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A South African Safari Must – Crossing Lodges in the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere

Elephants crossing
Lion stretching. Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

Africa, filled with beautiful landscapes, incredible wildlife, and diverse cultures is loved by international travelers around the world. Especially by those who have a love for wildlife and want to see these animals thrive in their natural habitats. This makes Africa, and especially South Africa, a great choice for a safari holiday!

African Safari’s

Elephants crossing lodge
Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

A Safari holiday is a popular (and safe) way to see the incredible power and beauty of wild animals thriving in their natural habitat. Whether it is your dream to see the Big 5 up close, or just to absorb the magnificence of nature, a safari is a way to do it! These holidays often bring a renewed sense of respect and awe for wildlife and nature to those who experience these adventures. 

What Makes Travel In South Africa So Special? 

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Zebra and Giraffe. Image provided by Zebras Crossing Lodge.

South Africa is not just a culturally diverse country, but destination wise as well! When travelling to South Africa you can find yourself on the beach in Cape Town one day and surrounded by wildlife in the Kruger National Park the next. It comes as no surprise that this country rich with experiences, had over 8.5 million tourists visiting in 2023. 

Diverse Wildlife

Zebra crossing lodge
Image provided by Zebras Crossing Lodge.

But the Kruger National Park is not the only place you can admire wildlife like the Big 5, in luxury, in South Africa. In the Welgevonden Game Reserve lies Elephants Crossing Lodge. Where you can see not only elephants but lions, impalas, rhinos, and many other incredible animals and wildlife! I had a chat with Bas Mullink, one of the lodge’s founders about what goes on there. 

The Reserve

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Hippos at a watering hole. Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

Welgevonden Game Reserve is situated in the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere in Limpopo, South Africa. Walking on the 38,000ha private game reserve is not only the Big 5 but over 485 other animal and wildlife species. Practically guaranteeing that you would encounter wildlife on your safari there – which is not always the case. As many parts of Africa suffer from poaching, climate change, and threats against biodiversity. 


Rhinos in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Image provided by Elephant Crossings Lodge.

Welgevonden Game Reserve believes strongly that it is their responsibility to aid conservation, biodiversity, and the protection of the flora and fauna that thrive on their grounds. The Conservation Management team has continuous conservation research and development to ensure the biodiversity on the reserve. While the APU (Anti-Poaching Unit) is strong and willing to provide the animals with a safe space to roam and thrive. 

Elephants Crossing Lodge

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Private splash pool at Elephants Crossing Loge with an elephant visiting. Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

As I mentioned earlier, Elephants Crossing Lodge lies on a hillside within the northern area of the stunning Welgevonden Game Reserve. This lodge not only offers luxurious tented accommodation but also game drives with amazing guides and even has a private watering hole – where they all but guarantee you will experience beautiful wildlife encounters! You might even catch a glimpse of the animals roaming around the unfenced lodge while sitting in your private splash pool. 

Zebras Crossing Lodge

Zebras Crossing Lodge
Zebras grazing in front of Zebras Crossing Lodge. Image provided by Zebras Crossing Lodge.

Zebras Crossing Lodge is situated on open plains with a view of the Waterberg mountains. As this lodge doesn’t focus on the Big 5, one could mountain bike, hike, or even swim in their private river among the passing zebras, giraffes, and many other animals. Perfect for adventurous animal lovers. 

Who Are They? 

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Zebras. Image provided by Zebras Crossing Lodge.

Two sisters and their husbands share a love for adventure and wildlife. This love brought them all the way from the Netherlands to the beautiful flora and fauna in South Africa, where they opened two lodges to share the country’s beauty with other wildlife admirers. While Elephants Crossing Lodge lies in the Welgevonden Reserve, and their other lodge, Zebras Crossing lies in a 650ha private reserve in the Waterberg bushveld near Modimolle, Limpopo. 

Their Contribution To Wildlife Conservation

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Rhinos and Zebras in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

The lodges fully support all conservation efforts made by Welgevonden Game Reserve. For each guest payment, the lodge pays a percentage to aid the conservation efforts of the management team to protect and care for the biodiversity and wildlife on the Reserve. And if you ask me, creating a safe and beautiful place where people can admire wildlife in their natural habitat also contributes to the education and respect of animal conservation. Which is something they certainly do well!

Have a look at the Elephants Crossing and Zebras Crossing websites to see what other activities they offer. 

So, A South African Safari Must? 

Elephants crossing lodge
Male lion after eating in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Image provided by Elephants Crossing Lodge.

We love the idea that your stay at these lodges not only allows you to admire the stunning South African wildlife in their prime but also contributes to the conservation and care thereof! AATG and Crossing Lodges have partnered to bring our readers an exciting series of stories on some of the amazing wildlife encounters experienced at the lodges. So, keep your eyes peeled! 

Interested in finding out more about travel and safari in Africa? Drop us an email at

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