Over 150 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the plateau at Waterberg. Now you can too, and discover the amazing variety of plant and animal life that thrives here today. Rising some 200 metres (656 feet) above the surrounding African savannah, the Waterberg Plateau with its brilliant brick-red sandstone formations and lush green vegetation is a wondrous place to explore. Take on the challenge of a three-day hike, accompanied by a park ranger, to the Waterberg’s summit, or the thrill of setting out on your own 42-km self-guided trail. Catch a glimpse of an elusive leopard or patiently stalk a herd of sable through the dense bush. Visit the Vulture Restaurant, a conservation effort designed to attract hundreds of vultures, including Cape Vultures, where they feast. Guided game drives on the plateau and time spent in a hide lying in wait for rare species to approach a waterhole, give you the chance to learn more about one of the most unique conservation areas in the world.
The 157 square mile park, situated 37 miles east of Otjiwarongo and 186 miles northeast of Windhoek, was proclaimed in 1972. It was originally created as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species, such as roan and sable antelope, tsessebe and Cape buffalo.
Today the park is home to some 25 game and over 200 bird species. The vegetation changes dramatically from acacia savannah at the foot of the plateau to lush, green sub-tropical dry woodland with tall trees and grassy plains at the top. Ten fern species have been recorded at the Waterberg, of which one is endemic to Namibia and Angola. There is also an impressive range of flowering plants, including the conspicuous flame lily, Gloriosa superba. Dinosaur tracks embedded in sandstone can be seen on top of the plateau.
Accommodation in the park consists of refurbished luxury chalets and a well-equipped camping area in the Waterberg Camp at the foot of the plateau. The restaurant, kiosk and museum are housed in the restored Rasthaus, originally built in 1908 and used as a police post for several years.
Below the resort, on the site of the historic Battle of Waterberg, a graveyard serves as a reminder of this turbulent period in history. Schutztruppe (German soldiers) who died in the battle fought between the Herero and German colonial forces in 1904 are buried here.
At the eastern extremity of the park is the Okatjikona Environmental Education Centre, a facility that provides the opportunity for visiting groups, mainly schoolchildren, to learn about the importance of environmental conservation. The superb natural beauty of Waterberg can be explored either by vehicle on a guided game-viewing tour or by foot on a guided wilderness trail.