On top of the experience of being in this beautiful wilderness there are a wide range of activities for our Palala River Cottages guests to enjoy. Guided game drives, night drives & bush walks are additional options at an extra cost subject to availability.

Game drives

Self-Drive Game Viewing

Guest are welcome to self-drive on the reserve and all guests are provided with a map on arrival. The majority of the roads can be accessed by normal vehicle, however there are additional routes for 4x4 as marked out on the map of the reserve. No self-driving after night fall.

Game drives

Guided Game Drives

The classic way to enjoy exploring and game viewing is in 4x4 open vehicles with experienced guides and trackers. Our diverse habitat makes game drives fascinating and thrilling, and includes drives across open savannah, through syringa woodland, evergreen forests, cliff roads and across rivers. Our guides enthral all ages with their knowledge and stories. Subject to availability and at additional cost.

Please book via or 082 570 8474.
Costs: R200 per adult, R100 per child.

Walking safaris

Guided Bush Walks

Learn how to track and approach game and explore the fauna and flora. A never-to-be-forgotten experience in this magnificent wilderness. Subject to availability and at additional cost.

Please book via or 082 570 8474.
Costs: R180 per adult, R100 per child.

Guided walks

River Walks

With 7km of the Palala river meandering through the reserve, a river walk is a delight. Wildlife species to be encountered are hippo, crocodile, otters, monitor lizards, pythons plus the general game of the reserve come down to drink. Water birds are abundant.

Costs: R180 per adult, R100 per child.

Night safaris

Night Safaris

Guests not allowed to self-drive at night but there is the opportunity to book a guided game drive to see nocturnal animals, such as jackal, brown hyena, leopard, porcupine, aardwolf, civet cats, bush babies and the rare aardvark. Surrounded by the vast starry canopy of African night, the atmosphere is different, and senses are heightened. Subject to availability and at additional cost.

Please book via or 082 570 8474.
Costs: R200 per adult, R100 per child.

River walks

Mountain Biking

Our trails are popular with MTB enthusiasts - cycle alongside herds of zebra or get up close to a giraffe whilst getting some exercise at the same time. There are a variety of routes to suit all ages, abilities, and energy levels. Including 5, 10, 20 km routes. Guests are welcome to bring their own bikes or hire from reception. Subject to availability and at additional cost.

Please book via or 082 570 8474.
Costs: R100 per bicycle per day.

Archeological walks

Archaeological Walks

As a result of the existence of the Palala River, there are several sites of archaeological importance at Jembisa where ancient peoples lived. These include a full iron-age village site, circumcision stations and bushman paintings.

Guided tours of archaeological sites can be booked subject to availability and additional cost via or 082 570 8474.
Costs: R180 per adult, R100 per child.

Fauna and flora

Hiking & Running Trails

For those looking for a more active experience, there are a number of hiking and running trails on the reserve where guests can take in the beautiful views of the landscape on foot.

Biplane Flights


We are fortunate to have 7km of The Palala River meandering through our private game reserve which offers fabulous fishing. The Palala River is home to a wide range of fish including 11 endemic species. The fishing is highly rated both for fly fishermen and course fishermen. Frequently caught are bass, bream, and yellow fish. BEWARE there are crocodile and hippo in the Palala River.



Due to the great diversity of habitats on the reserve, there are large numbers of native and migrant species. Our game rangers have very good knowledge and there is also the option to bring in a specialist birding guide. There are over 400 species on our bird list.


Aromatherapy Massages

For even more relaxation you can choose from a selection of massages that can be enjoyed either al-fresco or at your accommodation. Subject to availability and at additional cost.

Please book via or 082 570 8474.
Costs – 30min back & neck massage at R350, 60min full body massage at R450.

What To Do In The Waterberg

In addition to the activities on our private Jembisa Game Reserve there are several nearby excursions that our guests can enjoy.


Waterberg Living Museum

The Waterberg Living Museum is a recently opened cultural and natural history museum developed by Clive Walker. There are exhibits of fascinating history of the Waterberg and living creatures and a botanical garden. There is also a coffee shop and restaurant. Located approximately 30km away from Palala River Cottages.

Contact Rene - 084 701 6584 or 060473 1410

Lekhalo Zipline

Lekhalo Safaris Zipline is situated on the Dorset Road 40km from Jembisa. A two-hour tour with 6 exciting lines that vary between 150m and 90m. A unique design on the landing zones brings adventure with beautiful views. Max of 10 people allowed per group. Min height 95cm and max weight 120kg. Enjoy a homemade burger at our restaurant. Price - R450 Incl burger.

Please book with Sonja - 082 484 8622


Vaalwater is our local town and has coffee shops, bistros, and some excellent arts & craft shops. There are 2 supermarkets located in Vaalwater. Restaurants - Seringa Cafe. Palala River Cottages is just 40 minutes away.


For those interested in safari golf we have a few highly rated South African Golf courses, such as Euphoria (70km away), Koro Creek (80km away) and others.

Euphoria: 014 743 5000
Koro Creek: 014 495 0026

Big 5

There are 2 Big 5 reserves in the surrounding area that allow day visitors to book guided game drives.

Contact Kololo Game Reserve – 014 721 0920 (90km away)
Contact Entabeni Game Reserve – 012 443 6700 (81km away)

Beauty Treatments

For a little extra pampering in the bush, treatments can be booked with Sarita in advance.

Beauty Treatments & Hair (Call Out) - Book in advance Sarita (074 372 7303) We are also able to provide inhouse aromatherapy massages.

St Johns Historical Church

Visit this historical Church, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, and one of the landmarks of the Waterberg. Services open on Sundays (COVID regulations dependent and enquire for times)