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Tzaneen

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On the border of northern Kruger Park

This colourful market town in the lush lowveld has a wide range of shops and innumerable roadside stalls that sell an amazing array of locally grown tropical fruits and nuts.

Outside Tzaneen

The R71 descends from the highveld down to the lowveld via the forestry and cherry growing region in Magoebaskloof. It’s an amazing drive through indigenous forests and past beautiful waterfalls. There are several side roads which lead to picnic spots and hikes. One of them is to the Woodbush State Forest. This is the largest indigenous forest in the Northern Province. If you’re lucky, you could just catch a glimpse of the leopard that still roams free. There are several walking trails – all fairly demanding. If it’s a hot day, stop for a swim at the Debengeni Falls, a lovely series of waterfalls and pools.

There are two 3 day hikes through the Magoebaskloof. Duivelskloof (Devil’s Cliff) north of Tzaneen, was given its name because the pioneers had to get their ox wagons up and down the cliffs – the name says it all. It’s close to the Rain Queen’s kingdom, as well as one of the world’s most unusual pubs. This tiny pub is in the trunk of an enormous baobab tree. They have beer on tap, an electricity supply and more stories to tell them you’d remember in a month of Sundays…

The local backpackers Satvik has been around for years and we give it a thumbs up as a great place to stay.