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Tzaneen, Valley of the Olifants, Limpopo

Tzaneen is a small town with a resident population of only around 60 000, situated in the fertile Valley of the Olifants region of the Limpopo Province.

The area around Tzaneen is very rural but very productive, with many fruit plantations, forestry tracts and sawmills, supporting over a half a million people, and as the centre for this population as well as a very popular tourism area, Tzaneen has considerable commercial infrastructure for its size.

Tzaneen lies at the foot of the Wolkberg Mountains and the area on approach to Tzaneen from Gauteng is renowned for its beauty, forests and sub-tropical fruit, tree and tea plantations. Tzaneen is a great tourist destination thanks to its proximity to these eco-tourism areas and the many game parks in the area – including the Kruger National Park which is only 100kms away. Other Limpopo game parks and reserves in the area between Tzaneen, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit include the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve, Klaserie Game Reserve, Makalali Private Game Reserve and the Makutsi Conservancy with its natural mineral springs….among many, many others…

Other attractions include the Modjadji Cycad Reserve, the Magoebaskloof, Haenerstberg and the Wolkberg Wilderness Area.

Attractions in Tzaneen include the Tzaneen Dam and Nature Reserve (great bass fishing), the Agatha Crocodile Ranch and small Tzaneen Museum where you can learn about the Rain Queen or Modadji who is the female leader of the local Balobedu people, and who is believed to have mystical powers to control the clouds. The Sunland Big Baobab is an unusual attraction in the Modadjiskloof, and a well known attraction on the descent to Tzaneen is the Pekoe View Point which looks over a tea estate and the valley.

Getting there: Take the N1 north from Johannesburg, turning off onto the R71 for Tzaneen. Turn right on to the R528 after the descending form the Magoebaskloof Pass, then right again on to the R36 after 35km.

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