The Lapalala Wilderness is truly one of Africa’s undiscovered safari wonders.
Just 3 hours from Johannesburg, the reserve is the result of a groundbreaking 20-year-long conservation story; resulting in a pristine, exclusive Waterberg wilderness; a land so vast and beautiful you can’t help but skip a breath as you stand up on the high cliffs and look down on the rugged Palala River flowing through the valley below.
A visit to Lapalala is not your average safari experience. Other than the remarkable wildlife on the reserve (including the Big Five); Tintswalo Lapalala offers a full range of adventures for the entire family: from game drives, to a wilderness school, and wonderful journeys back in time as you view the oldest rock art in Africa.
It’s not easy to make a list of the top five things that make Lapalala great; but here’s a start.
See a Sable, Roan Antelope; and Black Rhino
You can go on ten safaris to Africa and not see a single Sable or Roan antelope. These rare animals are also Africa’s most elegant, with the Sable’s long sickle horns and large white mane. Thankfully, Lapalala’s conservation teams have been working on growing their numbers for many years. Due to these long term initiatives and brilliant anti-poaching patrols, the chances are high that you will see a herd of these beautiful antelope on your safari. Another rare and endangered animal in Africa is the Black Rhino; and great rhino sightings are common at Lapalala.
A Safari of Never-ending Adventures
Lapalala is an adventure safari like no other. Aside from the usual game drives, we offer experiences that will get you out of the vehicles and into all the different environments of the reserve: from bush walks to see the old bushman paintings in the valleys and caves; to boat sundowner cruises on the dam; and a magical sleep out deck where you can spend the night in the wilderness: This isn’t just 5 stars – its a billion stars! With only a mosquito net between you and the night sky, you will fall asleep to twinkling stars and the African night sounds. Also check out the Lapalala conservation and breeding centres; where endangered species are nurtured before introduction back into the wild. For history lovers: visit the many rock art and iron age sites, showing thousands of years of human occupation at Lapalala.
One of 500 UNESCO-recognised biosphere reserves—and the only savannah biosphere reserve in the world!
The spectacular mountains, rivers and kranses of Lapalala form part of a much, much bigger wilderness area that makes up one of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves. Unique animals, birds and plants are endemic to the area, and while the land is dry in winter, the summer rains bring the reserve to life; as lush forests burst with birds, rhinos enjoy the new grass shoots, giraffe clip the leaves of trees, and the elephants and rhinos frequent the waterholes.
Malaria-free and Family Friendly
Lapalala is truly unique in the fact that it’s perfect for the whole family. The reserve lies outside is out of the Malaria zone, which makes it ideal for children; along with all the activities available to keep kids occupied—game drives, swimming pool, walks, rock art visits, bush breakfasts, fishing, and boat cruises—there won’t be a bored moment the entire trip. The pool, the dam, the river, the scenery, the animals and the local wilderness school make this safari one for the kids and the parents.
The Lapalala Wilderness School
The wilderness school is one of Lapalala’s crowning achievements. Clive Walker, Lapalala’s co-founder, always had a dream to create a wilderness school in the bush, and it was this dream that grew the reserve into the conservation success that it is today. Guests have the option to visit the the school, situated in the middle of the reserve, and learn about its remarkable achievements. The school has seen over 70 000 students from all walks of South African life pass through its classrooms. Here, kids learn all about Africa’s animals, enjoy team-building and leadership activities; sleep under the stars; and build a connection to nature that they will carry through their whole life. It’s at this school where South Africa’s next conservationists, leaders and mentors will be created and nurtured; ensuring a better future for South Africa.