Waterberg Plateau park is a tour destination located in Namibia set aside as a sanctuary for rare and endangered species with variety antelopes and black rhinoceros reintroduced and known for it's unique plateaus. The term "Waterberg" refers to the fact that sandstone of the plateau absorbs moisture which runs off on the southeast side of the plateau as springs. Hence, the name "Waterberg" or water mountain.
Waterberg was also the site of one of the major turning points Namibian history. At the foothills of Waterberg, the Herero people lost their last battle against the German colonial forces at the beginning of the century. The Herero were driven across the Kalahari desert into Botswana, then a British protectorate
Waterberg Plateau Park is a national park in central Namibia on the Waterberg Plateau, 68 kilometres (42 mi) south-east of Otjiwarongo. The plateau and the national park are named after the prominent table mountain that rises from the plateau, the Waterberg. The Waterberg Plateau is a particularly prominent location, elevating high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. Waterberg Park and some 405 square kilometres (156 sq mi) of surrounding land were declared a Nature Reserve in 1972. As the plateau is largely inaccessible from beneath several of Namibia's endangered species were relocated in the early 1970s to protect them from predators and poaching to extinction. The programme was very successful and Waterberg now supplies other Namibian parks with rare animals. In 1989, the black rhinoceros was reintroduced to the area from Damaraland.
The Waterberg Plateau Park is ecologically diverse and rich and has over 200 different species of bird with some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain. Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left there some 200 million years ago.
Waterberg Plateau Park was proclaimed in 1972 as a sanctuary for rare and endangered game species. The park has played a vital role in breeding species for the restocking of other parks and conservation areas. Towering sandstone cliffs, dinosaur footprints, mysterious rock engravings and some of Namibia’s most rare and valuable game species are synonymous with the Waterberg Plateau Park.
In 1904, Waterberg was the scene of a battle between Herero warriors and German colonial forces. The Herero fighters suffered a bitter defeat against their oppressors and thousands of lives were lost in the ensuing retreat across the Omaheke Region into Botswana.
The park has been zoned into management areas for wilderness, trophy hunting and tourism. Within the park Bernabé de la Bat Rest Camp is one of Namibia’s most visited resorts, while thousands of surrounding community members receive training at the Okatjikona Environmental Education Centre annually.
Human habitation: The first human inhabitants were the San people, who left rock engravings believed to be several thousand years old. A small tribe of the San were still living their traditional lifestyle on the plateau until the late 1960s.
A 50-km-long porous sandstone mountain with abundant game, unique vegetation and a series of permanent springs at the foot of the plateau. Vegetation Tree and Shrub Savannah Biome. Vegetation type: Northern Kalahari, Thornbush Shrubland. Leadwood tree (Combretum imberbe), silver terminalia (Terminalia sericea), kudu bush (Combretum apiculatum), a variety of acacias (Acacia erioloba, A. erubescens and A. tortilis), laurel fig (Ficus ilicina) and about 140 lichen species.
Black Rhino, Buffalo, Roan and sable antelope, Eland, Tsessebe, Leopard, Side-striped jackal. More than 200 bird species, including Hartlaub’s Francolin, Rüppell’s Parrot, Bradfield’s Swift, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Bradfield’s Hornbill, Carp’s Black Tit, Rockrunner, Cape Vulture.
Bungalows can be booked through the Central Reservation Office (NWR)in Windhoek. 8 km beyond the Bernabe Le Bat campsite is the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge just outside the park. There are facilities for camping as well.
Rest camp with bungalows and camping. Restaurant, kiosk, shop and swimming pool. Guided drives on the plateau. 48 km unguided hiking trail an guided wilderness trails can be conducted. Booking required for guided and unguided hiking trails on the plateau, with short walking trails within the resort.
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