Bushwa Private Game Reserve is located in a malaria-free pocket of wilderness in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Forming part of the Waterberg biosphere, the reserve offers an unparalleled nature experience in a UNESCO site. Bushwa is situated on top of a koppie, crowned with dense green vegetation during the green season.
The biosphere stretches across low-lying mountains, rocky escarpments, and savannah synonymous with mountain vegetation. Four rivers intersect the reserve, creating several drinking points for a wealth of wildlife.
Bushwa offers a host of activities for keen safari-goers wanting to fully immerse themselves in nature. From expertly guided daily game drives to focused birdwatching trips, Bushwa is ideal for visitors seeking an uncrowded safari experience. The area is steeped in history and is a notable destination for San rock art.
Bushwa is only 250 kilometres from the business hub of South Africa, Johannesburg. It is an easy self-drive safari destination from the O.R Tambo airport, and the closest town to Bushwa in Vaalwater.
This particular area of the Waterberg in South Africa’s Limpopo province has the advantage of being malaria-free and is thus suitable for visits throughout the year.
Safari-goers intend on making Bushwa Private Game Reserve their destination of choice, can look forward to exceptional game viewing and birding. And just outside its borders, there are opportunities for golf and hiking.
Bushwa is home to an estimated 40 species of game, including ungulates, predators and giant herbivores. The most commonly spotted big game species is buffalo. Other browsers and grazers in the reserve include oryx, eland, kudu, impala, sable (wide distribution), impala, mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and wildebeest.
Although not a predator-rich game reserve, Bushwa is home to hyena, caracal, jackal and the ever-elusive leopard (very rare to spot). Other species to spot include baboon, civet and warthog.
Bushwa is a sought-after birding destination with abundant birdlife and sustains a wealth of endemic and migratory wildlife. Cape vultures, sugarbirds, Verreaux's eagle-owl, mountain wagtails and half-collared kingfishers are just a few species to spot while on safari.
During the summer months the landscape shifts from crunchy brown savannah into a shade of emerald green vegetation. The summer season is the rainy time of year but is great for birding. During summer, the vegetation is thick, so spotting wildlife can be tricky.
Winter is the best time of year for game viewing. This is when wildlife flocks to waterholes and the dense vegetation thins out.
Summer is from October to March and winter is from June to August. September and April are also good times to visit. The peak safari season is June/July.
The safari experience here is immersive and exciting. Daily game drives take place in the Waterberg biosphere, introducing visitors to a world of wonder. Game drives take place in open-topped, modified game views and are conducted first thing in the morning when predators are active, and late afternoon when herbivores are active.
Birdwatching is popular, and there are numerous viewing points in the reserve to sit and observe avifauna. The top of the koppie provides sweeping views of the landscape below and is the perfect place to try and spot lifers. Both game drives and birdwatching safaris are conducted by highly-qualified field guides.
Just outside of the reserve, it’s quite possible to arrange hiking, visits to the San Rock art, and even golf.
There is only one luxury lodge available in the reserve, which is located in a serene setting with exquisite views of the reserve. Here visitors can enjoy starlit nights around the campfire in the bomb area, private bush dinners and breakfasts, and luxury spa treatments.