Welgevonden Reserve

Welgevonden is a 37 000-hectare Big 5 reserve bordering on the Marekele National Park. It is situated in the pristine Waterberg mountain range in the Northern Province only 265 km from Johannesburg. This area is an important malaria-free eco-tourism destination. The reserve has 600km of internal roads winding through a great diversity of vegetation, undulating terrain and large savannah plains.

Welgevonden is subdivided into 500-hectare plots. Each landowner owns the freehold of one of these plots and possesses inalienable traversing rights over the rest. Lodges have private access roads, and are kept generally out of sight of traversing roads and of each other. Each lodge can accommodate no more than ten persons and may use no more than one vehicle apiece, thus ensuring a singular lack of vehicle traffic. Welgevonden has four airstrips.

There is an understanding that the common fence with Marekele (some 46 000 hectares in extent) will be pulled down in due course allowing even freer movement of game. There has been some discussion on the feasibility of creating a Bushveld National Park: a string of reserves exists from Madikwe in the west, through Silent Valley, Thaba Tholo, Marekele, Welgevonden, Mokholo, Kwalata, and Touchstone to Lapalala Wilderness in the east.
Consolidation, involving the incorporation of a number of intervening farms would result in a vast 10 000 sq km reserve of international importance. Marekele and Welgevonden would be situated in the very middle. Whilst the implementation of grand visions of this type can be notoriously slow, the impact on future land values is obvious.

Leave a Comment