Limpopo DestinationsMusina, Soutpansberg
In the land of the baobab lies a town in the northernmost section of the country, called Musina. Just 15 kilometres north of the little town that used to be known as Messina is the Beitbridge Border Post that serves the boundary with Zimbabwe. This link with northern Africa is one of the busiest roads in the world and certainly the busiest in Africa.
It is hot and dry in this part of the world where low shrubs and thorn trees dominate the landscape, and the Limpopo River flows with water along its river banks on average only once in seven years, even though the countryside is littered with citrus, mango, tomato and date plantations. The town gets its name from the Musina tribe whose members discovered rich copper deposits, which they considered a poor substitute for iron. They dubbed it ‘musina’, meaning ‘spoiler’.
These rich veins of copper were later rediscovered by 20th century prospectors, and the town of ‘Messina’, renamed Musina in 2003, emerged. Today Musina forms the centre of a large mining area that excavates iron ore, coal, magnetite, graphite, asbestos, diamonds and semi-precious stones, over and above copper.
The Musina experimental farm just off the R527 is the site of a natural wonder called the Matakwe. It’s a single rock of bulai granite that is 38 hectares in size and you can visit it by appointment.
Other interesting things to do around Musina include the Musina Nature Reserve, which today preserves over a hundred mature baobab specimens. The beautiful reserve also holds one of the world’s oldest datable rocks and is a sanctuary for a number of game and bird species.