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Celebration of Spring – Open Gardens Tzaneen 20 – 29 September 2019

Beautiful gardens are synonymous with Tzaneen and surrounding areas, and it is with great pleasure that a group of keen garden owners have decided to open their gardens to the public who would like to visit and appreciate the splendour of their tropical Lowveld gardens.

Although the area has recently been challenged with a very dry season, visitors will still be astounded by the lush profusion of blossoms and blooms for which this area is so well known for during springtime.

Venda Pottery of Mukondeni

Venda pottery is one of the most distinctive types of traditional South African craft art, perfect in its elegant simplicity. The eye-catching dark brown pots, decorated with red ochre and silver graphite from Venda’s Lalonde Mountains, look beautiful in every setting. Originally Venda pots served as low-tech “fridges”, as the thick clay keeps water fresh and cool. Today the pots are used mostly for decoration.

Khoja’s Modern Store, the Origin of Venda’s Colorful Stripes

Khoja’s Modern Store is a cultural institution in Louis Trichardt. This fabric shop and general dealer has been passed down through multiple generations and is the place to go in northern Limpopo to buy traditional Venda and Tsonga/Shangaan fabrics. And not only does Khoja’s sell traditional Venda fabric — the eye-catching, boldly colored cloth with thick, colorful stripes — the shop also played a role in creating it. 

Artistic Legends of the Giyani Area: Noria Mabasa and Johannes Maswanganyi

The Venda and Tsonga people are known for their rich artistic traditions, particularly in woodcarving, pottery, beading, embroidery, and textile-making. Although Venda and Tsonga art are historically utilitarian — woodcarving and pottery, for example, are used to make everyday items like utensils, storage containers, and cooking pots — many artists have built upon and enhanced their traditional skills to launch their work into the contemporary art world. 

Pilato Bulala: Transforming Scraps into “Scraptures"

Pilato Bulala, like many young boys in rural South Africa, loved making toy cars out of wire and discarded pieces of metal he collected around his village in northern Limpopo. But as Pilato grew older, his metal creations became bigger and more elaborate. The toy cars grew — until they were large enough to actually sit in, with bicycle tyres as wheels — and eventually Pilato built an entire “flying machine”, made of zinc and held together by wire.

Travel the Zoutpansberg Skirmishes Route with Author Charles Leach

The Anglo-Boer War (also known as the Second Boer War and the South African War) was a defining event in South Africa’s tumultuous history, and also played a crucial role in global politics at the turn of the 20th century. More than 100 years later, historians and amateur war buffs from around the world still travel to South Africa to explore the history and legacy of this devastating war.

Royal Macadamia: A Nut-Lover’s Paradise in Northern Limpopo

Although macadamia trees are not native to South Africa (they were originally discovered in Australia), these nut trees grow exceedingly well in the warm, dry climate of northern Limpopo. Royal Macadamia, a macadamia nut factory outside Louis Trichardt, has been processing macadamias from the surrounding farming community for more than two decades. 

Experience Limpopo’s Art at Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge

Fifteen years ago, Dutch immigrants Marcelle Bosch and Aart van Soest bought a vegetable farm in the mountains of northern Limpopo with the dream to open a lodge promoting the unique artistic traditions of the Venda and Tsonga people. Marcelle and Aart named their lodge Madi a Thavha — which means “water from the mountain” in Venda — named for the natural springs that flow down the mountain to feed the farm.

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