an excellent Clubhouse with a location that defies description, a well-stocked Pro Shop and superb practice facilities, Zebula is a joy to play. You are destined to keep coming back again and again to experience it. As we like to say: if you have Africa in your blood and you love the game of golf, life just doesn't get better than this!

Reviewed By Santi T

Great golfing day. The golf course was in very good condition and charm treatment I enjoyed a lot. The massage I booked was really poor!

7. L'abri Farm Shop and Brewery

Off the Thabazimbi Road | 37 km from Bella Bella, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 82 605 1492
Excellent
54%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 29 reviews

L'abri Farm Shop and Brewery

Reviewed By Zoë B - Johannesburg, South Africa

The only way to L'abri is via a dirt road, making it an ideal tranquil venue to enjoy some freshly brewed beers and quality oven made pizza's. L'abri is quite unassuming, it is literally a garden and house in the middle of nowhere. Parking is outside, along the dirt road and the first thing you see is a little entrance to the trading post (this is the little stall with home made jams, rusks and crafts). Enter inside and you are warmly greeted by Suzette, who does warn that food can take a while. There are a few seats in the bar area, otherwise seats are available in the garden - it does get busy, so be prepared to wait for a seat to be available. Beers are only on tap, otherwise you can opt for one of their luxury milkshakes. The only food available is pizza and dessert pizza, which is freshly made and oven baked one at a time - this is definitely not the place if you are in a rush or looking for a quick bite.
I was lucky enough to have the L’abri Fountain Marula, which is seasonal. Another good beer is the L’abri Fountain Wit Hassie. The pizza is probably the best I have had.

8. Waterberg Zipline Adventures

Thaba Monate Camp site, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa
Excellent
92%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 12 reviews

Waterberg Zipline Adventures

Waterberg Ziplines tour will take you on an unforgettable and adrenalin filled journey that offers the most beautiful nature scenes imaginable!! Experience divine nature like never before! An abundance of plantlife, indigenous trees, 250 exquisite bird species and wide selection of flowers and wild animals. The tour takes you on an exciting, 2 and a half hour adventure as you slide from one platform to the next, through the most beautiful Waterberg mountainside, set among magnificent natural surroundings. Involves a zig zag ride. Our professional, experienced guides will assure safety as well as interesting facts and an excellent knowledge regarding the area. Located between Bela-Bela and Modimolle in Limpopo Province. Only 1 hour's drive from Gauteng.

Reviewed By Lee-anne G - Johannesburg, South Africa

This was an amazing morning out.
The staff are very friendly and professional, and their humor adds to the great experience. You feel safe and they provide you with a lot of information about Zip-lining and the surrounding are, trees and animals.
When we finished, we had a treat of seeing two lion cubs, one being a white lion, as well as serval.
My only complaint is that they advertise 2 1/2 hours of excitement, however our entire experience only lasted 1 hour, and with 3 kids, we needed slightly longer to keep them entertained for the day.
Overall though, highly recommended.

9. Sondela Rehab Centre Bela Bela

N 1 Bosveld, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 14 736 8900
Excellent
54%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
9%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 21 reviews

Sondela Rehab Centre Bela Bela

Reviewed By gpharrys - Durban

A most worthwhile experience .The guide was very knowlegeble and could answer questions without hesitation. The feeding of some animals was an enjoyable active participation on tour by ourselves. From the farmyard animals, birds, wild animals to the large cats there was a clear affinity and personal contact with the animals. These students have been well trained and prepared for their future careers.

10. Feracare Wildlife Centre

431 Diepdrift, Bela Bela 0480, South Africa +27 87 751 4001
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 8 reviews

Feracare Wildlife Centre

Take a guided trip around our project and experience the animals of FeraCare Wildlife Centre. You will be driven around by our guide and see a number of South Africa's indigenous, and often endangered wildlife species including the African Wild Cat, the Caracal, African Wild Dog, a few Vulture species, and of course, the Cheetah.

Reviewed By matkirk - Bloubergstrand, South Africa

Wonderful experience and the staff and volunteers there do such great work! Enjoyed driving through the cheetah and wild dog enclosures. Even the game vehicle breaking down didn't dampen the experience...it just added to the drama! Just ensure that you phone and book so that they know you are coming. Their front gate access control doesn't always work and you may just pitch up there and sit outside for ages wondering how you're going to get in (there is zero cell phone signal in the area).

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