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South Africa Blog / 2017 / September

Monthly Archives: September 2017

Where is Dwarskersbos?

Where is Dwarskersbos?

Along the western shores of South Africa, aptly called the West Coast, a myriad fishing villages lie sleepily as the Atlantic Ocean laps the sand and the breeze of the Cape blankets the settlements. This is the idyllic setting for the holiday resort of Dwarskersbos, a small fishing hub just 11 kilometres north of Laaiplek and about two hours outside Cape Town.

Dwarskersbos was once a farm, named after the candle bushes (Euclea polyandra) in the area and belonging to the Smit family. As it grew, a residential area was added onto the family farm, and this eventually evolved into the little town of today. Read More »

Exploring the Soutpansberg

Exploring the Soutpansberg

Limpopo Province is home to the beauty of the Soutpansberg, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is situated in the far north of the country. These mountains are 130 kilometres long, utterly majestic in their expanses. The region’s name hails from the salt pans that have continued to be mined at the foot of the mountains since the 1800’s.

Being on the border of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, the Soutpansberg is central.

The Soutpansberg is the perfect retreat for visitors that crave the splendour of the outdoors. The mountains, forests and wide open spaces make for breath-taking vistas and plenty to do. The forests are home to more than 540 different bird species, making for some very rewarding bird watching.

These forests are Roodewal, Entanbeni and Hanglip. The mountains are, of course, fabulous to explore on foot, and there are a number of hiking and walking trails through the peaks and valleys.

The entire region has a lovely array of plant- and animal species. There are almost 100 mammal species and 23 amphibian species, amongst many others. There are even crocodiles in the Soutpansberg. Some visitors may not be happy to hear that the region is home to 66 different spider species, granting it the status of being the most diverse in terms of these arachnids.

The Soutpansberg region is also a cultural hotspot, being the site of the lost Mapungubwe Kingdom. Thulamela was a fortress during the period between 1 200 and 1 600 of our Common Era (CE). This is a significant archaeological site.

There are also a number of sites in which rock art and pottery remains can be discovered. In addition, tools (or parts thereof) that are estimated to be millions of years old can be found in the Soutpansberg area. This makes for fascinating exploration. Significant areas for art and remnants are the Dambale Hills, Domboni Hills and the area between the Mutale River and Limpopo River.

The Venda, Tsonga and Pedi people have age-old histories in the Soutpansberg region. Visitors to the area are invited to see the arts and crafts of these local ones, which represent their cultures and provide insights into their customs.

There are a number of rural villages on the cliff sides that are open to visitors. Touring these villages is a fantastic way to get to know more about the people and heritage of the area. The products on offer and the tours of the villages not only give visitors a unique opportunity, but also uplift the community, enabling them to support themselves and their families through sustainability.

Significant towns of the Soutpansberg include Elim, Louis Trichardt, Mapungubwe, and Musina.

 

Explore Kaapsehoop

Explore Kaapsehoop

Kaapsehoop is situated 25km southwest of Nelspruit on a buttress of the Mpumalanga escarpment. Kaapsehoop is a well looked after and protected area that has a wide array of endangered bird species to be seen. This is one of Kaapsehoop’s biggest attractions and it draws 1000’s of bird lovers each year to come and explore.

If you read a little on the history of Kaapsehoop, you’re bound to find a mystical story or two about the wild horses that roam around the area. Approximately 160 to 200 feral horses roam the 17 000 hectares of Kaapsehoop and surrounds. Herds range in size from bachelor herds of around 3 to larger more structured herds of 15 to 20 horses.

They are enjoyed by visitors and locals alike and share a protective interest by the residents of Kaapsehoop. Visitors can be seen staring at the horses for hours in amazement just watching them wild and free, roaming around. One of the most popular activities as you can imagine is horse riding and many horse riding trails are available including some lengthy 7 day trails.

Kaapsehoop is most popular during the summer months when morning and evening temperatures range from 18 to 20 degrees and midday temperatures around 28 to 30 degrees. Summer rainfalls are typical either late afternoon or during the evenings and are ideal for the family to get together and spend quality time together. Winter seasons are chilly yet comfortable during the day with temperatures around 20 degrees midday.

Kaapsehoop is a beautiful quiet place to visit and the wild horses will definitely amaze you. If you’re an animal lover and enjoy horse riding then this will be a wonderful holiday destination for you when you visit South Africa.