Ribolla Art Route


The Ribolla Route is in the crown of the rainbow nation, where the Drakensberg mountain range ends. Named after the Ribolla Mountain in the Limpopo province, the route takes travellers on a journey of extraordinary myths and legends of great and ancient kingdoms. This is where the queen Modjadji makes rain, where young women dance like pythons, where rhinos are made of gold, clay pottery is made and where the best wood sculptures are found.

Limpopo is renowned for its arts, crafts and design. Some of the province’s most acclaimed artists include Noria Mabaso, the late Jackson Hlungwane, Phineas Masivhelele and Sarah Munyai’s work can be found along the Ribolla Open Africa Route. In addition to local art, the route also features traditional dancers, storytellers, gardeners, and singers. Experience the culture and traditional way of life of the people of this region.

Throughout this Land of Legends people will welcome you in the traditionally hospitable African manner. You will sense compelling links with the past in the traditions and dances. This is the essence of Limpopo.

Limpopo is a malaria risk area so consult your doctor about appropriate prophylaxis. The best way to explore this route is with a knowledgeable guide, available at reasonable rates. 

Reasons to visit:

Visit the sacred lake Fundudzi, which lies at the heart of VhaVenda mysticism or the Thathe Vondo Forest, with its giant hardwoods, tumbling streams with canopies of trees ferns and creepers. It contains the Sacred Forest, where one may not walk for fear of angering the ancestral spirits. Even the VhaVenda common folk are forbidden here, as it hides the burial place of the chiefs of the Thathe clan. 

The largest baobab in the country, over 3 000 years old, with a girth of 43m, is found near the Sagole Spa 35km from Nwanedi Nature Reserve in the Venda region, while Dzata Ruins and Museum of the Drum portrays the history of Venda dating back to 1400 AD. 

The Mphaphuli Cycad Reserve and hiking route on the Mutale Road near the Makonde Village is worth a visit. In the wooded foothills of the Soutpansberg, the Mphephu Resort has a picnic area, two pools and a colourful play area for children, making it an ideal family retreat. 

A variety of hiking, horse and mountain bike trails can be enjoyed including the Soutpansberg Hiking Trail (two days circular, 21km); Ben Lavin Nature Reserve (18km of walking trails); Greater Kuduland and Medike Mountain Reserve. There are a number of 4×4 routes that are extremely popular among enthusiasts, while the Indigenous Tree Sanctuary just outside of Louis Trichardt is worth a visit.

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