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, cycling at and from the lodge with 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.
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 […]
Madi a Thavha is one of the lodges tipped by the local cycling clubs as “cycle friendly accommodation” in the area. We offer guided cycle routes to villages nearby with our own bicycles. The Soutpansberg has lots of exciting opportunities for serious and fun cyclers too. Bicycles at Lodge We have 7 bicycles and 2 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
"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.
Sculptures, musical instruments and drumming performances
Rich tradition of beading in rural Tsonga communities, high skills levels too
Traditional music instruments and wooden sculptures inspired by traditional stories
Traditional and contemporary wooden sculptures and and music instruments
Quirky and bright wooden sculptures and musical instruments
Known for huge sculpted marimbas, drums and wooden sculptures
"Here we’ve seen ‘real Africa’ for the first time. The hike in the mountain was lovely too".Hans Mirjam, Els, Bas, The Netherlands
We are thrilled that you are now reading Madi a Thavha mountain lodge’s very first newsletter. We can’t wait to tell you about our lodge’s huge Venda Tsonga CraftArt exhibition this year, to show you rural-hip Limpopo and introduce you to the artists at their own rural workshops. Northern Limpopo is off the beaten track and contains many delightful experiences we would like to surprise you with. Madi a Thavha has luxury accommodation, wholesome fusion food and a colourful Cultural Heritage Centre for getting the Limpopo vibe in a nutshell – all in the embrace of the ancient Soutpansberg Mountains.
At Madi a Thavha Mountain lodge in the Soutpansberg. In a land of mysteries, steeped in the age-old African tradition of sacred arts and crafts, Limpopo continually generates new talent and fresh interpretations. Each object bears a deeper meaning and so becomes a carrier of historical tales and moral values. Today, these CraftArt forms undergo rapid […]
Art Journaling is a fun, creative and deeply satisfying way to document life’s experiences. This workshop offers a unique opportunity to travel with seasoned artist, teacher and art-therapist Sally Scott to the vibrant heart of Limpopo Province. Track your thoughts You will visit local markets, meet woodcarvers, try your hand on traditional music instruments, smell […]
We were so encouraged by Tom Getman’s letter all the way from Washington: “Not many people travelling in Southern Africa think of Venda in the Limpopo Province as a worthy tourist or project partnership visit. For years visitors have seen this isolated but beautiful mountainous area only as a get-through-road from Johannesburg to the Kruger […]
Many interiors and landscapes has been designed around striking pieces of Limpopo’s world renowned woodcarvers, potters, textile workers, weavers and beaders before. It is that energizing powers of a sculpture like John Baloyi’s Godzilla at Constitution Hill that people so desire. Those lucky ones who own a Venda or Tsonga sculpture would agree that pure […]
Unusual artists, routes for bicycles, colourful people in traditional attire, rare birds, unique plants and trees with plenty of animals to be seen in the rural landscapes of the Soutpansberg mountains. It is one of the most bio-diverse pieces of land on earth. Sculptor Thomas Kubayi’s rural Vutsila Art Centre close to Elim in Northern […]
Rural doctors and taxis and buses and art lovers drive this dust road to Tshivhuyuni frequently. One always find children stringing back and forth to school, women swinging gracefully under heavy loads of firewood or washing on their heads, drive slower at a certain stretch to avoid the Nguni cattle taking their afternoon nap in the […]
Well-known Zimbabwean artist Nonny Mathe applies different mediums and techniques like batik and acryl paint on textile and canvas. The maize flour resist she uses to create the cracking effect, give her work striking layers of texture and depth. Her paintings are mainly abstract and semi-abstract with moving figures captured in bold, rich colours. Workshop […]
Receive 4 times a year travel tips, art and craft updates and news about Madi a Thavha.