Besides delicious dips in the warm baths of Bela-Bela, the area also offers adventure activities in the form of hiking, mountain biking, as well as some game viewing at different game parks.
Forever Resorts Warmbaths
Why you should visit: 22 000 litres of this warm bubbling water gush out every hour at Forever Resorts Warmbaths, the first port of call for any weary body. Water temperatures hover around a smoking 53ºC and there’s an outdoor pool fed by the springs, hot and cold pools, indoor hydro pools, Jacuzzis, a foefie slide, wave pool and other warm-water facilities and activities. Don’t forget your bathing suits!
How much does it cost: Rates for day visitors are from R195 per adult during high season. Open to day visitors from 07:00 to 17:00.
How to get there: Find it on 1 Chris Hani Way in Bela-Bela.
Why you should visit: The Warmbaths Dam is a hotspot for fishing and various water sports.
Bring your boat for a day of water-skiing or sailing. Motorised boats and other watercraft are welcome at Bela-Bela Dam with the correct permits. There are also picnic and braai facilities at the site.
How to get there: The dam lies 8km outside of the town. Follow directions for the Boat Club on Alma Road. Enquire about pricing.
Waterberg Zipline Adventures
Why you should visit: Get a bird’s-eye view of the Waterberg and an adrenaline rush with Waterberg Zipline Adventures. Canopy tours are two-and-a-half hours and comprise of ten slides varying from 70 to 230m in length.
Experienced staff are also qualified field guides, so they will identify the area’s flora and fauna while you’re zipping through the trees.
If you’re not brave enough to go it on your own, book a tandem guided tour.
How to get there: Located between Bela-Bela and Modimolle, at Thaba Monate Game Lodge.
How much does it cost: R420 per person. See www.waterbergzip.co.za.
Mapungubwe National Park
Why you should visit: The Mapungubwe National Park lies at the northern tip of Limpopo, four hours from Bela-Bela. The unique national park is situated at the meeting point of two mighty rivers, the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. It’s rich in wildlife and is also the site of an 11th-century African civilisation, South Africa’s first “kingdom”, once home to some 5 000 pre-Shona people.
Stop by the Mapungubwe Interpretative Centre near the park’s entrance where you can see relics from how this ancient civilisation lived 800 years ago. Artefacts include glass beads, gold necklaces, pots, the remains of the kingdom’s palace and more.
How to get there: Mapungubwe National Park is a four-hour drive north of Bela-Bela.
How much does it cost: South African citizens and residents pay R55 per day. Visit https://www.sanparks.org/parks/mapungubwe/.