Bela-Bela, the Tswana name for the hot
springs, produces 22,000 litres per hour at 50�C. It
was first discovered by Tswana tribes that moved into the
The hot springs were excavated by
two hunters, Jan Grobler and Carl van Heerden, when they saw the
mist caused by the hot water meeting the cold air during
a hunting trip. They settled here and called the
place 'Het Bad', Dutch for 'The Bath'.
In 1873 the president of the Transvaal Republic,
Thomas Francois Burgers, visited the farm. The Transvaal
government bought the land to build a resort at the
springs and called it Warmbad (later
anglicised to Warmbaths.)
In the 1880s was the town of Warmbaths was
developed on the neighbouring farm.
The African township is located 2km from the
main town. Set up in the 1950s, it was built to
separate blacks from whites during Apartheid. The
symbolic and physical division is the railway line
which we cross over each day we go to work.
Visitors with a passion for the outdoors will
enjoy the opportunity of game-viewing from open
vehicles on the many game and nature reserves in the
area, some of which accommodate the 'Big Five'.
Even more exciting is elephant tracking on foot
with trained guides! The area is particularly suited
to those in search of adventure opportunities, with
off-roading being one of the firm favourites.
Numerous hiking trails also provide
opportunities for enjoying the unique scenery of the
Waterberg and horse riding provides another fun way
of exploring the Bela-Bela area.
A more leisurely way of sightseeing is hot-air
ballooning, which can be arranged by the Mabula Game
The 'Mabalingwe Lion Man Mountain Bike Race' is
one of the most recognised mountain-bike racing
events in South Africa. Hosted in the Mabalingwe
Nature Reserve near Bela-Bela each year, it attracts
approximately 1500 entrants from across the country.
Modimolle, Mokopane, Musina,
Thabazimbi, Thohoyandou, Tzaneen
The modern, internationally-renowned Spa
has become a trademark of Bela-Bela. It
offers a large mineral-water indoor pool, a
high-temperature pool (rheumatism bath),
sauna, underwater massage and hydrotherapy.
It is based on the Baden-Baden concept
in Germany and is the second largest of its
kind in the world. Ailments such as
rheumatism, arthritis, muscular pains, skin
problems and headaches are treated there.
Accommodation at the spa caters for a
variety of tastes and budgets and
entertainment facilities for families
The Carousel Entertainment World with
its casinos, entertainment halls, cinemas
and restaurants provides great
The Warmbaths Waterfront has many
restaurants, arts and crafts shops to be
enjoyed at leisure.
De Wildt Shingwedzi
Thanks to the dedicated pioneer research initiated
by Ann van Dyk, the Cheetah is today no longer on
the endangered list. Here you can observe the world renowned De Wildt Cheetahs and Wild Dogs at close quarters.
The blockhouse was erected by the British
to protect the railway line against the Boers during
Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902.
You can view the Blockhouse in the Industrial
District off Paul Saur Road.
Buyskop is where the Boer outlaw
Coenraad Buys and his followers withstood a
Christina Pretorius Grave
The grave of Christina Pretorius, wife
of the Voortrekker pioneer, Andries Pretorius, can
be seen in the Voortrekker Cemetery behind the
Municipality building. While moving through
the area, she fell ill and persuaded her
husband to continue without her. A memorial
marks the spot where she was buried.
Entrance to the cemetery is in Luna Road.