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Place of the Warm Baths
Located within the Limpopo Province, Bela-Bela lies only 100 km’s north of Pretoria and just less than two hours’ drive from Johannesburg.
Previously known as Warmbaths, and for a good reason, the town owes its existence to the hot spring that gushes to the surface at 53˚C. These springs can be found in the Forever Resort, complete with waterslides, play parks and all the usual child-friendly facilities. This is still the reason Bela-Bela is a popular holiday destination however, over and above the hot springs, there are many other reasons Bela-Bela is popular!
The many game farms in the area adds the allure of the Big 5 to the mix and many of the game farms in the area include elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard. They also offer a wide range of activities from night drives, game walks and testing hiking trails. Bela-Bela is the perfect place to hide out for a while and recharge your batteries, but, if it is relaxation you're after, book out of season or choose one of the less child-friendly resorts.
Bela-Bela is well equipped for visitors with many restaurants, coffee shops and even their own Waterfront. Accommodation in the area includes self-catering cottages, guest houses, B&B’s, Hotels, Holiday Resorts and camping.
Things to do and see
- Bambelela Wildlife Care
- Adventures with Elephants
- Wag ‘n Bietjie Hiking Trail
- Diepdrift Hiking Trails
- Thaba Pitsi Nature Reserve
- Ants Hill, Horseriding
- Forever Resorts Hot Springs
- L’abri Farm Shop
- L’abri Fountain Brewery
- Waterberg Zipline
Bela Bela receives approximately 481 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during Summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 20˚C.
There are daily flights into Lanseria Airport, approximately 159 km’s away along the N1 and O R Tambo International Airport, approximately 152 km’s away via the N1. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Long before man came on the scene, the water of the mineral spring at Warmbaths, since renamed Bela Bela, meaning 'Boiling, Boiling”, was relished by animals with elephants and buffalo wallowing in the warm mineralized mud.
Bushmen and iron age Africans used the spring and Europeans discovered it soon after they settled in the then Transvaal. They could hardly miss it, for in winter a cloud of steam, visible for many kilometres, rises over the veld. Settlers soon began scooping out bathing hollows in the mud. The mineral springs that flows out of the Earth is essentially what gave rise to the establishment of the town.
Originally the Voortrekker Carl Van Heerden established the first farm in this area at the Mineral Springs and called it Het Bad.
The spring was bought by the then Transvaal government in 1873 and it has since grown into a health and holiday resort with more than 250 000 visitors each year.
In the year 2002 Warmbaths was officially renamed Bela-Bela
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