Haenertsburg / Magoebas-kloof
The picturesque village of Haenertsburg in the Magoebaskloof mountains is perched on the slopes of the Wolkberg and Drakensberg. It is conveniently situated on the R71 between Polokwane and Tzaneen, a mere three-and-a-half hours from Gauteng.
Originally the heartland of Bjatladi, land of plenty, once occupied by San and Stone Age people, the town traces its present form to the discovery of gold here in 1886 by Carl Ferdinand Haenert and his brother.
The area became known as the Woodbush Goldfields and the town continued to grow steadily even after the gold rush, because of the flourishing timber industry in the area.
Farming and tourism are the main economic activities on “The Mountain” as it is fondly called by the locals; Haenertsburg is in hilly terrain. The Iron Crown mountain is the highest point in Limpopo and is a well-known landmark. The town has succeeded in maintaining its rustic charm and is particularly pretty in spring when the cherry trees and azaleas are in full bloom.
The Magoebaskloof pass leads one down from the Highveld of the Haenertsburg area to the Lowveld adjoining the Kruger National Park, gaining/losing 446m altitude in 5.15 km.
Attractions in and around Haenertsburg include:
– The area is a favoured spot for cycling, horse riding, biking and fishing. Sailing and other watersports take place on nearby Ebenezer Dam.
– Haenertsburg is also famous for the annual Spring Festival where various crafts and flower displays are exhibited. July sees the advent of the Holistic Fair which displays the diverse creative talents of the Mountain folk. Every Friday and Saturday morning the Morning Market is run by the Duchess of Atholl.
– The Haenertsburg Food, Wine and Beer Festival in April is the premier foodie festival in Limpopo. Wine-tasting, craft beer, artisan gin and liqueurs, live music.
– The Berry Festival in Haenertsburg and Blueberry Heights Farm. Pick your own berries straight from the orchard at Blueberry Heights Farm. Lots of fun for the family. Craft, food and other stalls in the village with music and good cheer.
– Magoebaskloof Adventures offers abseiling, canopy tours, gecko tubing, paintball. 083 866 1546
– Short and medium hiking trails are available in the Village of Haenertsburg and Magoebaskloof. Some of the establishments also have short hiking trails on their properties.
– George’s Valley runs North East from Ebenezer Dam to Tzaneen Dam. The road is considered an alternative to the R71 to travel from Haenertsburg to Tzaneen. It is an equally scenic trip and linking the 2 for a round trip is well worth the drive.
– Woodbush Drive. This 14km dirt road is the best forest birding area in the Limpopo Province, if not the country. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended and a 4-wheel drive vehicle would be needed in wet weather.
– The Debengeni Falls is the perfect spot to chill on a hot day. Picknick tables, braais available.
– The cemetery above the village is also worth a visit. Not only is the view of the surrounding area spectacular but there are many historic graves to be seen.
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