skip to Main Content

ENJOY WINTER IN THE WATERBERG AT SUMMERPLACE

Warm fires, stunning sunsets, midday walks, runs or rides through the Bushveld. What’s not to love about a winter escape to the Waterberg? Summerplace Game Reserve is perfectly geared for winter breaks with a range of accommodation that includes cosy indoor fireplaces, outdoor braai bomas and wood-fired hot tubs.

Swap the smog that settles over the Highveld cities in winter for crisp countryside air that’s rich in Bushveld aromas. Experience night skies that enable stargazing from the comfort of your private hot tub. Sip sundowners from a viewpoint after a late afternoon game drive. Leave the urban noise behind and listen to the sounds of the Waterberg wilderness.

Just over two hours’ drive north from Pretoria, Summerplace Game Reserve offers a wondrous winter escape. There’s a range of accommodation to suit every budget. From camping, to glamping, to small country units to luxury villas, Summerplace Game Reserve makes it possible for anyone to afford a winter escape in the Waterberg.

There are over 40 species of large mammals at Summerplace Game Reserve, including Zebra, Giraffe, Warthog, Brown Hyena and Black-backed Jackal. There’s also a wide range of antelope including Eland, Roan Antelope, Kudu, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Common Reedbuck, Mountain Reedbuck and more. And there’s the smaller mammals such as Aardvark, Aardwolf, Pangolin, Civet, Badger, Serval and others.

The dry winter months, with less dense vegetation, makes for more successful game-viewing. Summerplace Game Reserve is one of the few game reserves in South Africa where you can enjoy wildlife encounters while riding a mountain bike, running or walking on our broad network of purpose-built trails. If you don’t own a mountain bike, you can hire a regular mountain bike, a kids mountain bike or an eBike (electric-assist) from our fleet of Specialized rental bikes.

Our relaxed game drives are also a great way to enjoy wildlife encounters. Our knowledgeable guides are able to offer useful information on the animals you see from the comfort of our game drive vehicle.

Summerplace Game Reserve is also home to a wide range of trees and bird species. There are at least 130 different types of trees and at least 107 bird species, including several raptors, making it an ideal destination for dendrophiles and birders. Summerplace Game Reserve is also where you will find the tallest Aloe in South Africa.

A Bushveld break at Summerplace Game Reserve can be ideal for couples or families. Ideal lodges for couples include, Hideaway (10 ultra-luxury glamping tents, launching late July 2024), as well as New Wine, The Shed 2 and Saringa lodges. Family-friendly accommodation includes camping, Rosemary Cottage, Marula Cottage, Bushwillow, The Shed 1 and 3, Yorks View, Summerhill and Summerview lodges.

Most of our accommodation is self-catering but we also offer meals twice a day at our Bike Village restaurant with brunch/lunch and dinner. The Bike Village, which has plenty of comfortable seating inside and on the veranda, also has a fully stocked bar and coffee station, a big-screen TV and free, uncapped WiFi. There’s also a shop where you can buy Summerplace-branded apparel and mementos as well other useful items.

Whether it’s during the school holidays, a quick mid-week break or a lazy, long-weekend escape, a winter break in the Waterberg is best enjoyed at Summerplace Game Reserve.

To book your winter escape, see the range of Summerplace Game Reserve accommodation here.

SUMMERPLACE GEARS UP FOR GRAVITY FESTIVAL

The South African Gravity Racing community will descend on Summerplace Game Reserve in June 2024 where the Summerplace Gravity Festival will see Enduro and Downhill SA Cup events consecutively hosted on the slopes of the beautiful Waterberg.

Running from Friday 14 until Monday 17 June, the Summerplace Gravity Festival will be held over the long weekend – Sunday 16 June is Youth Day, making Monday 17 June a public holiday.

The Enduro will include six stages ­­– five that were used at the SA Cup event in 2023 and one brand new stage.

Photo: Dominic Barnardt

“The feedback on the 2023 event was so positive, so we are going to use five of those stages again this year. We will use Tumbleweed, Load Shredder, and Red Mountain as we did last year. Skyfall will feature again, but not the top section as that will form part of the new Downhill course this year,” explained David Baber, Summerplace co-owner and trailbuilder.

“We will use Summerflow again too as the final stage and have added a brand-new stage called Green Moss, which is around three minutes in duration for the fast racers and which has a nice range of natural features, including rock gardens and a drop-off near the end. Obviously, there will be B Lines where necessary,” added Baber.

The Lite Enduro will use Red Mountain, Green Moss and Summerflow as its three stages.

Photo: Dominic Barnardt

The new Downhill course uses the top part of Skyfall and is then all new from there.

“Downhill racers can expect a very natural course with limited man-made features. It’s about 1.7km long with a drop of around 200 metres. I expect the top racers to do around 2 minutes 45 seconds or so. We have opened it up quite a lot in places, especially over rocks and ridges to give riders a range of line choices,” explained Baber.

The Summerplace Gravity Festival has been designed to accommodate racers that want to compete in both the Enduro and the Downhill events. The Enduro race day will be Saturday 15 June, offering the days leading up as practice days. The Downhill race day will be on Monday 17 June (a public holiday), allowing for practice and qualifying on Sunday 16 June.

Photo: Dominic Barnardt

Cycling South Africa has scheduled Summerplace Gravel Festival to coincide with government mid-year school holidays, which start on Monday, 17 June and run until Monday 8 July, making it easier for families to schedule a trip for the two events.

Summerplace Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s premier mountain biking destinations. There is more than 120km of marked and maintained mountain bike trails on the 3500-hectare game reserve. Summerplace offers trails for all levels of mountain biker, from enthusiastic newcomers to seasoned veterans. A large volume of the trails are hand-build singletrack, designed to be challenging and rewarding. There are more than 40 species of large mammals at Summerplace and wildlife encounters while mountain biking are common.

Summerplace Game Reserve offers a range of high-quality accommodation with various lodges as well as a campsite. To see the range of accommodation for the Summerplace Gravity Festival, click here.

INTRODUCING THE NEW ORANGE MTB ROUTE

There’s a new route at Summerplace Game Reserve that’s instantly broadened the riding options to a greater range of mountain bikers. The 22km Orange Route is ideal for lesser skilled recreational riders, but it also adds great value to experienced riders and wild-life lovers.

Already a premier mountain biking destination, Summerplace now offers even more to mountain bikers. During the summer, trailmaster, David Baber and his team added more than 25km of new mountain bike routes to the reserve’s trail network. Most of these additional kilometres went into the new Orange Route, which explores a fresh section of the reserve.

As you drive into the main gate at Summerplace, the land to your right, which includes a decent sized hill, now has many kilometers of engaging mountain bike trails. You need at least -4% gradient to create good flow and this slope ranges from -4 to -25%, which means plenty of flow.

We’ll get back to that hill in a bit though. It’s important to know that the Orange Route is a route that’s ideal for most mountain bikers. It’s got a couple of steep bits that might be a bit intimidating for some, but these are quite easy to dismount and portage. Ninety percent of the route is unintimidating and ideal for most mountain bikers.

The Orange Route starts near the Bike Village on the road that heads to the main gate. It hugs the side of the hill on a trail called Spook Huis, where many rocks have been cleared to ensure as smooth a ride as possible before it joins onto Drop to Gulley trail.

This piece of trail rolls gently down the slope in the direction of the main reserve road for a few hundred metres before it takes a left onto a trail called Old School. This is a completely new trail that winds its ways gradually in a northerly direction down to the low ground and then up the opposite slope, which is very slight in terms of gradient. It then turns east and takes you on an engaging path before turning north to join a gravel road.

You follow the gravel road for a while until you reach a boundary fence, turn right and then right again to begin the first of three ascents of the large hill that dominates this section of the reserve. David has masterfully crafted trail to make the most of this elevation, which delivers a moderate climbing challenge and stunning views.

The first descent is on a trail called Mountain Oak, which starts off steep, but which eases as you reach the gravel road where you can take a drink, chat excitedly to your mates about that cool descent before turning onto a long singletrack trail called Easy Going, which lives up to its name and allows you some freedom to enjoy more game-spotting.

The second ascent is more direct and on a jeep track road, which has some steep pitches but is superbly rewarding once you begin the second descent, which takes you about halfway down the slope before tackling the final ascent. This ascent brings you to the top of the hill again where you can appreciate some superb vistas to the south and west before dropping down the final descent on a trail called Ball Itch.

The name may be uncomfortable, but the trail is a delight! It drops 100 metres in 2km, has an average of -4.6 percent gradient and delivers some classic David Baber flow! This is sure to become one of the new favourite trails at Summerplace because no matter what your skill level, it’s so much fun.

The fun does end though, right in the dip, but you do get to take a steady pedal back to the end of the Orange Route on the gravel road, where you can process what you have just ridden or contemplate a second lap!

The Orange Route is mostly rideable for newer mountain bikers, but expect a couple of short portage bits. It’s all part of the adventure and it does allow you to pause and take in the natural beauty around you. For Intermediate and Experienced mountain bikers, the Orange Route is an absolute gem! The balance of climbing, descending and singletrack is just right and, like a small slab of your favourite chocolate, leaves you feeling both satisfied and craving more…

The Orange Route can also be considered a Mountain Biking Safari. A wide range of game can be encountered on this route, including Giraffe, Zebra, Roan Antelope, Impala, Kudu, Sable Antelope, Eland, Tsessebe, Warthog and Reedbuck, partly because the route covers a large area and partly because the vegetation isn’t too dense, which makes it easier to spot wild animals from your saddle.

For experienced/fit riders, the Orange Route is a great start or end loop as either a long warm-up or cool-down to a longer ride. It’s a highly engaging way to add another 20-odd kilometres of distance without too much toil.

To experience the new Orange Route – and all of the other mountain bike routes and trails at Summerplace Game Reserve, book your accommodation here. https://summerplacegamereserve.com/accommodation/

SUMMERPLACE – THE SCHOOL HOLIDAY SOLUTION

While school holidays are great for kids, they can be a real challenge for parents. You want your kids to have an enjoyable, wholesome experience during their mid-year break, but you’re not exactly able to take much time off work. Summerplace Game Reserve offers a school-holiday solution!

Less than a three-hour drive from Johannesburg and shorter from Pretoria, a couple of nights at Summerplace Game Reserve may only require taking a Friday afternoon off work to create an experience that is meaningful and memorable, for your kids and for you.

Our high-quality self-catering accommodation makes it relatively cost effective too. You have to eat every day anyway, right? Why not prepare your family’s food on a gas stove or over a fire and enjoy it in the quiet of the beautiful Bushveld?

Here are a few more reasons it makes sense to book a Summerplace Game Reserve visit during the school holidays:

It’s safe

Summerplace Game Reserve has a secure boundary fence with access control as well as regular security patrols. The reserve itself is very safe for families and children.

There’s so much space

At 3500 hectares, there’s plenty of space for kids to roam and experience the feeling of freedom. No walls, fences, or gate remotes here!

Bicycles for the win

As a premiere mountain biking destination, we have built a world-class trails network. Several of the trails close to the accommodation are ideal for kids. The flowline between the Bike Village and the campsite if very popular with small kids, who can spend hours rolling down the gently sloping trails.

Bikes for hire

While most kids bring their own bikes, we do also have several kids bikes for hire. They’re high-quality models from Specialized that are very stable and easy to handle, with excellent braking power. We also have range of adult Specialized mountain bikes and eBikes for hire so you can do fun rides with your kids.

Exploring is fun

Safety and space make exploring the reserve a fun activity for kids. Whether on their bikes or on foot, they’ll find plenty of natural features to keep them engaged and connected to nature.

Wildlife

With more than 40 species of large mammals, including a wide range of Antelope, Zebra, Giraffe, Warthog and scores of bird species, a visit to Summerplace Game Reserve always delivers several memorable wildlife encounters. We also offer game drives which is a great experience for families.

Unlimited Wi-Fi

Although we’re far from any cities, we have unlimited Wi-Fi which is ideal if you need to keep on top of your work while visiting our reserve.

No load-shedding

With our own solar-power grid we are not affected by load-shedding, which most city visitors find refreshing! We also use gas-powered geysers and borehole water, making our reserve entirely self-sufficient and offering peace of mind for our guests.

DSTV

While our lodges don’t have televisions, we do have a large-screen TV with DSTV at the Bike Village, so any important sports events can still be enjoyed during your visit to Summerplace Game Reserve.

Catered meals

Of course we know that a break from the city grind is even better if you don’t have to cook all meals! We have a chef that makes the most tasty, nourishing dishes which you can order in advance and either eat at the Bike Village or have delivered to your lodge.

Cooling off

Some of our lodges have private swimming pools but there’s also a swimming pool at the Bike Village for any guests to use. Even in winter we get some hot days and a dip in the pool is most welcome.

Drinks galore!

Our drinks bar serves great coffee in all its forms, most cooldrinks, popular beers and gin and a range of cocktails and wines to help you unwind on our comfortable couches or pool recliners.

We currently have some vacancies over the July school holidays so be sure to plan ahead and secure a short – or long – visit to Summerplace Game Reserve. They’ll remember that school holiday forever and you’ll return to the city feeling refreshed.

To see our range of accommodation that suits all budgets, click here.

SUMMERPLACE GAME RESERVE – THEN AND NOW

Summerplace Game Reserve is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when ambitious humans combine their skills and commitment for a common, greater goal. In less than five years, the transformation of Summerplace from a cattle and pig farm to an international tourist destination has been remarkable. We have compiled a ‘Then and Now’ to reflect on our progress.

But first, a short summary: David and Simone Baber primarily farmed cattle and pigs for more than two decades. Floods and drought between 2014 and 2018 played havoc with their ability to remain a viable business as a farm and, with advice from a friend, they took a decision to change Summerplace to a tourist destination. They began to repurpose existing farm buildings one by one and by late 2019 were ready to accommodate guests.

Marula Cottage

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 virus sparked a government reaction that was detrimental to tourist destinations in South Africa and the Babers were faced with a disrupted start to their new business, which was called Summerplace Farmstay. But that didn’t deter them from making progress on creating a comfortable, tranquil destination in the Waterberg.

The Shed

Simone’s natural flair for interior decoration ensured that each of the self-catering cottages felt fresh, comfortable and like a home away from home. With an existing mountain bike trails network, hand-built by David over the years, it was mountain bikers that first began to visit Summerplace Farmstay. Instagram posts were noticed, word spread and accommodation was booked on a more consistent basis.

The Bike Village

Work was done on the Bike Village to ensure it became a homely communal place. Simone created a basic website and social media accounts and began to share the Summerplace energy. Non-mountain bikers started to book accommodation to explore this new Bushveld escape. And mountain bikers kept coming. One of those was Paul Rose, a businessman on the brink of retirement.

New Wine

Paul liked what he experienced and proposed a partnership with David and Simone and Summerplace Game Reserve was established, including the purchase of surrounding farms. More lodges were built and various species of game purchased and released. Old border fences were taken down and trails were expanded onto the new surrounding land. Investment was made in a fleet of rental mountain bikes, The Bike Village was extended further, the campsite was enhanced and meals-to-order became an option from the on-site chef.

Summerhill

Today, Summerplace Game Reserve is a world-class haven for those who seek a high-quality Bushveld escape where they can walk, run and ride freely to experience the variety of trees, birds and wildlife that find sanctuary in this piece of tranquil heaven in the Waterberg Biosphere.

Whether it’s self-catering or partially catered, more and more South Africans are discovering the magic of Summerplace Game Reserve with plans being finalised to start hosting more international tourists in 2024.

The Bike Village

To experience the magic of Summerplace Game Reserve for yourself, book a stay and discover just what it is that makes this such a compelling destination for outdoor lovers. See the full range of our tranquil Bushveld accommodation here.

OUR SUPPORT FOR THE PLIGHT OF THE PANGOLIN

The Pangolin is a curious creature. It looks like a reptile but is a mammal. Pangolins are the only mammals completely covered in scales. Pangolins are also highly sought after in the Far East and are therefore either on the endangered or vulnerable wildlife lists. While rare, we have seen Pangolins at Summerplace Game Reserve. And we’re on a mission to help protect this amazing animal.

We were cautious about publishing an article that confirms Pangolins have been seen at Summerplace. The illegal trade of these unusual creatures – currently the mostly highly trafficked animal in the world – has understandably made location awareness a sensitive issue. However, promoting the plight of Pangolins is an essential part of helping save the species too and that’s the light in which this article has been published.

“I have lived, walked and ridden mountain bikes on this land my whole life and never seen a Pangolin,” says David Baber (52), co-owner of Summerplace Game Reserve. “So, we were quite excited when regular visitors, Sean and Joanne Badenhorst, came back from a late afternoon ride with photos and video of their Pangolin encounter.”

The Badenhorsts came across two Pangolins, a mother with a pup on her back on one of the popular mountain biking trails.

“We knew they were Pangolins, but we didn’t know that we were the only people to spot Pangolins here. We didn’t know how rare it is to see them in the wild. They were lying quite still in the middle of the trail when we saw them. We thought they would scurry off or roll up when they became aware of us, but they didn’t. I took a quick video and then wanted to get a bit closer to see if I could try and snap some photos,” explained Sean.

“They were aware of us because when I went around the other side of them to see their faces better, the larger one folded her head under her body. The younger one on top seemed unafraid and maybe even a bit curious. I knew that they roll into a ball for defence and I didn’t want them to feel threatened, so I only snapped a few pics. Interestingly, they never moved off the trail. Joanne and I walked our bikes around them and carried on with our ride,” added Sean.

“We are very pleased to have confirmation that there are Pangolins here. We haven’t seen any since that sighting in May 2023 and honestly don’t know how many there are here. As we grow our guest numbers, there’s a good chance there will be more sightings. Because we have such an established trails network, there’s a more consistent number of visitors enjoying riding, running or walking through the reserve in the early morning and late afternoon, when Pangolin are most likely to be seen,” says Baber.

“I don’t know much about Pangolins, other than they are very widely distributed in the Lowveld, Bushveld, Kalahari and Waterberg. You very rarely see them, but they are there. You can be sure that Pangolins live on any well-looked after farm. We probably have a good population of them at Summerplace, but it’s very rare that humans will ever see them here,” said John Mackie Conservation Director at Summerplace Game Reserve.

“The security at Summerplace Game Reserve – and the surrounding area – is of a very high standard. There are several properties in our region with Rhino, which are heavily protected by landowners and regional security companies against poaching and this no doubt also helps protect other species too, including Pangolins,” added Baber.

Pangolin primarily move around at night. | Photo: Pat Bonoir
Some facts about Pangolin:
  • There are eight species of Pangolins with four of those found in Africa.
  • Pangolins are insectivores and predominantly eat ants and termites, but also eat crickets, earthworms and flies.
  • They use their sharp claws to excavate into ant nests and their long, sticky tongues to reach the ants inside.
  • Little is known about their life span in the wild, but they have been known to live up to 20 years in captivity.
  • Pangolins are solitary creatures and are mostly nocturnal. They mostly live on the ground but can also climb trees.
  • The Temminck’s Pangolin, as spotted at Summerplace, can weigh up to 12kg and grow up to 90 centimetres in length.
  • When feeling threatened, Pangolins roll into a tight ball and use their hard, sharp-edged, overlapping scales as defence. They can also release a foul-smelling fluid from a gland at the base of their tail. Common animal threats are lion, hyena and leopard.
  • Pangolin give birth to live young – usually only one – with fully formed scales, which are still soft. When an infant, the pup will ride on its mother’s back.
  • Pangolins have poor eyesight but an exceptional sense of smell and hearing.
  • Pangolins are essential to the ecosystem in which they live. It’s anticipated they keep ant and termite populations under control.
  • Humans are Pangolin’s greatest threat. Organised crime syndicates traffic Pangolin illegally to Asia.
  • Pangolin scales consist of keratin, a substance found in fingernails, hair, and horns. They are used for traditional medicine in China and Vietnam and the Pangolin meat is also served as a delicacy in some places in Asia

According to the African Pangolin Working Group, the key to Pangolin conservation is to raise awareness about Pangolins. This can be done by sharing reliable and well-researched information on social media and in family and friends circles. Additionally, donating to verified Pangolin-focussed NGOs/NPOs goes incredibly far in Pangolin conservation. When donating to African Pangolin Working Group all funds go to research of the four African species of Pangolins as well as protection and rehabilitation projects.

There’s a very interesting 45-minute documentary video called, Eye of the Pangolin that’s worth watching if you have an interest in Pangolins. Watch it here.

To give yourself a chance at spotting a Pangolin at Summerplace Game Reserve, check out our variety of accommodation to suit all budgets here.

10 REASONS SUMMERPLACE IS THE IDEAL EASTER ESCAPE!

You may think that Easter Weekend is a long way away, but it isn’t! Easter Weekend this year is from 29 March until 1 April. It’s worth noting that Thursday, 21 March, is also a public holiday, essentially lining up two successive long weekends at a traditionally good-weather time of year. A good time to visit Summerplace Game Reserve. Here are 10 reasons why…

IT’S NOT TOO FAR

Summerplace Game Reserve is located in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province. It’s a 2h15m drive from Pretoria and less than 3 hours from Johannesburg. Most of the route is good quality N1 toll road. It’s not that far away from the big cities, but its far enough away to feel like another world!

IT’S A COUPLE’S RETREAT

Because our lodges are spaced to ensure privacy, Summerplace Game Reserve is perfect for a couple’s escape. You can either self-cater or book your meals in advance. We deliver meals to your lodge so that you can focus on relaxing and being present for your significant other. Walks in the bush, sundowner game drives and stargazing from the hot tub are all sure to elevate the romantic getaway to be a memorable one.

IT’S TRANQUIL

No matter what New Year’s Resolutions you made, it doesn’t take long to build up post-Festive Season stress. The city buzz gradually sucks you into chaotic routine that involves meetings, deadlines, school runs, traffic and loadshedding. There’s complete tranquility at Summerplace Game Reserve where the only delays are caused by wild animals crossing the road or trail…

IT’S FAMILY FRIENDLY

Summerplace Game Reserve is ideal for families. We love to see kids enjoying the outdoors and ensure that that there’s loads of space for them explore the freedom of the bush. They can ride their bicycles on fun trails right in front of The Bike Village, they can swim in our pool or play on the jungle gym. Whether you book a camping site, or one of our lodges (some of which have outdoor wood-fired hot tubs), you can be assured that kids will love their time at Summerplace!

WORLD CLASS TRAILS

If you are a mountain biker, then you’ll love our network of world-class mountain bike trails. We have trails to suit all levels of skill and fitness and because we don’t have Big Five animals on the reserve, the riding is safe – although you are likely to encounter wildlife on your rides as we have more than 40 species of large mammals at Summerplace Game Reserve. Find out why mountain bikers love Summerplace here.

MOUNTAIN BIKE HIRE

We have a fleet of high-quality mountain bikes for hire. These include regular bikes and eBikes, making it possible for anyone, even non-mountain bikers, to enjoy the freedom of a bushveld ride. Find out more about our rental bikes here.

ACCOMMODATION TO SUIT ALL BUDGETS

Whether you’re on a tight budget or have no budget limit, there’s top-quality accommodation to suit everyone at Summerplace Game Reserve. From our beautifully maintained campsite under the shady trees to our high-end luxury villa and everything in between, you’ll get the very best Bushveld escape experience. Find out more about our accommodation options here.

ABUNDANCE OF TREES & BIRDS

If you’re dendrophile or an ornithophile, you’ll love the variety of tree and bird species at Summerplace Game Reserve. While it’s situated in the Bushveld, Summerplace Game Reserve also enjoys some elevation, which see a wider range of vegetation and birdlife than most of the region. Find out more about our tree and bird species here.

WIDE VARIETY OF GAME

With over 40 species of large mammals, Summerplace Game Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife. Expect to see many species of antelope, including Kudu, Eland, Sable Antelope, Tsessebe, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Impala, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Common Reedbuck and more! There are also the visually impactful Giraffe and Zebra as well as elusive creatures, including Pangolin, Aardvark and Leopard. Find out more about our wildlife here.

WE ARE PET-FRIENDLY

Several of our lodges are fenced, making them perfect for pets. It’s not always possible to take your pets away with you, but Summerplace Game Reserve is a fast becoming a favourite pet-friendly game reserve. The pet-friendly lodges are popular, so ensure you secure you Easter Weekend booking soon!

To be honest, there are a lot more than 10 reasons Summerplace Game Reserve is the best place to spend the Easter Weekend, but these are personal and developed by the hundreds and hundreds of guests that keep returning to invest their time in a place where peace is a priority.

To book your accommodation, check out the various options here.

THE BIKE VILLAGE – THE SOUL OF SUMMERPLACE

Experiences in the South African bush only gain real value when they’re relayed with detail by being told or via photos or videos shown to others. In a comfortable place, over a drink, or a meal. A place where the dress code is ‘relaxed’, where you can watch the sun set. A place that’s cool in summer, warm in winter and where positive energy flows freely. The Bike Village at Summerplace Game Reserve is that place.

The Bike Village is where you check in when you arrive and where you check out when you leave. It provides the bookends to your piece of peace… After the 15-minute drive from the main gate, it’s where you start to experience the warm hospitality of the reserve. For many first-time visitors, The Bike Village is where their feelings of trepidation are eased. You can’t sense energy from what you see on a website, but The Bike Village has this way of making you feel settled and calm. It’s where you start your relaxation before you head to your accommodation.

It began as the place where guests would meet to start mountain bike rides. A central point where you can grab a fresh coffee, pump your tyres and discuss the planned ride. It’s still that place, but now also so much more. It’s still called The Bike Village because Summerplace grew into a place people want to visit through the fantastic mountain bike trails network. Also, a village is a community, not a single building. A village is where you can give and receive support, praise, inspiration and advice. That’s The Bike Village.

It can get cold at Summerplace in winter. An icy Waterberg wind brings the temperatures down. But with the doors closed, the fireplace crackling and the comfortable couches calling, The Bike Village makes a great place to relax or play board games while sipping coffee or red wine.

In summer, Limpopo is one of the hottest provinces in the country. The Bike Village delivers the ideal oasis for guests. With the doors wide open and the ceiling fans spinning, seating inside or on the veranda offers solace from the searing sun while sipping on cooldrinks, craft gin or ice-cold beer. The Bike Village swimming pool offers an additional cooling-off opportunity.

Technically, The Bike Village is one single building. But over time it’s undergone expansion to incorporate office space, a larger kitchen, a fireplace, storage for catering items, a retail store, a bike rental kiosk, a bicycle workshop, a larger veranda and a coffee and beverages bar. There’s also lush green lawn out front where kids play and dogs enjoy daytime naps.

A boma and firepit ensure an idyllic outdoor setting for evening braais and social banter. The crisp night sky is pollution-free, so the stars are brighter and more visible and the sounds of the bushveld more vivid.

We have a permanent chef which ensures we can host all occasions at The Bike Village. Landmark Birthdays, Bushveld Weddings, Youth Skills Camps, Cycling Club Weekend Escapes, Business Conferences, Bike Industry Launches and Mountain Bike Events – just some of the notable occasions that we have successfully.

Everyone that visits Summerplace Game Reserve spends some time at The Bike Village. It’s not just a reception area. It’s not just a place to eat and drink. It’s not just a place to relax. It’s not just a place to rent bikes. It’s not just a place to socialise. It’s all of that and more because The Bike Village is the soul of Summerplace…

To experience the soul of Summerplace, book your accommodation here.

VALUE-FOR-MONEY ACCOMMODATION AT SUMMERPLACE

Regardless of our budget we all want value-for-money holiday accommodation in South Africa. That’s why we have three levels of accommodation at Summerplace Game Reserve. Here’s a breakdown of our comfortable bushveld escape accommodation that’s just a short drive from Gauteng.

Budget: R180 per person per night

BRETT’S CAMPSITE

Our recently expanded campsite is located on a largely flat surface beneath a canopy of shady trees. There are electricity points spread throughout the campsite as well as recently added modern ablution blocks, which offer separate male and female toilets and hot showers as well as communal dishwashing space. There are also portable braais. Catering for caravans, trailer tents or regular tents, Brett’s Campsite is near to the Bike Village, where food and beverages can be purchased and where a swimming pool and other amenities for campers are available.

To find out more or book, click here.

Budget: R550-R650 per person per night

THE SHED

The Shed comprises three self-catering units that are separate, but which can also be combined to accommodate a small group. Sheds 1 and 3 are two-bedroom, four-sleepers, while Shed 2 is a one-bedroom two-sleeper. Each unit has its own bathroom. There’s a veranda space for each unit for outdoor relaxation as well as access to a large boma and firepit. The Shed apartments all have uncapped Wi-Fi, power is via solar and hot water is generated by gas. If you are on a budget but need to escape to the bush from the city, The Shed is your sanctuary.

To find out more or book The Shed 1 or 3, click here.

To find out more or book The Shed 2, click here.

NEW WINE

New Wine is a two-bedroom, four-sleeper self-catering home. Although adjacent to The Shed, it faces the bush on the base of Marula Hill and is private with its own veranda, outdoor fire pit and wood-fired hot tub. The open-plan living room and kitchen area is spacious and comfortable for indoor relaxation. New Wine has uncapped Wi-Fi, power is via solar and hot water is generated by gas. New Wine offers incredible bang-for-your-buck bushveld accommodation.

New Wine is fenced and pet friendly.

To find out more or book, click here.

MARULA COTTAGE

This free-standing self-catering two-bedroom, four-sleeper cottage has one of the best vistas at Summerplace Game Reserve. Located about 500 metres from the Bike Village, Marula Cottage has a veranda with a view over the grassy plain that we call ‘Summergeti’, where wild animals regularly gather to graze or rest. Beyond that is the classic bushveld vegetation with the highest peaks of Summerplace’s hills on the skyline. Marula Cottage is private with its own fire pit and boma and a wood-fired hot tub. The open-plan living room and kitchen area is spacious and comfortable for indoor relaxation. It has a bath and a shower. Marula Cottage has uncapped Wi-Fi, power is via solar and hot water is generated by gas. Ideal for a small family getaway.

Marula Cottage is fenced and pet friendly.

To find out more or book, click here.

YORKS VIEW

This six-bedroom, 12-sleeper lodge is located on the north-eastern high ground of Summerplace Gamer Reserve, delivering spectacular views of the reserve and the Waterberg. There are four bathrooms, a large comfortable living room and modern kitchen, making this an ideal group booking lodge. Yorks View is ideal for outdoor relaxation and entertainment with a generous wraparound veranda, swimming pool, boma, fire pit and wood-fired hot tub. There’s uncapped Wi-Fi, solar power and gas-generated hot water. This is the ideal bush escape accommodation for families or groups of friends.

Yorks View is fenced and pet friendly.

To find out more or book, click here.

Budget: R875-R1050 per person per night

ROSEMARY COTTAGE

This spacious three-bedroom, six-sleeper bush lodge has recently been upgraded to offer a tranquil bush escape. Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom one of which includes a bath. Located close to the Bike Village, this comfortable unit is also right at the start of the mountain biking and running trails and adjacent to the tennis court. There’s a covered veranda and a wood-fired hot tub for outdoor relaxation; and there’s uncapped Wi-Fi, solar power and gas-generated hot water. Rosemary Cottage is the ideal accommodation for active families and friend groups looking to get away from the city.

Rosemary Cottage is fenced and pet friendly.

To find out more or book, click here.

SARINGA

This luxurious couples retreat is one of our new lodges, featuring modern design to capture the natural light and wilderness sounds of the Waterberg. Set against Marula Hill with uninterrupted views of the bush and Waterberg peaks, Saringa is a stunning destination for couples looking for privacy and space. Built as a self-catering lodge, it includes a comfortable open-plan kitchen and living area with fireplace. There’s a covered veranda and wood-fired hot tub as well as uncapped Wi-Fi, solar power and gas geysers. Saringa is the perfect romantic getaway close to Pretoria and Johannesburg.

To find out more or book, click here.

BUSHWILLOW

This modern two-bedroom four-sleeper lodge is designed to offer ample space and stunning views of Summerplace Game Reserve. The bedrooms each have an en-suite bathroom, one of which also has an outdoor shower. For outdoor relaxation, there’s a large, covered veranda, fire pit and a wood-fired hot tub. The spacious living area includes a modern kitchen and comfortable lounge with fireplace. Bushwillow also offers uncapped Wi-Fi, solar power and gas-heated geysers. Bushwillow offers classy accommodation for a weekend away with friends or a small family.

To find out more or book, click here.

SUMMERHILL

Designed to accommodate large groups OR offer separate mini-lodges, Summerhill is the ultimate modern bush lodge. Set on the south-facing slope of Marula Hill, Summerhill features a large living and dining room with full kitchen and scullery. A generous covered veranda offers ample outdoor relaxation and dining space, while a built-in braai, fire pit, swimming pool, tanning deck and wood-fired hot tub complete the outdoor facilities. There are two two-sleeper units and two four-sleeper units, each with its own kitchenette and bathroom with outdoor shower option. Summerhill is the perfect venue for small business conferences or social group getaways.

To find out more or book, click here.

Located in the Waterberg, Limpopo, Summerplace Game Reserve is a 2-hour 15-minute drive from Pretoria and less than 3 hours from Johannesburg. Although all accommodation is self-catering, tasty meals can be ordered in advance to give you a break from cooking to focus on relaxing! Our activities include game drives, bush walks, hiking, trail-running, mountain biking and tennis. We have more than 40 species of large mammals making for regular, exciting wildlife encounters while exploring our reserve.

Back To Top