Overview – Waterberg Plateau

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

The Waterberg Plateau is a scenic wildlife viewing destination. The park consists of a sandstone massif which stands out impressively from the surrounding savannah grasslands. It was established as a breeding ground for threatened species, including white rhino, roan, sable and tsessebe. Self-drive is prohibited, but game drives can be booked through the Namibia Wildlife Resorts office. There are nine short, self-guided walks available.

Best Time to Go July to September (Best wildlife viewing)
High Season June to October (The park gets crowded)
Size 405km² / 156mi²
Altitude 1,403-1,884m / 4,603-6,181ft

Pros & Cons

  • Great wildlife viewing, including some rare species
  • Game drives and short, self-guided trails available
  • Several accommodation options in the park
  • Self-drive not allowed
  • No lion and sightings of other big cats are rare

Waterberg Plateau Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

There is great wildlife viewing to be had on the Waterberg Plateau. Many big safari animals are present, including both white and black rhino. Several rare antelope species can be encountered such as sable and roan; and eland, greater kudu and tsessebe are also present. Brown hyena and leopard are the main predators. There are no lions or elephants.

Scenery

The Waterberg Plateau takes in a 50km/31mi long, 16km/10mi wide sandstone plateau offering excellent views over the surrounding desert plains. The massif gets its name from the many springs that trickle down the red sandstone cliffs. The plateau features wooded areas as well as acacia bush and thick undergrowth.

Weather & Climate

The elevated Waterberg Plateau divides its time between a cool, practically rain-free winter (May to October) and a hot summer with occasional rain (November to April). The former can get very cold in the early morning (5°C/41°F), so take care to rug up if you’re visiting anytime from June to August.

Best Time to Visit

The drier months of July to September lie smack in the middle of Waterberg Plateau’s high season, but it’s worth forking out extra for the great wildlife viewing that characterizes this period. There’s less foliage for the animals to disappear into, and they’re not as scattered as they are when the weather turns hot and wet.

Want to Visit Waterberg Plateau?

Waterberg Plateau Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
A lost world, where antelopes graze
4/5

The Waterberg Plateau is famous for its rare antelopes. The main reason behind the creation of the park in the early 1970s was to set aside a breeding ground for eland, roan and sable. I’m a big fan of antelopes so this, for me, is reason...

Latest User Review
Andrew Thompson  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Feb 16, 2018
A 1-night stop-over which was good, but may have more to offer
4/5

I spent 1 night at Waterberg Plateau Park, as part of a guided birding and wildlife watching tour of Namibia. To be honest we really only stayed here because it broke the journey from Etosha National Park back to Windhoek nicely. Also...

Full Review