R517 in Vaalwater
|• Total||10.51 km2 (4.06 sq mi)|
|• Density||380/km2 (980/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||87.4%|
|First languages (2011)|
|• Northern Sotho||64.3%|
The town, unlike other towns in the Limpopo province, is not located on a national road, of which the nearest one is at Nylstroom/Modimolle. It does however lie halfway on a road stretching from Nylstroom/Modimolle to Ellisras/Lephalale. Nearby towns also include Hermanusdorings, Melkrivier, Palala and Naboomspruit.
It lies at the southern edge of the rugged Waterberg Massif, which is a biosphere that contains considerable biodiversity, including numerous large mammals (e.g. Giraffe, White Rhino, Blue Wildebeest). Waterberg is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The extensive rock formation was shaped by hundreds of millions of years of riverine erosion to yield diverse bluff and butte landform.
Vaalwater is a popular jumping-off point for travels to the Waterberg Massif and Botswana and is itself becoming a minor destination for tourism. There are a variety of craft, art, and gift shops, as well as cafes and restaurants.
Vaalwater has a number of commercial services not common for kilometres around, especially on roads leading to Botswana. These include banking, groceries, petrol and diesel, a post office, and doctors.
In 2006, Vaalwater was officially renamed Mabatlane, but reverted to Vaalwater in 2007 after it became evident that the proper renaming procedures had not been followed.