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 area.
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.
Outdoor pursuits
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 Lodge.
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.
Lekker Links
Bela-Bela tourism Limpopo province
Lephalale Makhado, Modimolle, Mokopane, Musina, Phalaborwa, Polokwane, 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 abound.
The Carousel Entertainment World with its casinos, entertainment halls, cinemas and restaurants provides great entertainment.
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.
Anglo-Boer War
The blockhouse was erected by the British soldiers 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 siege.
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.

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