Turn your home into a lockdown haven

Our country, and the globe at large is dealing with a pandemic that has forced world leaders to implement unprecedented measures in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. On Monday, 23 March 2020, South Africans all tuned in as President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the country to announce a 21-day national lockdown, which has subsequently been extended for a further two weeks. Everyone, with the exception of essential service providers, has been ordered to stay indoors for their safety and the safety of others.

Unfortunately, the lockdown also means that any of our plans to travel, locally and internationally, have been brought to a screeching halt – well temporarily so, as we all wait in the hope that things will return to normal sooner rather than later. 35 days is a very long time to be cooped up indoors, and whether you will be spending this time alone or with family, the days can feel like an eternity as you yearn to be out and about doing your favourite things. Here are a few Mabalingwe-inspired tips to keep yourself busy with during the lockdown:

DIY sugar scrub treatment

Do not neglect your body’s largest organ during the lockdown. You may not be able to book a Mbali Day Spa treatment at the moment, but you can still treat your skin to some tender-loving-care with a refreshing home-made scrub. Gently exfoliate your face and body with an easy-to-make scrub you can make with ingredients you can find in your kitchen!

You will need:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oil of your choice (coconut, jojoba, olive or grapeseed)
  • essential oil (optional)
  • spoons for mixing
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring spoons or cups
  • sealable container to store excess scrub

Pour all of the ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix to desired consistency. Apply the scrub to the desired skin area and gently massage into the skin. (Please note: it is advised that you only exfoliate once a week to avoid over-exfoliating and irritating your skin.)


Delicious home-made flapjacks 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – even if your mornings are starting a little later than usual. The Belgium waffles we serve at the Boeretroos coffee shop are a real treat, but for a home-made treat, try making some scrumptious and quick-to-make flapjacks to enjoy at home.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30 mil oil
  • 1 ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • honey
  • yoghurt
  • fruit of your choice

Mix together milk, egg and oil, then add that to the dry ingredients: flour, sugar and baking powder. Mix until batter is silky smooth. Prepare your non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to coat the pan. Pour out a round spoonful of the batter onto the pan – once you see bubbles on the top of the round batter, flip it around. Remove from the pan once both sides are golden brown. Repeat this until your batter is finished. Serve with some honey, plain yoghurt and your choice of fruit.


Energising home exercise

Exercise has amazing benefits for your physical and mental well-being, such as:

  • Regular exercise is a mood booster and can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Exercise is crucial to supporting a fast metabolism and burning calories and also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss.
  • Exercising regularly can increase your energy levels.
  • Exercise improves skin health by inducing skin cell adaptations and promoting blood flow, which can protect your skin and delay signs of ageing.
  • Physical activity helps you build muscles and develop strong bones

During the lockdown period, access to your regular gym facilities is prohibited, and sadly, so is your usual run around the block. You will probably also miss out on a guided walking trail where you could have taken in the tranquil surrounds and spotted a few fascinating animal and birdlife at our nature reserve. However, what you can look into in the meantime is exercising at home. Try taking your work-outs outside in your yard, or balcony for those who live in apartments, and appreciate some fresh air as you work up a sweat. Create your own personalised work-out programme to challenge yourself with during the lockdown.


Games night

For those of you who are with their loved ones during the lockdown, this is absolutely a great time to create awesome memories you can cherish for a lifetime! Unplug from technology and log out of the internet for a while to enjoy some “digital-free” entertainment. Turn the living room into your own games room for a change and bring out the board games, that 1000 piece puzzle that you haven’t been able to complete or the deck of cards you haven’t used in a while! You will be surprised at how much good ol’ fun you and your loved one’s can have with some retro and modern games.


“There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.”

– Leo Christopher

We all need to do our part and abide by the rules set out by the government during this time – but there is no harm in making the time indoors enjoyable and meaningful. We hope these tips will bring you some much-needed light to your home in these trying times.

Your next amazing post-Covid vacation at Mabalingwe will be waiting for you. Explore our website on https://www.mabalingwe.co.za/ for more information.

Which Accommodation Best Suits You?

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve offers a wide variety of accommodation options, fit to cater for any person or group’s needs. Whether you prefer a more tranquil spot from which to listen to the soul-soothing sounds of the bush, or if your family wants to be in on the action and near the hive of activity at the Main Entertainment Centre; we have it all. So tell us, which accommodation best suits you?

  1. Ingwe Camp

Ideal for families looking to breakaway and spend quality time together, Ingwe Camp includes all the necessities for a home-away-from-home. Each unit is perched comfortably on a rocky outcrop, providing visitors with beautiful views over the Waterberg Valley to enjoy over a tasty meal alongside a crackling fire; surrounded by loved ones.

Pax.: 4/6                      No. of Units: 86

Ingwe Camp

  1. Kwalata Camp

Another well-situated camp for families, Kwalata Camp provides guests with stunning views of the dense Mabalingwe bush and is situated a short drive from the main pool area where families can frolic in the sunshine and splash about in the cool swimming pools.

Pax.: 4/6                      No. of Units: 20

Kwalata Camp

  1. Phiri Camp

This smaller camp is a great place for couples or smaller clusters of friends to enjoy one another’s company under the African sun, while still having a private unit to retreat to. The camp has its own unheated pool, baby pool and lapa; perfect for cooling off during the day and spotting wildlife in the nearby shrubbery while immersed in laughter under a twinkling night sky.

Pax.: 4             No. of Units: 15

Phiri Camp

  1. Kubu Camp

Kubu Camp is situated approximately 3km from Reception to provide guests with privacy and tranquillity in the heart of the bush. A wonderful spot for a reunion of friends; a spot from which to view passing game, relax poolside at Kubu’s unheated swimming pool, or to chat and share stories of the days adventures around a fire at Kubu’s lapa.

Pax.: 6             No. of Units: 12

Kubu Camp

  1. Kalahari Bush Camp

This permanent-tented bush camp is a great family or large group escape. Surround yourself in the thicket and spend time listening to the stridulating of beetles or call of the jackal. Kalahari Bush Camp is so named for being situated closely to the local Bush Pub, and is a great base from which to explore all the Reserve has to offer. Each tent is well-appointed, and the group shares common areas, such as; a fully-equipped kitchen, lapa/braai area and ablution facilities.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 2             No. of Units: 5

Kalahari Oasis Camp

  1. Pitsi Bush Camp

An idyllic location for some much needed rest and relaxation, Pitsi Bush Camp offers five units with a communal kitchen, outdoor toilet and shower, lapa, and small splash pool. This camp is situated further away from the main activities at Mabalingwe and is a great spot for guests wishing to kick back and enjoy the lovely warm weather.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 2             No. of Units: 5

Pitsi Camp

  1. 4X4 Camp

This camp is the most rustic of the accommodation available to guests and caters specifically for the adventurous few, who revel at the idea of “roughing-it” for a completely unique experience. Braai and ablution facilities are provided, but there is no electricity and the camp is only accessible by 4X4 vehicles. The camp is in an isolated section of the Nature Reserve, which is any camping lover or gadget guru’s paradise.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 4             No. of Units: 7

4X4 Camp

Format Aside

Mabalingwe has had the absolute pleasure of establishing its own Guide Department in 2017 and wow, what a great bunch of passionate, energetic and knowledgeable fellows make up this team. Allow us to introduce you to the awesome “super guides” also known as #PowerRangersAnthony, Hein and Frans.


Frans Mahlanya – “The Pro-Tracker” Ranger

Frans “The Pro-Tracker” Mahlanya is Mabalingwe’s most experienced guide – having lived and worked in the Waterberg region since the age of 15! He started at the Resort as a general worker, but soon discovered his love and passion for nature and the rest is history. Currently, Frans has 12 years of experience as a Ranger at Mabalingwe and the surrounding farms.

Speciality: track and sign; he has an enormous amount of knowledge on tracking elephants and rhinos. He is also an avid bird enthusiast.
Something Interesting: Frans is a real people’s person and speaks five languages – Afrikaans,
English, Tswana, Zulu and Sotho.


Hein Strydom – “The Tree-Hugging Ecotainer”

Hein “The Tree-Hugging Ecotainer” Strydom is widely known as Mabalingwe’s Ecotainer. When Hein isn’t entertaining and educating the Eco Cubs and Teens on how to survive in the bushveld, siphoning water from the right trees and how to build a fire, he has a great passion for trees, especially those found in the Waterberg Region. Currently, Hein has over four years of experience and happily dedicates his life to conservation and preservation of what naturally occurs in the Waterberg biome and habitat.

Speciality: Hein specialises in the medicinal and cultural uses of trees in the Waterberg region; and
in mammals.
Something Interesting: Hein is passionate about educating people and enriching their lives by informing them about the natural environment.


Anthony Roberts – “The Bird-Guru”

Anthony “The Bird-Guru” Roberts – born and raised in Jozi – has a serious passion for the Waterberg biosphere and magnificent sourveld region that he now calls home. Anthony has a broad knowledge of all things “bushveld” and we know he has a very bright future with his talent and enthusiasm.
Speciality: Birds and bird call identification; he also possesses a Level 1 in Track and Sign and
can identify animals by just looking at their dung or tracks.
Something Interesting: Anthony loves to read and spend time with his family when he is not guiding.


Tell us all about your Mabalingwe experiences!

Have you ever gone on a Game Drive? Tell us your incredible Mabalingwe story and you could feature in one of our blogs.

Send your stories and/or pictures to yourresortstory@oaks.co.za today!


Our Mabalingwe ECOTAINMENT Programme

In 2016, the Mabalingwe VRS Team launched an awesome new initiative – the ECOTAINMENT Programme. What a success it has been so far!

The programme was created to provide an extra activity for the younger Mabalingwe guests to enjoy. Something that would educate them, get them back into nature and simply give them the opportunity to have FUN.

A lot of work went into preparing for this programme – from buying and rebuilding the game drive vehicle, fondly known as the ECOBUG; to fixing and cleaning up the Huts used for some of the activities. Our most important task was appointing a nature loving and enthusiastic game ranger. And we found the perfect one! He is known by all as the ECOTAINER.

Our ECONTAINER, Hein Strydom, is a wonderful addition to the VRS Mabalingwe Team. He has truly brought the Ecotainment Programme to life. With lots of experience in wildlife and as a game ranger, as well as having a passion for sharing his knowledge about the trees, shrubs and animals, with those around him – Hein is an absolute gem. His love for the bushveld, way with children and knowledge of all that nature encompasses, has made the ECOTAINMENT programme a huge, smashing success.

To start off, Hein spent many days out in the Reserve clearing up and creating a walking trail, which has become a much-loved Mabalingwe addition. He also took time to identify and tag trees and shrubs along the way and even embarked on building benches and bridges on the trail. Hein went above and beyond to make the experience as enjoyable and interesting as possible for guests.

He has created two different ECOTAINMENT programmes – The Eco Cub Club (for children aged six to twelve years) and The Eco Teens Club (for ages of 13 and 16). Each programme offers exciting activities that are tailor-made for the various age groups. The activities include tree and shrub identification, animal tracking, spoor/dung identification, how to start a fire without matches, identifying different snakes and their venom, and so much more.

The programmes are about enriching our young Mabalingwe visitors as much as possible, in a safe and fun environment. It has been a fantastic success so far, and we are certain it will continue to be in the future. The VRS Team is committed to providing wonderful experiences for all who visit Mabalingwe. We will continue to improve where we can, to ensure our guests have a good time with us. We hope that Mabalingwe remains the place where our guests’ hearts lie.






Mabalingwe’s Ultimate Homemade and Eco-Friendly Bug Repellents

Do you sometimes just feel the bushveld is calling and you must just go? The nature, the sunsets, the sounds, the wonderful memories that you have…  with nature and the bushveld, come the cute and interesting “goggos”, bugs and a number of crawling and flying critters because naturally the bush is their domain. That however doesn’t mean you necessarily love and treasure the time spent with a fly, a mozzie or a spider in your room, kitchen, lounge and especially the bathroom. So we thought we would share our eco-friendly, homemade repellents with you – keeping the crawlies cosy in the bushes and you “snug-as-a-bug” in your Unit. And of course, you can use these remedies beyond the bushveld, in your own homes too.

Spider Repellent:

Did you know spiders abhor peppermint? Well, now you do. To keep the spiders happily outside, add ten to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil to a cup (250 ml) of water. Pop this into a spray bottle and spray on doorframes, windows, small cracks, ceilings and bathrooms, in your House/Chalet.

Ant Repellent:

Ants have a great sense of smell, but don’t like cinnamon, garlic and mint. If you have too many ants visiting you indoors, take a cinnamon stick, sliced clove of garlic and/or mint and place them in the problem areas (“blocking” their path); this will disperse their party and direct them back to the great outdoors. Keep doing this – the clever little ants will remember that your Chalet/Home isn’t the place to be.

General “Gogga”/Bug Spray:

Did you know that flies, mozzies, ticks and other creepy crawlies are not fans of basil? You can either invest in a basil plant/plant it all over your garden, or for a portable version … you can purchase basil essential oil, pour 20 drops and two cups of water into a spray bottle and TA-DA – your own bug repellent.

Anything Else?

Are there other ingredients that bugs in general, find unpleasant? Yes – eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, citronella and bay leaves (in any form).

There you have it… Mabalingwe’s Ultimate Homemade Bug Repellents. Do you have any eco-friendly tips on how to keep the bugs at bay? Let us know in the comment section below!