Mopani


The Mopani district...

... is the wildlife capital of Limpopo.

It is home to not only the Kruger National Park, but various private nature reserves, including the Thornybush, Balule and Klaserie. The Limpopo Lowveld is Big 5 country, and is also home to several private game farms.

The towns in Mopani include Giyani, Tzaneen, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. Giyani is the seat of the district government and the cultural heartland of the district. Tzaneen is the agricultural centre of the region close to the mountains of the northern Drakensberg escarpment. Phalaborwa is famous for its copper mines and entry gate into the Kruger National Park. Hoedspruit is home to many of the game lodges and private reserves in the district.

Mopani is also home to Modjadji - the rain queen of the Bolobedu. She is famous for her rain-making abilities, which led many - including the notorious Shaka of the Zulu kingdom - to seek favour with her.

Mopani trees that cover much of this region is also a distinctive characteristic of this part of Limpopo. Mopani trees are the host plant for the Mopani worm. Locals harvest Mopani worms in summer and they are a sought-after delicacy.

 

Towns of the Mopani district...

Giyani is the cultural heartland of the district. It has many places of historical significance, as the area was used by ancient traders that moved between the kingdom of Mapungubwe and the coast. There are numerous crafters in the area that still practice their traditional crafts of bead work and pottery.

Phalaborwa has an entry gate into Kruger National Park. It is therefore a popular destination for local and international visitors who want to enter the Park. Phalaborwa developed as a result of its mining industry. In recent years a new industry - that of distilling new and interesting liquor - started in Phalaborwa. The Qualito Craft Distillery recently opened its doors and offers the Heimer whisky and Grey Hawk gin, as well as various vodka infusions. Amarula - though not distilled in the area - also originated in Phalaborwa.  

Visitors access various private game lodges through Hoedspruit, as well as the world famous Blyde River Canyon. There are various activities available for visitors, and many estates provide holiday homes for residents of Gauteng.

Tzaneen is the biggest town in the district. It's home to various agricultural enterprises, including Westfalia and Allesbeste. The town lies at the foothills of the Wolkberg mountains, which are home to Magoebaskloof - a favoured leisure and events destination in the Mopani district. This is also where Q&M Tours is based. General information about Tzaneen can be found here.