Limpopo DestinationsElim, Soutpansberg
Elim in the Limpopo, although not to be confused with Elim in the Cape Agulhas region of the Western Cape, is nonetheless also a mission station, which explains why there is often some uncertainty when the name of the little town arises.
The tiny village of Elim (meaning "place of God"), just south of Makhado (Louis Trichardt) may have idled in obscurity up until now, but since the creation of the Venda art route, which meanders through some incredibly beautiful rural parts of the Limpopo, including Elim, it has become a feature of visits to this part of the world.
Elim is famous for its hospital, where missionaries have worked for well over a century and today includes a small museum that commemorates the work of the Swiss doctors and missionaries in South Africa. It’s a wee village, with little other than a few guest houses, lodges and the odd store to entice one to visit.
The Venda art route includes on its itinerary local sculptors and artists of note – artists whose carvings and art work are displayed in galleries in many parts of the world - yet about whom many South Africans know little. The route also includes basket makers, bead workers, potters, crafters, drum-makers and fabric co-operatives, and the Elim hospital and the Rivoni Society for the Blind feature on this route.
The area around Elim offers plenty other opportunities and activities. You can visit the Mambedi Tea Estates, the Middle Letaba Dam, just south of Elim, the Levuvu Tree Park, just east of Makhado, or venture into the land of legend and visit the sacred sites of Phiphidi Falls and Guvhukuvhu Pool.