Limpopo DestinationsHaenertsburg, Capricorn
Perched on the slopes of the Wolkberg and Drakensberg mountains, that together form what is known as the great escarpment in Limpopo, lies the dainty little village of Haenertsburg, on Route 71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen.
Only around 350 families live in the picturesque little town that has but one main street, whilst a further group of about 2500 people live on ‘the mountain’ as this part of the world is often referred to. It’s an unusually high mist area with a lot of rainfall and subsequent green vegetation and afromontane forest patches with kloofs and rolling grasslands that provide a welcome relief to the wide expanses of bushveld elsewhere in the region.
It’s thus not surprising that this is a favourite spot for cycling, hiking and biking, particularly as it’s only just over three hours’ drive from Gauteng. One of the steepest mountain passes in South Africa, the Magoebaskloof pass, takes hikers from the Haenertsburg area to the Lowveld of the Kruger National Park. Ebenezer Dam provides a wonderful place for water sports and you can reach the highest peak in the Wolkberg, known as Iron Crown, by vehicle.
But the region earns most of its livelihood from forestry, and large areas of rare and botanically diverse grassland have been planted with timber. Despite this ‘the mountain’ offers an overwhelming diversity of plant life and some of the country’s most beautiful indigenous forests and grasslands - some cabbage trees, yellowwoods and stinkwoods reach quite mammoth proportions, and over 200 orchids have been identified in the forests.