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Northern Province - Louis Trichardt

 
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Location

In Limpopo Province, towards the northern end of the N2 national highway that leads to the Zimbabwe border.

The town, charmingly treed and quiet (though it is fast becoming a prominent business centre), lies in a spectacular setting at the foot of the densely wooded Soutpansberg hills that grace the countryside between grasslands of the Pietersburg plateau and the hot savanna plains of the northern bushveld. The place is named in memory of a Voortrekker pioneer, whose three-year odyssey (1835-38) took him to the Limpopo and then east to the Portuguese settlement at Delagoa Bay (now Maputo, Mozambique). Most of Trichardt's party contracted malaria on their journey through the Lowveld; Trichardt, his wife and 23 others died. Local crafts are rather special; among them are pottery, batik work, textiles and hand-made paper. The nearby Levubu district yields such tropical fruits as bananas, litchis, mangoes and a variety of nuts.


Highlights

Soutspansberg Hills The well-watered uplands, beautifully forested with such indigenous trees as yellowwood, stinkwood, waterberry, cycad and tree fern, beckon the exploratory motorist, the hiker and the rambler. Bird life includes the crowned and black eagles and, in rare synchronicity, the narina trogon, Knysna loerie and purple-crested loerie. The Hangklip picnic site, from which trails lead away, is considered one of the countries most rewarding birding spots.

Ben Lavin Nature Reserve, to the south of Louis Trichardt, is also good walking country, much of it rather flat, some of it rugged. Walking and mountain biking trails and game drives have been laid out; on view are 160 tree species, 250 different kinds of bird (including Wahlberg's eagle), giraffe, zebra, blue wildebeest, together with archaeological sites that date back about 800 years. Lodge and campsite accommodation is available.

Honnet Nature Reserve, which incorporates the Tshipise resort complex, lies to the north-east (take the N1 highway for 57 kilometres and turn right). Game to be seen includes giraffe, sable, tsessebe and other antelope. On site is a hotel, self-catering chalets, spa, swimming pools, bowling greens, riding stables; guided game trails, horse trails and a hiking trail. The countryside is lush and tropical, graced by colourful frangipani, bougainvillea, flamboyant and jacaranda.


Nearest towns

Louis Trichardt and the Zimbabwean border town of Beitbridge lie to the north; Pietersburg/Polekwane and Potgietersrus/Mokopane to the south.

 


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LOUIS TRICHARDT

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