Local Excursions  
This is what Palala River Cottages specialises in – providing a wide range of bush experiences for guests to get the most out of their safari holiday whatever their age or interest. The examples below are designed to give a flavour of the experience guests will enjoy at Jembisa.
You are welcome to self-drive during daylight hours. Please note however that roads on the reserve are varied in terrain. If self-driving, please refer to the map to determine which are passable for your vehicle. Alternatively book a game drive in one of our 4x4 open game-drive vehicles with one of our experienced guides. Click to View our Rate page. Night drives are only possible with a ranger.
* Subject to availability
The reserve enjoys fabulous diversity of terrain including 7km of the beautiful Palala river, open savannah, riverine forest, cliffs, gorges and syringa woodland which makes walking a great joy. There is nothing to compare to the experience of walking in the bush, all senses are heightened. Palala Cottage guests are able to walk on the routes marked on the map or can book a guided walk with one of our rangers. Click to View our Rate page.
* Subject to availability
The diverse terrain of the reserve that includes a large wetland, rivers, cliffs, savannah plains, syringa forests, riverine forest, kopjes and hillsides facing every point of the compass, results in a wide diversity of birds including some of the rarer species such as the African Finfoot - Podica - after which one of the self-catering cottages is named.
For pure, unadulterated bliss and relaxation guests can enjoy a Jembisa massage. We use essential oils , some of which such a sthe rose geranium and rosemary are locally and organically produced. The base oil is a rich, organic avocado oil from the mountains of nearby Tzaneen.  Manicures, facials and other beauty treatments can also be arranged.
The Palala river provides some excellent fishing for both the fly fisherman and the coarse fisherman. Species include bass, kirpa and barbell. Please beware however as there are crocodile and hippo in the river. Children under 16 should not fish.
Palala guests are free to self- drive on the northern side of the reserve, which includes the game-rich wetlands. Please note that some of the roads would require a high-clearance vehicle. Night driving is not permitted however a guided night drive can be booked subject to availability.
Viewing wildlife and the spectacular scenery on two wheels is a popular activity with some of our Palala guests along the sand roads of the reserve. Mountain bikes are available to hire (subject to availability).
It is not necessary to go far from the cottages to appreciate the diverse fauna and flora of the Waterberg. The animals come into the camps, and the trees and wildflowers are in abundance and vary between the different habitats on the reserve. The best time for wildflowers is Spring (October - January).
Palala guests are welcome to picnic anywhere on the reserve, there are several beautiful look-out points. There is a picnic table under a covered thatch roof at Emily's camp.
The Waterberg night sky enjoys no light pollution making stargazing a great pleasure. For those wanting a proper night sky safari there is a local expert Dr Philip Calcott who can be booked.
The Waterberg is spectacular for horse-riding - the dramatic scenery, and the ability to get close to wildlife makes it a fabulous experience for riders of all ages and experience. There are some riding safari specialists very close to Jembisa where our guests ride. They have professional riding guides and carefully match riders to horses.
Jembisa has chosen not to be home to lion and elephant as the safety element allows us to provide opportunities to experience the African bush in a deeper, wider way on foot and to use all of the senses in this discovery. It also allows other unusual activities like spending the night under the stars, bush kitchen activities and mountain biking. Many guests want to see the more dangerous animals and so we can take them on a half day local excursion to nearby reserves for this or we can arrange for them to spend a night there.