Information on the Surrounding Soutpansberg Area
UNESCO World heritage site. Bead, Ceramic & Gold Trading. Limpopo river & sub-tropical fruit area.
There are few places that give on a greater feeling of being in Africa, than the Soutpansberg bushveld region. The baobab tree, wonderful wildlife, an abundance of birds, fascinating history and cultures, makes it the ~Land of Legend~ There were times when beads and ceramics for the gold and ivory of the ancient African Kingdoms were traded from Mapungubwe (World Heritage site and a recognized Vhembe BIOSPHERE status) and Thulamela.
New cultural groups gradually moved in and the history of the Shangaan and Vhavenda became intertwined with the Voortrekkers to create a wonderful historical tapestry. Joao Albasini, the Portuguese trader who became headman of the Shangaans, Coenraad de Buys whose descendants still live in Buysdorp; and the Voortrekker leader Louis Trichardt, after whom the principal town is named.
The western section of the region is dominated by the rocky spine of the majestic Soutpansberg (meaning ‘saltpan mountain’) range. The range, over 30 km wide features a fertile plateau, and features relics of the Stone Age people and their rock art.
Beyond the Soutpansberg the Limpopo Valley stretches across the country’s northern border. The Limpopo River is a life-giver in the predominantly hot, dry land through which it curves and supports a series of small thriving farming villages.
The Soutpansberg area features over 500 tree species of which 6 are endemic. 465 species of birds, numerous mammal, reptile and amphibian species, butterflies are found here. The Mopani bushveld of the Soutpansberg is ideal for game farming and an increasing number of game reserves and conservancies cater for the growing demands of tourism. The area offers excellent hunting.
The Levubu River Valley is rich in sub-topical fruit plantations.
The Soutpansberg Region has been declared a Unesco World heritage Site, which gives new conservation status to the area.
The major centres of the Soutpansberg include Louis Trichardt which has a well developed commercial infrastructure and is a major agricultural trading centre for cattle, fruit, cotton and game. To the west is the farming town of Alldays, to the north Musina, situated a short distance from the Beitbridge border post to Zimbabwe. Thohoyandou and the surrounding Vendaland, are rich in natural beauty, holy sites and beautiful Holy lakes.