Do you like to play? If you like to feel, taste, hear and experience colourful Limpopo, this interactive way is probably cut out for you. We offer guided village tours, creative activities, cultural performances and excellent birding and hiking opportunities in the Soutpansberg and surrounds. Sitting central in Northern Limpopo, Madi a Thavha mountain lodge is also a popular stop close to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mapungubwe, Kruger Park North and the subtropical green belt of Levubu and Tzaneen.
We like to share our involvement with social development and education projects with our guests and offer them the opportunity to visit them.Guests can visit the children of our staff at the houses of their relatives in Tshiozwi by car or mountain bike. The children love showing their living environment and village. Tswelopele crèche, Vele […]
Swinging entertainment with local performers. Few peoples can sing and dance like the Africans with their inborn rhythm and captivating ability to fill the air with their strong voices and rich harmonious songs.
This tour introduces you to colourful Elim and surrounding villages where we visit the workshops of a wide variety of artists and crafters. Here we advise guests to make use of the services of a local tour guide, since many places are not that easy to find. Daily township life in Tshikota and Indian shops […]
The talented artists and crafters of Limpopo are also first-rate teachers. A few days working with a master in a rural village can be a life changing experience. Relaxed, creative atmosphere and patient teachers The artists and crafters of Northern Limpopo are not only talented people but also excellent teachers. They like to share their […]
There are rare birds in Limpopo, high on birders’ covet and bucket lists – this is only region in South Africa where you can, if you are lucky and persistent, see the Mottled Spinetail. Birdlife SA guide Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge offers guided birding trips to Birding hot spots of choice with Samson Mulaudzi, a […]
This tour takes visitors to the north of Venda with its amazing Baobab trees, quaint villages, raw beauty and famous artists. If you have time also see the biggest Boabab tree in the region and the modern Oprah-school with its eco-friendly design in the deepest of the Venda mountains. Head North-East through Nzhelele valley in […]
Madi a Thavha is one of the lodges tipped by the local cycling clubs as “cycle friendly accommodation” in the area. The Soutpansberg has lots of exciting opportunities for serious and fun cyclers . Soutpansberg is a superb cycling destination Here are endless trails for all grades of riding. The local Mountain cycling club, has […]
Apart from our own three short circle routes at Madi a Thavha, hiking through local villages can be arranged for those who like to experience culture in a more inter-active mode. Boabab circle route at Madi a Thavha The one-and-a-half-hour circular Baobab-route up the mountain is quite popular. Our local Boabab expert, dr Sarah Venter measured […]
Lake Fundudzi, Phiphidi waterfalls and the indigenous Thathe Vondo forest are some of the most sacred sites of the Vhavhenda people and an integral part of their spirituality. Rather consult a tour guide The tour to the sacred Lake Fundudzi and Thathe Vondo forest can be done as a day trip, starting at Madi a […]
The lifestyle tour offers a mixture of modern and traditional life in predominantly TshiVenda-speaking areas. It goes through rural villages and end up in Thohoyandou, meaning Head of the Elephant, the capital of Venda and surroundings. See how and where most rural Venda households grind their maize meal Follow the N 1 to the north and […]
Active and creative fun for the whole family – Madi a Thavha offers lots of opportunities for kids and their parents to experience a special and exciting holiday. Fun in Nature, at the Lodge or in rural villages We provide fun activities for adults and children either in the comfort of the lodge or on tour […]
This lodge’s involvement in the social, cultural and natural assets of their region is truly a big step forward to sustainable tourism from every point of view. To stay at Madi a Thavha is a feel good experience too!"Hano Boekhold – Tanzania
Sitting central in Northern Limpopo Madi a Thavha mountain lodge make for a popular stay over very close to Botswana, Zimbabwe and for the more adventurous 4x4 drivers also close to Mozambique. We are well-situated to do wonderful day trips to Mapungubwe, the two most northern gates of the National Kruger Park, Pafuri and Punda Maria and the subtropical green belts of the Levubu valley and the Wolkberge in Tzaneen.
Boababs galore on this unusual and scenic rural route to Pafuri, the most northern gate of Kruger National Park. One of only two border posts (for 4×4 adventurers) to Mozambique is also tucked in at ‘Crooks corner’ where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique’s borders intersect. Scenic route through the mountains and valleys of Venda land. […]
Golden rhino, ancient civilizations, big game and award winning architecture at Mapungubwe World Heritage site confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe,where many generations left their footprints; from Iron age peoples to San hunters, earlier Venda tribes, ivory hunters and settlers. Where two wide African rivers and three robust countries meet. At the confluence of the […]
Traversing Limpopo from Bosveld to Lowveld via vibrant Elim, the Tsonga open air museum in Letsitele and Kaross’ brilliant embroidered works. A photographer’s dream, the whole route. The scenic route from Madi a Thavha to Phalaborwa gate. From Madi a Thavha, first ensure your camera-battery is loaded and ready. You drive to vibrant Elim first. There you […]
Enjoy more of the green, subtropical parts of Limpopo. Lush Tzaneen and Magoebaskloof in the Wolkberge From Madi a Thavha go to and drive through Louis Trichardt / Makhado. When you get to the N1 turn to the right/south direction Polokwane. Drive for 38 kilometres on the N 1 and just before the Capricorn Tollgate turn […]
Enjoy our hip, rural region. See wonderful and original art along the road. Experience the vibe of Thohoyandou on your way to Punda gate. First stop Elim. This is a route from Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge to the Punda Maria gate of the Kruger National park, approximately 150 km east of our lodge along […]
"It was an experience – it is great to understand more fully the cultural side of Limpopo and its people."Gary Clare, Georgie, Tonie Harris, Oegstgeest, The Netherlands
Rural artists and crafters have the novelty of being only a mobile-click away from the big wide world yet, living closer to the earth, they have time to reflect and to be grounded in the Ubuntu culture of rural communities. This paved the way to a unique and exciting rural hip style developing in the far north of South Africa - a style drawing from the rich heritage of the northern peoples yet, one that very much engage with modern mediums and universal politics. Our lodge is infused with this vibe, by design and by passion.
Beaded fertility dolls with modern twist
Traditional and contemporary wooden sculptures and and music instruments
Exquisitely rich embroidered, reshuffled and remixed CraftArt of Tsonga heritage
Quirky and bright wooden sculptures and musical instruments
Sophia learned how to use heritage based techniques and materials to make contemporary products, based on the design and colour trends for tourists and interior decorators.
Beading secrets from the royal kraal
"Here we’ve seen ‘real Africa’ for the first time. The hike in the mountain was lovely too".Hans Mirjam, Els, Bas, The Netherlands
The mountains and valleys of Northern Limpopo has many surprises and delightful experiences to offer; a colorful spread of cultural heritage, CraftArt and extraordinary biodiversity awaits visitors who like to explore. With our News Update you can keep your finger on the pulse of special treats, tours, workshops and new discoveries in the vibrant North. Enjoy and thank you for visiting! Find more articles here »
Every year the James Madison University from Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, has a special program that allows undergraduate Health Science students the opportunity to ‘study abroad’. This year the main organiser, Professor Debra Sutton took her 8th group to South Africa. Since 2013 I have been fortunate enough to assist Debra in the organisation of these […]
We had a busy and exciting first quarter of the year and it seems to become even busier for the rest of the year. Madi a Thavha to be flagship of Craft Initiative project The National Arts Council (NAC) recently chose Madi a Thavha as a flagship Craft Initiative Project. Its aim is to align […]
Sophia Baloyi was born on 25 April 1945 on top of one of the foot hills of the Soutpansberg close to Elim in area of Limpopo which was then called ‘far northern Transvaal’. This Tsonga ‘gogo’ (grandmother) is an excellent beader of traditional Tsonga jewelry and accessories. Bead for tiny bead, lots of of skill and […]
Quickly get up to speed with Limpopo’s ancient Baobab trees in a convenient “little BIG Baobab book” hitting Limpopo’s bookshelves soon. “My PhD research on baobab trees, inspired me to produce this booklet” says Sarah Venter owner and founder of EcoProducts which buys baobab fruit from rural communities and extracts powder and oil from the […]
With an estimated 10 to 13 million members, the Zion Christian Church or ZCC is the largest African-initiated church in Southern Africa with congregations gathering 3 times per week in the remotest little settlements all over South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, southern Zimbabwe and Botswana. Each year during Easter Holidays millions of members bus en-masse to Zion City around […]
We had a busy, full-house Christmas season at Madi a Thavha with guests in and out of the pool all summer long and lots of village tours done visiting Tsonga and Venda crafters and artists around Elim, the Levubu valley and Thohoyandou. There is never a dull moment at Madi a Thavha, we are already […]
Christmas and New Year in Limpopo, is synonym with watermelon and cool subtropical salads with mango’s papayas, litchis and creamy avocados abundant on all the local markets this time of the year. (See recipes at the bottom) Levubu valley and the Soutpansberg’s subtropical fruit Limpopo’s citizens are really spoilt for choice, having the fertile and […]
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