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.
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 fertile Levubu valley with its subtropical crops like avocados, bananas, litchis, guavas and macadamia and pecan nuts is often described as the fruit basket of Northern Limpopo. The Levubu valley runs east to west along the southern foot hills of the Soutpansberg mountains going east between Louis Trichardt and the Kruger National Park’s Punda Maria […]
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.
The talented artists and crafters of Limpopo are also first-rate teachers. A few days working with a master in a totally different and relaxed atmosphere of our rural villages 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 […]
Apart from our own three short 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 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 the girth […]
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 […]
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, the only problem being, no Bicycle renting companies around here, you have to bring your own bike. This region is a superb […]
This tour introduces you to colourful Elim and surrounding villages where we visit the traditional homesteads of woodcarvers, potters and other local families. It is quite possible to drive around on your own, but we advise guests to make use of the services of a local tour guide, since many of these places are not […]
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. The children love showing their living environment and villages. Vhutsilo Mountain school is an interesting project to […]
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.
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 […]
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 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 […]
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. […]
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 live close to earth. Connected to the worldwide web and being grounded in the culture of rural communities, paved the way to an exciting rural-hip style developing in the far north of South Africa – one that draw from the rich cultural heritage of the north yet also engages with modern mediums and universal politics. Our lodge is infused with this vibe, by design and by passion.
Acclaimed master potter Rebecca Matibe is a perfectionist
Rendani had to leave school to work at 16, now she runs her own small business at home while crocheting her way open to avenues in Europe and South Africa
Traditional music instruments and wooden sculptures inspired by traditional stories
Contemporary embroidery work expressing Northern Sotho rural stories
Traditional woven Tsonga baskets made from grass, wood and river reeds
Characteristic mix of metal and wood in famous benches
"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 »
Busy, busy always at Madi a Thavha to keep our service up and colourful. The past few months have been full of new things and excitement at the lodge again. Would you like to volunteer at Vhutshilo mountain school for vulnerable children? Madi a Thavha supports Vhutshilo mountain school for Aids orphans and vulnerable children […]
“Venda – the word itself conjures up images of python dances, sacred forests and ancient traditional beliefs. And, in a way, it is just that; magical, cultural, friendly, welcoming,” says Sarah Bergs on her recent Woza travel blog about Madi a Thava – Woza Travel focus on Fair Trade hotels, green accredited Eco lodges, Nature […]
Soft dung-floors and colourful wall-art on traditional Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho homesteads are some of the most distinct characteristics of rural Limpopo. Sadly, with modern brick-and-mortar houses being easier to build and more convenient to maintain, this wonderful indigenous art-form becomes scarcer by the day. Preserving heritage in contemporary form Rural Limpopo fortunately still […]
Each November when our giant Baobabs push out their spectacular white flowers is the best time to stop the crazy world, to rejuvenate your soul in a small 20-minute peep through a window of sheer wonder. Did you know, baobabs start to flower at the tender age of 200 years and to see a flower […]
This year international bead-company Preciosa Ornella invited traditional African beaders to enter a competition with the aim to encourage new, quality CraftArt done in beads. The Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho people in Limpopo are excellent beaders and Madi a Thavha did not hesitate to help 8 beaders from Limpopo to enter the competition. Chrystal […]
One of the best things in life is to witness people grow. At Madi a Thavha we are fortunate that we have seen a couple of men and women grow their inherent potential to become confident young leaders. Tebocho attended Access to Markets for Profit Workshop Tebocho Mathase, manager of the Madi a Thavha Textile […]
In September, we enter our second year as the National Arts Council’s Craft Flagship in Limpopo. During year two, more focus will be on marketing. Madi a Thavha is busy building a showroom in Parkhurst where Limpopo artists can exhibit and we are currently identifying places and events in Joburg and other big cities where […]
To collect travel tips and news bits from us on CraftArt and cultural happenings in northern Limpopo and our Madi a Thavha CraftArt centre at Victoria Yards in Joburg.