South Africa, Cape Town, Tuesday, 11 October 2022; THE Waterberg, situated in the Bushveld district of the Limpopo Province, is a conservation stronghold and an important UNESCO declared biosphere reserve, which South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has named as a critical biodiversity area.

Now, an exciting new reserve boasting the Big 5 in a malaria-free region is opening its doors to the public here; and will offer visitors an authentic and bespoke African bushveld experience. Qwabi, meaning ‘African Wild Cat’ in the Sesotho language, is an 11 000-hectare private game reserve, which once was agricultural land, but has since been thoughtfully rewilded – with more species being introduced regularly.

Qwabi Private Game Reserve is set to open to the public this December after an extensive R120 million renovation and joins the luxury safari portfolio of Newmark Hotels & Reserves.

“Qwabi is an extraordinary slice of the African bushveld. My team and I feel very privileged to have been appointed as co-custodians of Qwabi and to turn the reserve into a world-class destination,” says Neil Markovitz, CEO of Newmark Hotels & Reserves. “In conjunction with the comprehensive conservation team already on the ground at the reserve, we will ensure that Qwabi boasts the healthiest of all the African species, and in addition to the careful management of the existing wildlife, as well as the reintroduction of species, we have also embarked on an intensely focused genetic management programme, bringing in healthy black maned lions from a Kalahari bloodline and elephants from bloodlines that carry large tusks – as a few examples.

In terms of accommodation at Qwabi, the lush reserve is already home to three standalone lodges, all of which are currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment by interior designer, Francois du Plessis.

Letamo, the largest lodge on the reserve, will be the first to reopen its doors to guests in time for the December 2022 holidays, and guests can expect 58 rooms ideal for families and multi-generational small groups. This includes 10 luxury suites with private plunge pools.

The lodge will include a kids’ club offering explorative adventures, alongside a padel court and two swimming pools, one of which overlooks a waterhole popularly frequented by wildlife. The lodge will offer various dining options, ranging from the elegant main restaurant to intimate dining spaces for couples, and a vibrant outdoor boma. A rejuvenating spa will boast multiple treatment rooms and relaxation spaces, adding to the lodge’s appeal as a wilderness wellness retreat.

Two more intimate safari destinations on Qwabi are expected to reopen in the first quarter of 2023

The second lodge to be unveiled will be Babohi, which will be exclusively for adult guests, offering a serene bushveld escape defined by its fine cuisine, refined accommodation and polished service. Here, the accommodation will offer 25 rooms, ranging from premium rooms to suites boasting private plunge pools, alongside an opulent presidential-style suite for guests seeking additional privacy. The lodge will offer extensive facilities for guests, including a large swimming pool, dedicated wellness spa, fitness centre, restaurant, bar, vinoteque and boma.

The final lodge to reopen, Semela, will feature 24 guest rooms, as well as a swimming pool, restaurant and bush bar; making it ideal for group bookings and corporate getaways.

Guests at all three lodges on Qwabi Private Game Reserve will be able to enjoy the remarkable wilderness of the Waterberg. On daily game excursions guests will be able to head out in search of the ‘Big Five’, and other fauna and flora and enjoy a truly authentic African experience in this beautiful private reserve. Set approximately three hours by road from Johannesburg, and 60kms from the town of Bela Bela in a malaria free area, Qwabi Private Game Reserve is easily accessible for self-drive visitors, although guests may also fly into the reserve via helicopter. Accommodation is priced from R6,650.00 per person sharing, per night, full board, including game drives. Book and confirm your stay before 31 October and save 20%.

Qwabi joins the select Newmark portfolio of conservation-first privately owned game reserves that includes Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Timbavati, neighbouring the Kruger National Park; Nkomazi Private Game Reserve in Mpumalanga; and Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. The portfolio also includes Serengeti Sojourn, a luxury mobile camp that follows the annual migration in East Africa.

About NEWMARK Hotels & Reserves

With a heritage spanning two dynamic decades, NEWMARK Hotels & Reserves provides extensive experience in managing prestigious and distinctive properties matched by its passion to assist owners realise their business goals. This is made possible by a highly focused, motivated and skilled executive team, led by industry visionary, Neil Markovitz. The team’s collaborative proficiency enables the company to offer a comprehensive range of hospitality management services, specially tailored to suit each property. NEWMARK’s forté lies in identifying the unique attributes of each property and bringing these to the marketplace’s attention through a bespoke, tailor-made model.  This dynamic company’s singular approach, which involves first establishing solid infrastructure before pursuing other goals, has driven its success.

The company’s South Arican portfolio includes a curated collection of luxury hotels, reserves and lodges in South Africa, East Africa including Zanzibar as well as Mauritius.  NEWMARK’s portfolio includes the Cape Town signature addresses of the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, the deluxe Dock House Boutique Hotel, the five-star Queen Victoria Hotel & Manor House; all located within the blue chip V&A Waterfront.  Also in Cape Town are the classic Winchester Hotel in Sea Point, the Onyx Boutique Hotel and the new Rockefeller Hotel, both on the city’s Foreshore. Further into South Africa’s interior, the collection boasts the Eastern Cape’s historic Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet as well as the nearby legendary Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve. Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and the Nkomazi Private Game Reserve, both in Mpumalanga Province complete the current lodge and reserve collection.

NEWMARK cemented its presence in South Africa’s financial capital, Johannesburg, with the launch in 2021 of The Catalyst Hotel situated in Sandton.

Further afield, the company represents Chuini Beach Lodge on the spice island of Zanzibar, Serengeti Sojourn, a luxury mobile camp that follows the annual wildlife migration between Tanzania and Kenya. On the island nation of Mauritius, Newmark represents and manages the beachhouse-chic La Maison D’Été in the north-east and has recently been appointed to manage and represent the popular independent small hotel, Mystik Life Style located to the north of the island.

Current and upcoming projects include the relaunch of La Maison D’Été in Mauritius in late November 2022 and In 2024, Newmark Hotels & Reserves launches Shirazi Resort & Villas, which is located an an idyllic tranche of Zanzibar’s unspoilt northern coastline.

For Press and Media assistance, contact Ian Hamilton Manley of ManleySocial via email or +27 [0] 82 826 0456.