FIND YOUR FREEDOM ALONG ROUTE 71
Limpopo Province is probably best known for the Kruger National Park, our country’s wild heart, but If towering trees, inspiring people and soulful scenery also seem like an ideal getaway, why not head off to the misty mountains of Magoebaskloof. From June to September, there are a host of events in some of the area’s most beautiful landscapes so start making plans for a roadtrip up North… pack your bags and prepare for an adventure along Route-71.
This is the time of year that outdoor enthusiasts can choose from events like the Iron Crown Trail Run, the Far North Spring Opener, the two-day Wolkberg Trail Run and the three-day Magoeba Trek Mountain Bike Stage Race. But while the participants are running up mountain trails and cycling alongside crystal-clear streams, the friends and family coming along to support these competitors, can enjoy some amazing experiences in the area. Make friends with the mountain-folk and sample the craft beer and gin on offer, do some retail therapy or savour the farm-grown food of the lowveld. Try these awesome ice cream options from Dando Creamery, using the abundant local produce. Think blueberry; macadamia & coffee; pecan nut & rum or even avocado & granadilla in biodegradable containers.
On the 2nd of July 2022, the same weekend as the Mountain Bike Skills Course hosted by Magoebaskloof Adventures, Zwakala Craft Brewery in Magoebaskloof will be hosting their brewvesary celebrating 6 years of their award-winning beer, with live music, delicious food, beer, gin, tastings and tours. The Iron Crown Trail Run on 9 July is a 21-kilometre, strenuous run over mountain paths to the summit of the Iron Crown mountain and on 6 and 7 August the popular two-day Wolkberg Trail Run through the magnificent Wolkberg mountains is taking place. This year, let your friends do all the hard work while you head to the Bubbles and Brunch event at Zwakala Brewery on 7 August 2022 and of course, it is obligatory to have tea and scones on the patio of the Magoebaskloof Hotel, gazing out over Chief Makgoba’s bronze bust to the lush green valley below.
The Magoeba Trek Mountain Bike singletrack provides ‘a good combination of curated, smooth, flowing trails through to rough, technical, hiking trails. Choose the right challenge for you - either the 70km x 3 day 𝙍𝙖𝙘𝙚 or the 40km x 3 day 𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙡 which both take place from 19-21 August 2022.’ The Far North Spring Opener takes place on 27th August in Tzaneen and offers 21km, 10km and 5km fun run. Supporters, while your friends are flexing their muscles, you can find your own fun. If adrenaline is your buzz, you would want to ‘soar like an Eagle’ through the Letaba River gorge on 11 ziplines over waterfalls at the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour but for those who favour a pamper to the eco-activities, book in with the ‘foot fairy’, Colleen Ballenden Foot Therapy for a treat for the feet at her tranquil Growth Centre based at the lovely Stanford Lake Lodge.
Instead of flying down single-track Mountain Bike routes, you can choose to relax and allow yourself to be thoroughly pampered as the sounds of nature filter through - birdsong in the treetops and the soothing sound of the river running over rocks. Seek out serenity or a real spoil at one of the many Spas in the area like the scenic The River Wellness & Spa at Zwakala River Retreat; the Mountain Spa at the Magoebaskloof Hotel; or the Zen Spa & Rasul at Fairview Hotel in Tzaneen.
If you are in the Magoebaskloof area over the weekend of 4 September, a ‘Must-do’ is the Neighbourhood Market at Mina’s Farm Venue. Fresh farm produce, organic cheeses, craft beers, gourmet burgers, tapas, curry, sushi, and all sorts of local treats are on offer at this soulful space. Mina’s is always packed with locals and visitors coming to enjoy the delicious home-made fare at long trestle tables under ancient trees. Kids play outside on the rope swings or under the Imagination Tree while their parents relax with friends and try out the Zwakala brews or Gin and tonic on tap. Horses and dogs wander past families with colourful picnic blankets spread out on the grass but the laid-back rhythm of the day heats up when the Jazz band starts playing their soulful tunes and you can dance the afternoon away in this tranquil, scenic setting.
Sign up now for two great sporting events being held on 10 September - there is the Mooketsi Mountain Bike Challenge, a qualifier for Limpopo colours, which takes cyclists through a beautiful private game reserve with distances of 70km, 40km and 10 km. The Galaxy Bingo Wolfpack 4 in 1 Marathon, a Comrades and Two-Oceans qualifier, takes place in Tzaneen with race options from 10km to 42.2km starting and ending at Merensky High School. Have a lovely lunch at the Olive Tree nursery’s delightful outdoor restaurant on the outskirts of town. Pop in at Meet and Greet Restaurant for pizza and beer with a great vibe or Da Sushi House in the same centre for sushi and seafood. You’ll also find ‘a taste of paradise’ in the range of delectable ice cream from Dando Creamery - scooped from Limpopo in restaurants and farmstalls from Polokwane to Hoedspruit. Here’s to finding your freedom along Route-71.