Bela Bela historical information



Bela Bela information on Bela Bela Activities at Warmbad including Bela Bela History

Bela Bela information on Bela Bela Activities at Warmbad including Bela Bela History


The town was originally named Warmbad but has now been renamed Bela Bela. This town in Limpopo, South Africa, derived the name Bela Bela from the Tswana language and can be loosely translated as 'boiling-boiling'. 


A natural hot water spring providing 22 000 liters per hour of therapeutic water at 53°C makes it obvious why the name of name Bela Bela arose, as it was named in the early 19th Century by the Tswana tribes that encountered this phenomenon. It was only in the 1870's that the then Transvaal Government decided to buy the land to build a resort and support the township in the area.


Today Warmbaths, or Bela Bela, is only a hour's drive away from Gauteng and a haven for tourists as it is a relief from city life.  It not only boasts an extensive Spa & Resort, but also a vast selection of Game Reserves and other holiday accommodation. This great tourist attraction is supported by the many B&B accommodation establishments, as well as self catering accommodation, guest houses and lodges. All this makes it a wonderful holiday destination in Limpopo.

Bela Bela, Limpopo also boasts the development of Internationally Acclaimed Signature Golf Courses by Gary Player & Ernie Els. If golf is not on the agenda other tourism activities include Hot Air Ballooning, gliding, hiking and the ever present Big Five, or "Big 5" as it is often called, at many of the game reserves.


When the Tswana tribes first moved into the region in about the 1800s, they discovered hot springs in the area.


The Voortrekker Carl Van Heerden established the first farm in what is now Bela-Bela and called it Het Bad.


In 1873, President Burger's Transvaal government bought the land and established a resort called Hartingsburg after the prominent Dutch biologist Pieter Harting.


The British occupied the town during the Anglo Boer War, and renamed the post office Warm Baths in 1903, and proclaimed the boundaries of Warmbaths to be the entire farm of Het Bad.


In 1920 Warmbaths was proclaimed a township (in the legal, not racial sense) and the township was designed by architect John Abraham Moffat[6] in that year.


In 1950, it became a magisterial district.


In 1932 Warmbaths became a village town and got a town council in 1960.




Buiskop a well known and historical summit is situated approximately four miles North of Warmbaths and was used as a halfway house where fresh horses were provided for the mail coach that travelled between Pretoria and Pietersburg.


Sandstone from this mountain was used for some of the building of the Union Buildins in Pretoria.


This mountain was named after Coenraad De Buys who was forced to flee north from the Cape Colony at the beginning of the 19th Century with his two sons Machiel and Gabriel and a number of native bodyguards.


Apparently they angered a number of local tribesmen in the area and were driven to the mountain and encircled.


The tribesmen tried to get them to surrender by thirst but eight days later Coenraad de Buys was seen winging a skin of water over the top of the mountain, shouting that he had higher powers on his side that enabled him to get water on the dry mountain top.


Terrified by this state of affairs the superstitious tribesmen abandoned the siege on Buiskop.



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