On the banks of the Palala River in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province in South Africa lies Lapalala Game Reserve. Comprising 50,000 hectares of breathtaking natural beauty, this is a place unlike any other in the world. Lapalala‘s vision is to continue to protect and conserve the biodiversity, uplift its neighbouring communities and create a responsible and sustainable model to secure its conservation status into the future.
Lapalala benefits from a wonderful diversity of habitat but also it's many years of preservation as a wilderness. Many species have been naturally drawn to the area with a year round supply of fresh water and spectacular variety of vegetation. Mammal species number over 60 and include elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, cheetah and leopard as well as an abundance of plains game. For the same reasons there is a huge variety of birdlife. You can see the African fish eagle at Kubu Dam, its call being the iconic sound of Africa or search for another of our 300 plus different species with the help of our in house ecologist.
Conservation is synonymous with Lapalala which is not only one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in South Africa but is also recognised as one of the foremost eco-projects as well. Research is a key component of the conservation effort with a number of projects ongoing at any one time. A species breeding project aimed at the reintroduction of once indigenous species is already underway with roan antelope, white and black rhinoceros, and cape buffalo. Projects have also focused on the architectural richness of the reserve such as studies of the Bushman's Paintings and the mystical Melora Iron Age site.
The Lapalala Wilderness was founded in 1981 by two conservationists, Dale Parker and Clive Walker. Their shared dream was to purchase farms and create a reserve by returning the land to it's natural state and conserve the indigenous fauna and flora. Over time further adjoining land was purchased and embedded into the conservation vision. The result is the spectacular Lapalala Wilderness, 50,000 hectares rich in biodiversity and ecology and now a key component of the Waterberg biosphere reserve.
Lapalala became the first private reserve in South Africa to acquire black rhino when five of these highly endangered animals were brought to the reserve in 1990. Lapalala’s commitment to preserving these magnificent creatures continues to this day, and it is now one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in South Africa. Environmental education has always been one of the cornerstones of The Lapalala Wilderness vision. The Lapalala Wilderness School (LWS) was established by Clive Walker in 1985 and, since then, more than 85 000 young people have had the unique opportunity to experience and enjoy the spectacular scenery and natural beauty of Lapalala. The school now boasts an excellent reputation for offering environmental education.