Tourism and Parks Resource Centre
Tel/Fax 015 516 3415
Towns: Alldays, Louis Trichardt, Musina, Thohoyando.
Stretching from the Tropic of Capricorn up to Beit Bridge border post, touching the majestic Blouberg to the west, flanking the Kruger national Park to the east, this is the Soutpansberg.
A region with amazingly diverse fauna and flora, from mountain fynbos to centuries old Baobabs, sacred forests to genuine "Hardekool Bosveld" we have it all. Step into the domain of the elusive Loerie, or watch majestic vultures circling the sides of the Blouberg. Go tiger fishing; take a cultural drive through the old Venda or take the scenic mountain route on horseback.
Visit one of our many rock-painting sites or go mountain biking in a nature reserve. Sleep in cabins with the sound of the mountain leopard in your ears or in a hotel in town. For the nature lover, the area abounds in game farms, nature reserves and mountain reserves. The salt pans (still mined today) giving the mountain range its name (Soutpansberg 'salt pans mountain') are open to the public and well worth a visit.
Makado, lying next to the Great North Road (N1), is the ideal stopover on the way to the border (in fact sleep over here and you may not wish to leave) and also the ideal base for exploring the Soutpansberg region. Another large town is Thohoyandou (meaning "Head of the Elephant"), the former capital of the Republic of Venda.
A destination for the tourist fleeing bright lights and noise, the Soutpansberg offers peace, quiet and tranquil beauty. Farming communities and traditional rural life sets the pace. This however does not exclude the night owl as nightspots provide all the action needed, including a casino. One of South Africa's most visited areas, the Kruger National Park, also has two gates (Punda Maria & Pafuri) in this area.
The Most prominent feature of this area is the Soutpansberg, named after the large salt pan found at the base of the northwestern slopes of the mountain a pan which has probably been used by game since time immemorial and from which salt has been exploited from the stone age to the present, and the Limpopo River system, the life blood of the arid mopaneveld. The approximate boundaries of the area include the Tropic of Capricorn to the south, the Limpopo River to north, the Magalakwin River to the west and the Kruger Park / Mozambique to east.
Since winters in the area are moderate and temperatures in summer tend to be warm, it has become a popular winter vacation area. The summer temperature varies from Musina in the north 30.4 C average to Louis Trichardt with a summer average of 26.4 C. In Messina winter temperature averages 25 C, whilst Louis Trichardt experiences an average of 20 C. The rainfall decreases from east to west due to the orographic rain effect of the Drakensberg joining the Soutpansberg perpendicularly, Entabeni being on the rain side of both mountains and Waterpoort in the rain shadow of both. Cultural groups: The area has a diversity of peoples of which the VhaVenda, maShangaan, isiSotho and Afrikaner are the main cultural groups. This diversity of cultures is one of the main attractions.