To Kruger National Park (Punda Maria Gate)
This is a route from Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge to Punda Maria gate of the Kruger National park.
The drive from Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge first makes a stop at Elim, to get a feel of the local atmosphere: women selling fruit and vegetables, hair dressers, the local shebeen and the taxi bus station.
Driving in the direction of Levubu and Malamulele, travellers pass the village of Mashau where David Murathi works from his yard and carves sculptures, fish or other beautiful objects. His homestead, workshop and small gallery with many sculptures, wooden fish, towel racks, hooks and mirrors are worthwhile to visit. His inspiration is lead by his dreams and ancestral spirits and each object that he carves is an artwork in itself. David knows a lot about traditional healing and in his garden you find many indigenous and medicinal plants.
From David’s place the route continues in the direction of Vuwani and Thohoyandou, passing the bridge across the Luvuvhu river. After the bridge, a sign leads travellers to Noria Mbasa. She runs a large gallery at her homestead in Vuwani where she mostly carves large wooden sculptures.
The next destination is Thohoyandou, previously the capital of the Venda homeland. Nowadays Thohoyandou has developed into a vibrant and modern town, with many shops representing all South African brands. In the meantime Thohoyandou keeps its rural and traditional atmosphere, especially at the market behind the old shopping centre. Here, women sell vegetables, herbs, medicines, traditional pots and baskets and the place is full of colourful stalls where they sew traditional Venda. The pleasant garden of the Khoroni Hotel is an ideal spot for a break.
From Thohoyandou travellers drive back to the R 524, turning left in the direction of Punda Maria gate of the Kruger National park.
Distance: 150 kilometers
Tour guide: not necessary
Level of adventure: low
Car: normal car