That UNESCO chose, in 2009, to conserve an area of almost 32 000 square kilometres spanning most of the northernmost section of Limpopo, says much about the importance of this area as a whole. Now known as the Vhembe Biosphere Reserve, it encompasses a portion of the Kruger National Park, the Soutpansberg and Blouberg mountain ranges and the Makgabeng Plateau, overlooked by the latter. The resulting diversity of landscape, flora and fauna ensures that visitors to the reserve need spend little time wondering what to do as, in practice, they will find themselves spoiled for choice
Top Things to Do in and Around the Makgabeng Plateau
The attractions within the reserve are numerous and can be divided into three main categories that, between them, will appeal to the wildlife enthusiast, the lover of history and those who enjoy a physical challenge. This offers the tourist a distinct advantage in that virtually anyone who may choose to visit the area can be pretty certain to find some feature or activity that will fall within his or her preferred field of interest.
Take the example of those whose passion may be exotic flora and fauna, for example. With more than 300 bird species, 50 types of mammals and numerous small reptiles and insects, many unique to this area, for them, deciding what to do in Makgabeng should definitely be a no-brainer.
Cultural tourism is a genre that has been attracting an increasing number of converts and involves something akin to a pilgrimage in which the goal is not religious enlightenment, but to make contact with one’s roots and satisfy the spirit. Rich in the evidence of mankind’s earliest attempts to shape the environment to his purpose, the area is peppered with the relics left by its ancient communities, including the remains of prehistoric inhabitants and long-lost cities. To this one can add the more than 300 sites of bushman rock art that are to be found here – more than in the other 8 provinces of South Africa combined.
For those whose interest in wildlife and history is overridden by their love of exercise and adventure, deciding what to do in Makgabeng should also not present much of a problem. On the plateau itself, there are plenty of hiking trails to be explored, as well as a handy campsite with raised wooden platforms for tents, ablution facilities and a boma for cooking and dining. The latter is one of the facilities available to guests at the Makgabeng Farm Lodge. Thrill seekers, with a taste for heights, will probably be inclined to head a little further north into the magnificent Blouberg Mountain Range. Here, throughout most of the year, the sheer faces of these impressive peaks now attract a steady stream of amateur and professional rock climbers from all around the globe.
While it is clear that you will have little difficulty deciding what to do in Makgabeng, it is even simpler to determine where best to find good accommodation in the region. Offering the choice of air-conditioned thatched chalets or farmhouse suites, our Makgabeng Farm Lodge even provides DStv and internet access. If you wish, you also can enjoy some delicious, home-cooked food. From here, you can choose to explore alone or join one of our fascinating guided tours.