Madi a Thavha
Did you know?
The Soutpansberg Mountains are part of Limpopo's Vhembe district, also known as 'the land of legend'.
The name Madi a Thava means 'water from the mountains' and this charming guesthouse and art gallery offers accommodation and inspiration in the foothills of Limpopo's Soutpansberg Mountains.
Madi a Thavha is involved in promoting local arts and crafts, and you can browse through their workshop, view a permanent exhibition of local talent, or head out into the mountains to visit local Tsonga and Venda artists in the area.
Madi a Thavha has pleasant rooms, good food and warm African hospitality. The farmhouse has a spacious lounge and dining room, an open-plan kitchen, verandahs, a craft shop and swimming pool. The furnishings make use of local arts and crafts, reflecting the artistic traditions of the Soutpansberg.
Madi a Thavha also has a small business, called Madi a Thavha Design, that employs local women to produce a range of homeware and accessories made from Venda fabrics and decorated with traditional Tsonga beading and embroidery techniques.
There's also a permanent exhibition of Venda and Tsonga arts and crafts that includes colourful beadwork and embroidery, wooden carvings and jewellery. Madi a Thavha uses Fair Trade principles in the production and marketing of all their products.
Once there, you can also head out along the Artists' Route, a guided tour that takes you to the studios and workshops of sculptors and crafters, and also to some of the natural attractions in the area.
Inspired by myth and legend, the Venda and Tsonga artists and crafters in the north of Limpopo are famed for their woodcarving, pottery and textiles. Acclaimed artists include Jackson Hlungwane, Noria Mbasa, Thomas Kubayi, Phineas Masuvhlele, Sarah Munyai and Rebecca Matibe.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)15 516 020
How to get here
Madi a Thavha is 10km west of Louis Trichardt on the R571 toward Vivo.
Around the area
Included among the many attractions in the area are the Phiphidi Waterfall, Lake Fundudzi, Thathe Vondo Holy Forest, the Makhumbani Tea Estate and the Hanglip Nature Reserve.
Tours to do
Take a guided tour of the Artists' Route that takes you to the studios, workshops and galleries of local Venda and Tsonga artists.
You can either hire a car and drive yourself on a tour of the region, or take a guided tour arranged by Madi a Thavha.
Length of stay
Try spend at least two nights at Madi a Thavha to fully explore the area.
What to pack
In summer it can get very hot so pack accordingly. Always remember to take plenty of sunscreen, no matter what the season. Insect repellent is also recommended.
Where to stay
Madi a Thavha has eight rooms available for guests.
What to eat
Madi a Thavha offers breakfasts and dinners; the nearby Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge near Elim has good food and great views too.
You'll be spoilt for choice with the wonderful selection of art and crafts