It was the biggest shock of 2019… well, at least for our colleagues and friends. It was the year we decided to leave full-time jobs in Jo’burg to return to a small village in the heart of Limpopo called Sekgosese. My partner and I were leaving well-paid jobs for the uncertainty of starting our own business, but we couldn’t have been more certain about our move.
I was born in Limpopo but like most people who grew up in a rural village, I couldn’t see much beauty in it and couldn’t wait to leave after matric. But only a decade later, my love relationship with Limpopo grew once again. When I met my partner, Paul, we made the kilometres count, and instead of going straight to my mother’s home in Limpopo, we would make a roadtrip of it, starting at a place we had never been to before. Watching him fall in love with Limpopo, I could not help but see the province with new eyes.
Three years later, with a baby girl and a whole new life in Limpopo, our friends admit that it was not just a crazy phase we were going through in trading the city for village life. My partner and I started @1000LimpopoSecrets to answer the eternal question – why would you move to Limpopo and to showcase the “secret” places and people that form the heartbeat of the province. Since then, our profile has grown so fast on social media, we dedicate most of our free time to showing off the beauty that is Limpopo and the magical, ancient practices that make up Limpopo folklore.
And it IS as fun as it looks – 1000 Limpopo Secrets features some of our Magoebaskloof favourites. Zwakala Brewery on Cheerio Road was one of the first places we fell in love with when we moved back to Limpopo. It was an easy choice because there’s so much to do from the amazing nature walk, to their signature burgers and of course, the beer-tasting at the brewery for my Craft Beer-guy. This beautiful farm was also home to my personal Magoebaskloof highlight, Mina’s Neighbourhood Market where I enjoyed the delicious local food, live music and great vibe before, during and after pregnancy – a full circle.
Of course with an ever-growing pack of small people, we are always searching for family-friendly things to do, so when The Pancake House in Haenertsburg opened, we were committed to the ‘whole event’. Imagine how excited the kids were when the fun began with a romp and a run across a long wooden bridge over tall river reeds. Just before the staircase to the atmospheric log cabin restaurant, we found a little treasure of a pair of wings perfect for pictures, before heading up to the most amazing view across to the little village of Haenertsburg. All this before you even get to the pancake-stuffed waffles. What’s not to love?
If you want to stay over in Magoebaskloof and take the time to explore the area, Glenogle Farm is the kind of lodge you will want to visit over and over again. Glenogle does not know a bad review and from the moment you head off the busy R71, it’s on… we stayed at The Loft but all their accommodation is just gorgeous. The Barnyard, The Stables and The Loft all have their own signature appeal to them and when you are on the property, it feels like you are the only people around – it’s incredibly serene, surrounded by pines and water. There’s so much to love about Glenogle – you can do a bike ride along the trail or hike, like we did, and they have the cutest horses who are always obliging with creating beautiful pictures for visitors.
Then there is the Magoebaskloof Farmstall which is tucked away along the zigzagging R71 road down the Magoebaskloof Pass from the top of the mountain, so by the time you get there you’ve had some of the best views of your life. Because Limpopo is not a one-trick pony, the Farmstall has a kids adventure area, a beautiful nursery where you can buy plants and flowers as well as an impressive space that allows you to sit peacefully in the shade of the tall trees, as cars appear and disappear in the distance while you enjoy your breakfast or lunch – take it from me – the pizzas are the best!
Free and cheap activities are always a plus for a family, so Debengeni Waterfalls, at the bottom of Magoebaskloof Pass near Tzaneen, is one of our favourite places to hang out. We’ve even hosted our ‘little man’s’ birthday there. Debengeni is one of those places you have to show everyone who comes to visit – it’s a hack for your guests to feel like they really experienced Limpopo. This secret little waterfall hideaway cascades down several levels which adds to the amazing hikes around it and also makes for the best photoshoots.
There’s only so much you can capture in words about the spirit of Limpopo so the best way to experience the food, warmth and amazing people is to take a quick trip north – there’s nothing quite like it.
Photos: Paul Paunde of @1000LimpopoSecrets