Conservation & Community

The owners and staff of Palala River Cottages are fully committed to and play an active role in the conservation of the Waterberg region and the social upliftment and wellbeing of the local communities.

Social upliftment and well-being.

Waterberg Welfare Society (WWS)

The owners of Palala River Cottages founded this charity in 2000 in response to the need to educate the local community on awareness and prevention of HIV/Aids. Since then the organisation has grown enormously ( now employing over 70 people) addressing the wide range of needs related to those infected by or affected by HIV/Aids.


Some of the areas that WWS operates :

  • fosters the welfare of over 400 orphans
  • operates a pre-school, next to the township, for orphans and vulnerable children
  • has a variety of support groups
  • runs HIV/Aids education programmes in the local schools
  • operates a mobile clinic taking healthcare out to the more remote areas
  • delivers palliative care through a hospice, situated next to the township and through home based care
  • partners with the Government Health department in providing antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and support in a new treatment centre in the middle of the township
  • runs a wellness clinic for 1100 on treatment, 600 of whom are on ARV treatment.
  • Trains and educates local young people with skills development, for example the Waterberg Waves - training a group to run a radio station and recording studio.
  • Community vegetable garden

Visits can usually be arranged to some of the projects and past Palala River Cottages guests have found these very rewarding. Guests may also like to bring with them useful items to give to the projects such as footballs, pencils, books and old clothes. Do visit the WWS website and if you would like to do any.


A hugely popular game in South Africa- Jembisa sponsors a local team – the Jembisa Eagles - with many of the staff members playing. One of our waiters – Thomas Ngomane -is coach. During the World Cup we erected a transmitter and large screen in the local school to enable more locals to view matches.


Wood, grass and reed harvesting

As part of the land management plan at Jembisa locals are given access to cut wood, grass and river reeds.

Local schools

Jembisa supports local schools in a variety of ways ,eg cutting the grass on their pitches, funding some children and outings, financial support. Visits can usually be arranged for Jembisa guests who may wish to bring some useful items to donate to the schools such as rulers, pencils, stationery, books, posters, footballs.

Conservation and Land Management

We are committed to being good stewards of the beautiful land and wildlife at Jembisa and engaged the services of Dr Fanie Venter, a leader in the field, to draw up a management plan for Jembisa. This detailed plan covers all aspects from the land, river, flora and fauna management.

On the wider scale Jembisa is part of the Unesco International Waterberg Biosphere reserve and is an active member of the Waterberg Nature conservancy – an organisation comprising the owners of the majority of the land in the area with the aim of fostering good conservation practice, sharing ideas and support.

Fauna and Flora International

Internationally the main organisation that we support is Fauna and Flora International.