Entabeni Safari Conservancy is a mere three-hour drive from Johannesburg and is in the Waterberg Biosphere, a designated World Heritage Site. This malaria-free safari kingdom spans 220 square kilometres over five unique ecosystems.
The conservancy boasts endless grassy plains flanked by a craggy escarpment. Tall mountainous cliffs provide the ideal habitat for plains game, nesting eagles, and other wildlife. On the lower reaches, visitors are rewarded with exceptional views of wetland territory home to wading birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Keen birders are encouraged to look out for residents such as the goliath and black heron.
There are a host of activities on-site designed to take advantage of this exquisite biome. Visitors can enjoy aerial views from hot air balloon rides, thrilling quad biking excursions, exploratory hikes, and daily game drives. Getting to the reserve is easy. Self-drivers from Pretoria and Polokwane can reach the conservancy in 90 minutes, and from OR Tambo International Airport it’s only a three-hour drive.
Entabeni Safari Conservancy is a mere three-hour drive from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where there are several cars hire companies.
There are several different types of accommodation available at Entabeni Safari Conservancy. Most of the facilities come complete with all amenities, including swimming pools.
The five contrasting ecosystems in the conservancy provide the perfect habitat for an array of species. This is Big Five territory, and visitors can expect to see these bucket-list species throughout the entire area. In total, there are 55 mammal species and a colourful array of reptiles and amphibians. Hippos, crocodiles, and aquatic birds are frequently sighted in the wetland regions. In the grassland regions, visitors will discover buffalo, elephant, cheetah, sable, nyala, eland, kudu, and mountain reedbuck.
Klipspringer, leopard, caracal, baboons, and jackal are often spotted on the craggy, rocky outcrops. Scattered throughout there are populations of the brown hyena, warthog, and bushpig.
Birders can delight in knowing that there are 380 recorded species of bird in the conservancy, 104 of which are aquatic birds. Local specials include Eurasian bittern, lesser moorhen, crake, rail, and 15 species of duck. Notable raptors include rock kestrel, African hawk-eagle, and Lanner falcon.
The Waterberg Biosphere is a year-round safari destination and visitors can enjoy fairly moderate weather throughout the year. The summer months bring the rain, turning the landscape from khaki hues to emerald greens. Although picturesque and fantastic for birding, it can be tricky to spot wildlife in the dense green shrubbery. Winter is from June to August, while summer is from October to March. The in-between seasons offer the best of both worlds for a safari experience.
A plethora of safari activities exist in this conservancy, each designed to take advantage of spectacular views and wildlife offerings. Game drives are the most common safari experience of choice and generally take place in the early morning and late evening when the Big Five are the most active. Guides will take visitors to known wildlife hotspots.
For the more adventurous guest chasing an immersive safari adventure, there are guided hikes and walks. During the walking trails, passionate guides will teach guests about the fauna and flora of the area, with a particular focus on the small creatures of the wild.
Horse riding, scenic helicopter flights, mountain biking, quad biking, and hot air balloon rides offer other unique and exciting ways of expiring the wild. Along with the usual safari activities, visitors can enjoy cultural tours, spa treatments, and more.
Visitors can choose from a selection of lodges, all of which are located on either the upper or lower escarpment. A few of the lodges are located on the edge of the dam, while others have sweeping views from up above. Lodges come complete with all the comforts of home and include fireplaces, swimming pools, curio shops, on-site restaurants and spa wellness areas.