Did you know?
The curio sellers at the Strijdom Tunnel come from the nearby village of Tshwenyane, one of Limpopo's poorest rural areas.
The Strijdom Tunnel is an unusual place to shop for curios. The tunnel is 800m above the Olifants River Valley, along the Abel Erasmus Pass in the Manoutsa section of the northern Drakensberg.
There is a parking area here where you can stop to browse the wares of the local curio sellers, take photographs of the spectacular view and see a rare tufa waterfall.
Every day, women from nearby local villages travel up and down the Abel Erasmus Pass to set up their market stalls. They sell curios, arts and crafts that are made locally, including wooden bowls and spoons, beautiful cloths and carvings, and colourfully painted wooden figurines. You can also buy fresh fruit and cold drinks here.
The 133m-long Strijdom Tunnel was built in 1959 and is named after a former president of South Africa who was also a great proponent of South Africa becoming a republic.
The Abel Erasmus Pass itself dates back to the time of the gold rush when pioneers were trying to establish a route between the goldfields of Leydsdorp in Limpopo and Pilgrim's Rest in Mpumalanga.
From the roadside near the tunnels, keep an eye out for a tufa waterfall that plunges over the rocks. Tufa is a rare kind of waterfall that builds up calcium deposits as it flows.
Apart from the curio sellers outside the Stridjom Tunnel, there are other curio markets along the pass.
After you exit the tunnel, heading on the R36 towards Ohrigstad, there is a coffee shop, Welcome Café Tswenyane, and the Afrikania art gallery, a community empowerment project designed to promote local arts and crafts. This is a good place to take a comfort break and stretch your legs.
The Abel Erasmus Pass marks the start of the Panorama Route which leads from Limpopo into Mpumalanga, along the edge of the Blyde River Canyon.