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Welcome to the blog of the Warmbad Renaissance Retirement Village, Bela-Bela

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Bela-Bela

Introduction


Can you find Bela-Bela?

Bela-Bela, formerly known as Warmbaths, is situated in the Bushveld of Limpopo Province. Wikipedia describes the Bushveld as "a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa named after the term veld." The elevation of this region varies from 750 to 1,400 m.

By the way, There appears to be uncertainty about the spelling of the name of our town. Some people spell it "Bela Bela", and others, "Bela-Bela".

A significant mountain range in the region is the Waterberg that stretches from Mokopane in the east to Thabazimbi in the west. The name of the range is derived from the sandstone formations that retain groundwater sufficient to make a suitable environment for man and beast. As most of the region tends to be dry, the Bushveld is mostly cattle and game farming country.

The Waterberg

A brief history of Bela-Bela

When the Tswana tribes first moved into the region in about the 1800s, they discovered strong mineral springs that flows out of the Earth at a rate of 22 000 litres of water per hour with a temperature of 52°C. This water gave rise to the eventual establishment of the town of Warmbaths. The water from these springs are rich in sodium chloride, calcium carbonate and other salts that are highly beneficial to those suffering from rheumatic ailments.

Originally the Voortrekker, Carel Van Heerden, established the first farm in this area at the mineral springs and called it Het Bad. 

Carel van Heerden's grave

At this time the area in and around the mineral springs was a marshland where great numbers of wild animals were trapped and died in the mud. When the marshes were eventually drained, the skeletons of numerous animals, including elephant, were found.

The legend of Buiskop is also rather interesting. 

Buiskop, situated approximately six kilometres north of Bela Bela, is a well known and historical summit. It was used as a halfway house during the Republican days for the mail coach that travelled between Pretoria and Polokwane.

View from the summit of Buiskop - looking south towards Bela Bela
The mountain was also found to contain a sandstone formation and this stone was used for the erection of a portion of Pretoria's Union Buildings.
 

Buiskop owes it's name to Coenraad De Buys, a renegade who was forced to flee the Cape Colony at the beginning of the 19th Century. He fled North and with his two sons Machiel and Gabriel and a number of Blacks as bodyguards. 

According to tradition they incurred the wrath of a number of local tribesmen in the area, were driven to the mountain and encircled. The tribesmen tried to get them to surrender by thirst. However, eight days later De Buys made his appearance and dumbfounded the tribesmen who were expecting surrender. They saw him swinging a skin of water over the top of the mountain and declaring that he had certain higher powers on his side that enabled him to get water on the dry mountain top. Terrified by this state of affairs the tribesmen decided to cease hostilities and put an end to the siege of Buiskop.

In 1873 President Burger of the then South African Republic (ZAR) first saw the tourism and recreational potential that Het Bad had to offer. He proposed the purchase of the farm to the ZAR. The ZAR at first refused the proposal but when President Burger wanted to purchase Het Bad from his own funds they accepted the proposal. Het Bad was renamed Hartingsburg, after the prominent Dutch biologist Pieter Harting.

Christina Pretorius, wife of the well-known Voortrekker leader, Andries Pretorius,  passed away after a bout of flu and was buried in the area. She was brought here in the hope that the mineral waters would restore her health.

Christina Pretorius' grave
During the Anglo-Boer war the British annexed Hartingsburg and renamed it Warm Baths.

On 14 June 2002 the South African government officially renamed the town Bela Bela (meaning "boiling boiling").

Click HERE to read more.
 
Weerstoestande

Bela-Bela spog met 'n heerlike klimaat. Die gemiddelde wintertemperatuur wissel van 'n matige 7ºC (snags) tot 24ºC (bedags) . Die gemiddelde somertemperatuur wissel van 16ºC tot 29ºC. Die dorp geniet gemiddeld 286 sonskyndae per jaar. Die gemiddelde jaarlikse reënval is min of meer 625 mm en kom hoofsaaklik in die somermaande voor.

Klik HIER om die daaglikse weervorspelling te besigtig.
 
Mediese geriewe
 
Bela Bela beskik oor 'n hele aantal bekwame algemene praktisyns. Trouens, een van hulle is dr. A B de Villiers, vader van die Protea-krieketspan se eendagkaptein en die wêreld se huidige (8 November 2013) top-toetskolwer, A B de Villiers. Hierbenewens huisves die dorp 'n verskeidenheid tandartse, oogkundiges en apteke.

A B de Villiers
Die provinsiale hospitaal bied openbare gesondheidsorg. St. Vincent's is 'n private hospitaal met sy eie webwerf. Klik HIER om toegang daartoe te verkry. 

Hierbenewens is Pretoria met sy uitstekende mediese geriewe sowat 100 km hiervandaan. Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede.

Inkopiegeriewe
 
Alhoewel Bela Bela oor die basiese inkopiegeriewe beskik, vind inwoners dit soms nodig om besoeke aan groot inkopiesentrums (shopping malls) in Pretoria en elders te bring. Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede).
 
Die Bela Mall wat sy deure in 2014 geopen het, het dit minder nodig gemaak om groot inkopiesentrums elders te besoek. Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede. 
 
Ontspanning
 
Bela Bela en omgewing bied 'n groot verskeidenheid ontspanningsgeleenthede insluitend staptogte, wildritte, besoeke aan wildparke, ens. Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede.

Vir die lekkerbekke beskik Bela Bela oor 'n aantal goeie restaurante. Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede.

Opvoedkundig
 
Die dorp en omgewing spog met 35 skole.  Klik HIER vir meer besonderhede.
 
Sources / Bronne
  • The History of Warmbaths (click HERE to view website).
  • Bushveld. (click HERE to view website)
  • Bela Bela Climate.  (click HERE to view website)
  • St. Vincent's Hospital (click HERE to view website)
  • Pretoria Hospitals (click HERE to view website)
  • SafariNow (click HERE to view website)
  • Rise 'n Shine (click HERE to view website)
  • Things to do in Bela Bela (click HERE to view website)
  • Schools4SA (click HERE to view website)
  • SafariNow (click HERE to view website)

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