Land of Legends
A part of the tour to Northern Venda can also be done as a day trip, starting at Madi a Thavha and driving back in the afternoon. We advise to make use of the services of a local tour guide, since many places are not that easy to find and a guide provides easy access to the artists' workshops and homesteads in the villages. A tour guide can be booked at Madi a Thavha Mountain lodge.
After going back to the N 1, the drive continues North, in the direction of Witvlag, through forestry, macademia orchards and tribal land. When heading in the direction of Sibasa, the road passes the Tshivhase and Mukumbani tea plantations, producing the Midi tea brand. This initiative provides work to two thousand people who live in the villages around the plantation.
Travellers can take a break at the Phipidi water falls and then continue the journey, passing Donald Fraser hospital, Khubvi, Woodcraft Tshandama and Mutale Art and Crafts Centre. Albert Munyai, a famous woodcarver and traditional healer stays close to the centre and it is worthwhile to visit him.
The road continues North in the direction of Thengwe and Moswodi. At the sign of Tshixwadza / Dalakhuredzi falls is a turn to the left to Mufulwi village, where the famous Venda potter and 'Proudly South Africa' master crafter Rebecca Matibe can be visited. She will be delighted to welcome visitors to her homestead and will demonstrate how she makes her pots. After this experience, follow the gravel road from Mufulwi to Tshixwadza and Siloam hospital. From the R 523 the drive returns to Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge.
Instead of driving back via Tshixwadza and Siloam hospital, from Rebecca Matibe in Mufulwi, follow the main road to the North in the direction of Muswodi and Folovhodwe. Here, the Tambani women can be visitied. They embroider traditional Venda stories on black and white fabric panels. From Folovhodwe, a gravel road continues to the R 525, passing Nwanedi Nature Reserve. From the R 525 travellers can take the N1 back to Louis Trichardt and Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge.
From the R 525 the Ndelele Dam is accessible and from there it's possible to drive back to the N1. This road is only accessible for cars with a high wheel clearance.
Places of Interest
Vhutshilo Mountain School in Mandala village, day care centre for AIDS orphans
Nwanedi Nature reserve
The Royal homestead of Chief Tshivasa
Visit the tea factory at Mukumbani tea plantations (only during picking season)
Albert Munyai, who is a traditional healer will explain the bones, on special request or give explanation about traditional healing
At the homestead of Rebecca Matibe visitors can make a small clay pot, which is a nice activity for families with kids.
Distance: 250 kilometers
Tour guide: advisable
Level of adventure: moderate
Car: normal car, except visit to Ndelele dam, where a car with high wheel clearance is needed.