If you are looking for the best things to do in Magoebaskloof, we have you covered! South Africa is not short of the most stunning destinations in the world. The country has a pleasant climate, vegetation of all shades of nature, and creatures that bring safaris to life. And while, when South Africa is mentioned, we immediately think of Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal, and the Western Cape, the nation has so much more than the obvious to offer.
Obscure and must-see Magoebaskloof is a mystical town with a beauty that will sneak up on you as you travel into the Limpopo Province, in the North of South Africa. It is vibrant with luxurious greenery and wildlife. The native people call it ‘The Land of the Silver Mist,’ and as you gaze into its brilliance during your trek through it, it is easy to see why.
Whatever type of traveller you may be; an adventurer, a team-builder, a travel blogger, or just a very curious individual, you were destined for Magoebaskloof. Because of its exuberance, Magoebaskloof can soothe the travel bug without any effort. Action lovers, food enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs, fridge magnet collectors, photographers, and festival goers will all be embraced to their satisfaction by this rural locale. It is the opportunity to escape to one of the most incomparable places in the world. The local community is so welcoming, that they created many little havens in their midst.
So, in this article, we would like to explain to you why Magoebaskloof is so magical.
And that is going to take the form of a list of 15 wonderful things to do when you get to Magoebaskloof.
We have listed our pick of Magoebaskloof activities and prices where applicable. I am convinced that it will be hard to get through the list without wanting to rush to your luggage to dust it off!
Our List of Things to do in Magoebaskloof
Here we go…
Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour
The tours received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Awards for 2017 and 2018; the gorge is a sightseer’s dream. Visitors rave about the perspectives of Tzaneen from the Canopies and the 4×4 drive-throughs. Canopy sliders can take a bird’s eye view of the 3 giant waterfalls that plunge down impressive 20-metre-high cliff faces. Lucky tourists can also catch a glimpse of the Giant Kingfisher as they swim by.
If more activity is desired for the day, the gorge offers Kloofing, Quad Biking, Fly-fishing, Horse Riding, Mountain Biking, and Abseiling.
The park allows for persons between the ages of 7 and 70; this is a family affair.
Go horseback riding
Several stables and tour companies in Dullstroom offer guided horseback riding tours through the beautiful countryside. Some options include Dullstroom Riding Stables, which offers guided trail rides, and Eagles Ridge Riding School, which offers both guided rides and riding lessons.
The most prominent one is Dullstroom on Horseback. They are located in Janson street near the dam. They offer services for all ages with both full-grown horses and pony rides available. You don’t need any experience to go for the activity so it’s great for all ages and as a family event.
We have a few horseriding trails that you can book with our preferred operators. These include a 1.5 hour trail ride, 2.5 hour Picnic or Sundowner ride, and a Full Day Trail that includes a trek through Schnellskop Mountain.
They are open 7 days a week and their hours generally run from 09:00 AM to 04:00 PM.
If it’s excitement you are looking for, why not try Abseiling at the gorgeous Letaba Gorge? Abseiling in Magoebaskloof’s Letaba Gorge promises an exhilarating adventure amidst breathtaking natural beauty.
Strap into your harness, and with guidance from expert instructors, prepare to descend down the sheer rock face of Letaba Gorge. As you lean back and trust the ropes, feel your heart race with excitement and the thrill of defying gravity. Admire the awe-inspiring views of the lush, forested valley as you make your way down, surrounded by cascading waterfalls and dramatic cliffs.
Abseiling at Letaba Gorge is an opportunity to challenge yourself, push your limits, and immerse yourself in the raw beauty of nature. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a first-time adventurer, this exhilarating activity promises an experience of a lifetime.
The abseiling trip descends 30 metres down a smooth rock face into the majestic Letaba gorge, landing on a raft in the Great Letaba River. Climb up a ladder to try the abseil again or swim and relax at the bottom whilst waiting for other members of your party.
Tubing in the Great Letaba River
As you float along the gentle currents of the Great Letaba River, soak in the breathtaking scenery of lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. Keep an eye out for colorful bird species and other native creatures that call this tranquil waterway their home. The crystal-clear waters invite you to dip your toes and relax as you drift along, leaving all worries behind.
Tubing in Great Letaba River is a family-friendly activity suitable for all ages. Grab your inflatable tube, don your sunhat, and let the river carry you on a calming journey through unspoiled nature. Whether you seek a peaceful retreat or a fun-filled adventure, tubing in the Great Letaba River promises a memorable and rejuvenating experience for everyone.
The Myriad of Stunning Accommodations to Choose From
The biggest headache about visiting Magoebaskloof is finding the perfect venue because too many of them are. The ninety-five ratings on Google are littered with five stars, and the adjective ‘beautiful’ shows up a countless number of times in the reviews. Given the location, views of the landscape are plentiful with enticing cherry-wooded cabins against luscious shrubbery. The amenities are great value for money; there are rock pools, barbeque facilities, and mountain-facing balconies to accompany a plate of eggs in the morning. Hospitality must also be mentioned. There are options to suit every budget.
The Scenic Hiking Trails
The area is dense with forestry and is therefore ideal for hikes. Trails like the Lesodi and the Louis Changuion cater to both recreational and experienced hikers. While the Lesodi trail is easier to maneuver, the Louis Changuion is littered with points of interest such as the Saw Pit, which was dug by 19th-century woodcutters. There is also the majestic Mageobaskloof Hiking Trail near the town of Tzaneen.
Hikers can expect to encounter the tallest pine trees in Africa, glistening streams, and gorgeous waterfalls as they walk. You can make your way up onto the summit of a mountain to catch the Hanaertsburg sunset. This is an all-day pleasure fest.
The Playgrounds at Magoebaskloof Adventures
Thrill your body out of a sedentary lifestyle with an adrenaline-inducing day at the Magoebaskloof Adventures facilities. This aptly named indigenous playground hosts Canopy Tours, White Water Tubing, Abseiling, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Paintball, Kloofing (descending into a deep ravine), or Canyoning (jumping into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allowing yourself to be rapidly carried downstream).
The park’s team is used to hosting groups of both small and large sizes and is therefore well equipped to provide an amazing and delightful experience for everyone that seeks it.
The Hundred Year Trout Fishing Heritage
The words Trout fishing and Magoebaskloof are synonymous. The sport is a long-held tradition, having been established over a century ago when trout were first introduced into the waters of Broederstroom. There are many fully stocked still water fly fishing dams in the area that offer the following services:
- Fishing for Rainbow and Brown trout from a dam wall or a jetty.
- The trout are ‘catch and release’ at most places, but a few service providers offer the ability to keep the fish caught at a cost per kilogram.
- Day fishing (allowed by appointment only) – fly-fishing rods and tackle are available for hire.
- Private fly-fishing lessons (possible only through prior arrangement).
There are camping facilities on offer for the holidaymakers that cannot get enough.
The Breath-Taking Birds
Because of its location in the north-eastern section of the Drakensberg, Magoebaskloof was originally made up of grasslands and mist belt forestry. But over time, gum & pine trees, as well as avocado orchards have greatly displaced the grasslands. The places where the grasslands and forests remain intact are where you can enjoy the assortment of bird life that populates the area.
The most notable birding routes are Dap Naude Dam and the Woodbush.
For most city dwellers, birding is a unique adventure as you wander through the shaded paths trying to spot the birds that are most common to the region. Here is a list of the birds you can expect to find along your way.
What better way to experience what he area has to offer. Quad biking in Magoebaskloof is one of the best ways traverse some of the nice places in the Magoebas/Haenertsburg area.
There are several tour operators that offer quad biking, with on of them being Noko Resort which is just outside of the Magoebaskloof Pass along the R71.
Magoebaskloof quad biking prices vary according to the service provider, but expect to pay about R480 per hour.
The Sensory Mountain Biking Trails
With a permit (purchased from the Magoebaskloof Adventures) and a mountain bike in tow, experiencing the local trails is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Magoebaskloof. Mountain biking is growing in popularity in Magoebaskloof because the prevalence of hosted events has been increasing over the years.
The mountain ranges have been made suitable for biking; they have varying levels of difficulty and lengths and are marked to simplify the navigation process. Route descriptions, maps, and other important information are available on the Magoebaskloof Tourism website, found here.
It must be noted that the biking trails have rules of use that must be abided by, which include signing an indemnity form.
Professional mountain bikers can participate in the annual Magoeba Trek Mountain Bike Stage Race. This is a 3-day event in August where bikers cover approximately 70 kilometers of trail each day.
The Opportunity to Make Cheese
In 1986, Nippa and Sylvia Thompson started their farm after spending a few years working on a dairy farm in the Swiss Alps, the Wegraakbosch Organic Farm. This impressive farm is not only fully organic, but through implementing what they learned in Switzerland about cheese making, this is an off-the-grid outfit (meaning the couple does not use any electricity in their production process). Wegraakbosch runs on solar power and biogas, using a large copper cauldron over a fire. In addition to the tastiest cheese you will ever try, farm produce includes vegetables, eggs, and milk.
The farm accepts tours that start from 10 am every day; visitors can review the cheesemaking process and taste the various kinds of cheeses.
There is a wide range of memorable things to do. Patrons can take a stroll through the farm to pet the animals, milk the cows, gather a few eggs, or just take in the incredible scenery. If that is not enough of a celebrity experience, guests can recline in the garden with a ploughman’s platter of cheeses, free-range chorizo, and a jar of olives.
The Relaxing Growth Centre
A visit to Magoebaskloof is an other-worldly experience on its own, but the Growth Centre elevates the transcendent aspects of the trip. The Growth Centre describes itself as “a quiet sanctuary for reflection and tranquillity.” And after a relaxing foot massage or some reiki therapy (a Japanese form of energy healing that is done through the palms of the hands), I am sure you would agree.
There are spaces in the centre to ask a question, meditate, or take your mind on a spiritual journey of serenity.
The Vibe at the Zwakala Brewery
The Zwakala Brewery is an award-winning brewery that embodies the vigour of Magoebaskloof. The founders chose the name Zwakala, which is an invitation in the isiZulu language. The establishment got its Best Light Beer in the Country Award in 2019 for its Lager. This is a demonstration of the treasure that this little sanctuary is.
The brewery uses the abundant, pure, and fresh mountain water that is evident in the flavour of their beer.
The vicinity has a family and pet-friendly restaurant that is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, between 11 am and 5 pm. This includes public holidays. Merchandise such as t-shirts is available for purchase.
Zwakala is a favourite with locals and visitors alike because it has an authentic proudly South African vibe.
The pool at the base of the Debengani Waterfall resembles a big pot, and that is what Debengani means (the Place of the Big Pot). The water is enjoyed by its visitors between November and March. The picturesque falls are a refuge against the summer heat for the people of Magoebaskloof and attract rare species of birds. They are also calming background noise for an afternoon picnic in the emerald Limpopo hills.
The Debengani Waterfall is a well-known tourist attraction that is recommended by any who has seen it. There is a small entrance fee to get to the falls.
The Lovely Kuhestan Organic Farm
The Kuhestan Organic Farm sits magnificently beside the Woodbush Afro-mountaine Forest, an area where tropical birds and the rare Samango monkeys populate as their home. Avocado trees were planted on the farm when it was purchased in 2001, of which 150 can still be found there today. The farm also grows other organic fruit, seasonal vegetables, and herbs.
Leftover produce is bottled on the premises for purchase by guests. Figs, Kiwis, and Berries make the farm’s delicious jams and chutneys, Naranjs, and Limes are transformed into marmalade, and for the savoury palate, pickled Eggplants and Piquant Pepper relishes are options to choose from. There are no preservatives, additives, or colourants in the products.
These rustic jars of pleasure can be packaged into stunning little gift sets for loved ones.
The Engaging Tzaneen Museum
Cultured travelers that are interested in delving into the history of the area can make their way to the Tzaneen Museum. This little structure houses the ethnological artifacts of the culture of the two most important native groups in the area, the Tsonga, and the Lowveld Sotho. Visitors can expect to see a fascinating collection of pottery, beadwork, and utensils like spoons, weapons, and drums. The most captivating part of the site is that the pottery collection spans about 2000 years.
The museum also has the largest collection of pole carvings in the world. Mr. Jurgen Witt, the museum curator, shares his private collection with its patrons; his most prized artwork being the royal drum used in the service of the great grandmother of Rain, Queen Modjadji, in the 1800s.
Viewings of pre-historic pieces, some dating back to about a million years ago, can be made upon request.
The museum also exhibits contemporary art, with the wooden figurines of Phillip Rikhotso portraying the daily oral traditions of the Tsonga people. These statues narrate the tales and stories that were shared by the tribe through the generations.
Ancient Central African and Egyptian artifacts are also displayed regularly by the museum; the exhibitions are rotational.
There is no charge to enter the museum, but donations are welcome.
The Excitement of the Agatha Crocodile Ranch
The strangest combination of avocadoes and crocodiles make up the Agatha Crocodile Ranch. Immigrants from Bratislava, Milan & Blanka, created a crocodile sanctuary in the middle of an avocado farm and provide tourists with an interesting day tour experience. Daring guests can touch baby crocodiles and feed the older ones; those that are not as keen on such can venture into the art gallery.
There is a curio shop on site so that you can take some trinkets with you as a reminder of your strange and wonderful encounter with some of the most terrifying animals on the planet.
The Blueberries at Blueberry Heights Farm
The farm is only operational during the summer months of the year: December, January, and February. But when it is open, visiting the farm is quite the event. Patrons can pick organic blueberries and kiwis.
Blueberry Heights holds an annual festival at the beginning of each year where there is blueberry picking, live music, trail running, and food and drinks.
A visitor that left a review of the venue on a travel page said the following of the farm café: “Had Christmas Lunch 25 December 2021. It was fantastic. Every dish was a masterpiece. Delicious and plated with finesse. The restaurant was very busy, but they managed to pull it off. Well worth a visit.”
The last four words of that delighted traveller are where we conclude the list of the things to do in Magoebaskloof that make it an unforgettable place to visit. She summarised it so well for all of us.
But this list is only an introduction to the story that is Magoebaskloof. It is difficult to adequately capture the allure of it; the only way to completely understand it is to go there, again and again. You will be amazed at how much more there is to see and learn.
The trails in Magoebaskloof make it renowned for Horse-riding. The superb plant life and dizzying terrain provide the ultimate backdrop for a wedding ceremony. Brides are spoilt for choice!
A weekend in Magoebaskloof, especially during the summer months of August and September, will be like no other. Not only are the azaleas, apples, and cherries in full blossom, but the Magoebaskloof/Haenertsburg Spring Festival happens then too. The festivities bring together stalls and exhibitors of all kinds, and if you’re a fan of handmade, you’re going to have a blast. The arts and crafts for sale include ceramic, glass, wood, and wrought iron items, as well as mosaics, jewellery, clothing, decorative ornaments, handmade soaps, and organic lotions. The festival is a paradise of pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, book shops, and antique stores. A food hall caters to famished passers-by where they can sample cheeses, preserves, sweets, and indulgent biscuits.
Tickets to the annual Haenertsburg Food, Wine, and Beer Festival held in April can be purchased a few months in advance online. You can recharge over the 2-day event with some country food, craft beer, and world-class wine while taking in the village ambiance.
Magoebaskloof is the epitome of African culture, with a remarkable mix of pleasant people that love to gather around fresh and hearty food, enjoy nature, play soulful music, and have a fantastic time.
When you get tired of high-rise buildings, monotony, the treadmill, and even the beach, and are just looking for some even-paced touring, Magoebaskloof should be the first on your list to rush over to. All your friends and their friends need to know about this open secret. There are many things we will regret in this life and getting dangerously close to a ravenous crocodile will not be one of them!
If you enjoyed this post on the things to do in Magoebaskloof, feel free to visit our other posts on the wonderful places to visit in South Africa. Hogsback in the Eastern Cape is just as mesmerising as Magoebaskloof; more on this here.