From sacred lakes, mythical forests and the world's largest Baobab to Mapungubwe and Kruger National Parks this¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† un-commercialised area is wonderful to explore and an experience that you will always return to.
Reserves and Farms
Northern Kruger National Park: The Kruger National Park is world known and its northern reaches are arguably the most beautiful and least commercialised. This area offers outstanding birding and it is often described as the "botanical garden" of the Kruger.
Mapungubwe National Park & World Heritage Site: Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is rich in biodiversity, great scenic beauty and the cultural importance of the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe
Musina Baobab Nature Reserve: Famous for its high number of Baobab trees.
Wild Dog tracking: Track down this endangered animal at Venetia Mine Nature Reserve
Ratho & Parma crocodile farms: An operational crocodile farm with on average 4,000 - 5000 crocodiles on the farm, including a very rare 'White Crocodile'. They have a Croc Shop where croc meat and hand made crocodile and other leather items are sold.
Blouberg Nature Reserve: View the largest colony of Cape Vulture.
Nzhelele Dam: This beautiful dam is surrounded by a nature reserve plentiful in plains game. It is also recognised as an excellent fishing area.
Muthavhasindi Nature Reserve: This nature reserve has been established to protect the Brakenridgia zanzibarica trees or ‚ÄėMagic Tree‚Äô. It is the only place in South Africa where these trees are found and its bark is used by traditional healers. There is usually a local guide that can give you an informative talk.
Gundani Brachystegia Woodland: This is the only known patch of Miombo (Brachystegia) woodland in South Africa. Miombo woodland is common in Zimbabwe and further north and are considered to be rich in biodiversity and most rural communities depend on their resources.
Nwanedi Nature Reserve & Waterfall: This beautiful reserve surrounding the Nwanedi Dam is well stocked with game and boasts an impressive waterfall.
Mapungubwe Archaeological Site & San (Bushmen) Paintings: This location was a precursor to Great Zimbabwe and Thulamela. Visit Mapungubwe Hill, where a far developed African civilisation prospered between 1200 and 1270 AD. The area was already inhabited by a growing Iron Age community from 900 AD and became rich through trade with faraway places like Egypt, India and China. This is the place where archeologists excavated the famous golden rhino and other evidence of a wealthy African kingdom.
Thulamela Archaeological site: After entering the world famous Kruger National Park at Pafuri Gate head to Thulamela. This is a stone walled site dating back approximately 450 ‚Äď 500 years. This late Iron Age site forms part of what is called the Zimbabwe culture, which is believed to have started at Mapungubwe. There is evidence that gold was already being smelted here in 1300 AD.
Kokwane Prehistoric Footprints: In this area stones can be found with animal footprints. According to Venda legend animals left those marks a long time ago when the stones were still wet.
Dzata Ruins & Museum Of The Drums: Site of the VhaVenda royal village dating back to 1400 AD.
Bergpans Salt Pans: The Soutpansberg Mountains derived its name from these large salt-pans, which have probably been used by game since time immemorial, and whose salt has been exploited from Stone Age time‚Äôs right up to the present.
Tshipise Hot Springs: Relax in the hot waters that bubble out of the earth‚Äôs crust.
Big Tree at Sagole Spa: The world‚Äôs oldest and largest Baobab tree, estimated at 3000 years and with a circumference of 43 meters. Sagole Spa also features a natural hot spring. Tshikovha, a local herbalist and diviner of international repute, can be visited by arrangement.
Phiphidi Waterfall: The Phiphidi Waterfall is believed in the Venda culture to be inhabited by the zidutwane (‚Äúwater spirits‚ÄĚ). These beings are only half-visible; they only have one eye, one leg, and one arm. One half can be seen in this world and the other half in the spirit world. The Venda would take offerings of food to them because the zwidutwane cannot grow things underwater.
Tshatshingo Potholes: The waters of the Mutale River fall into a naturally formed pothole and disappear for some distance before reappearing and continuing on its course.
Arts & Crafts
Mutale Art & Crafts: community members are engaged on a daily basis in sculpture (wood carving), sewing and the production of other arts artefacts.
Thohoyandou Art & Crafts Culture Centres: it is here that people of Thulamela who are regarded amongst the finest artist in Africa exhibit their original works
Thumela Arts & Craft Centre: high-quality and somewhat unusual traditional Venda crafts. The works of approximately 250 crafters living in the Thohoyandou area are displayed here.
Pfuxanani Cultural centre & Vatsonga Cultural Village at Elim: The centre was started in 1993 by a group of young people who saw the need for tourism development in this area.
Rivoni workshop for the blind: Sells articles such as sisal mats, candles, coat hangers and diamond mesh fencing.
Twananani Batiks: This group makes use of block printing and batik techniques to create an exciting range of cushion covers, bags, handbags, tablecloths and clothes.
Jackson Hlongwani Sculptures: Jackson is internationally known for his work. This 80 year odd woodcarver will charm you with stories and myths relating to his sculptures.
Mukondeni Potters & Phineas Masuvhelele Drum-maker: Manufactures magnificent Venda pots, decorated with graphite and rich ochre designs. Phineas is the drum-maker and his beautiful wood carvings of traditional tales are known as his ‚Äústories in wood‚ÄĚ.
Raphalalani Sculptures: Meshack Raphalalani is a highly skilled artist focusing on the carving of human figures.
Dzashu Art Gallery: A community-based centre where an assortment of Venda pottery, woodcarvings, baskets, woven products, beads and traditional attire are produced.
Tshakuma Village: Here Venda sculptors and crafters ply their trade, offering visitors a glimpse of their rich African culture.
Phananani Carpet Weavers: Carpets are made from Karakul and 1005 wool and display a distinctive patchwork design.