Motorcycle tour, Tzaneen, South Africa



A Motorcycle tour of Limpopo, South Africa 

(Part 2)

Author: Steve and Carole Eilertsen. stevei@icon.co.za

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 The, Misty Mountains of Magoebaskloof, South Africa, is an indigenous forest enclave akin to a "Lord of the Rings" episode.


We turned our motorcycles south. The BMW F650 and BMW 1100GS  perfectly suited to the high country of the Misty Mountains of Magoebaskloof that we were entering. These motorbikes are equally at home with on-road or off-road touring.

Our friends Robin and Mel have a magnificent piece of land near Tzaneen, South Africa. They are currently renovating the massive concrete barn into an upmarket, funky, art-deco B+B where the decor of each room is based on a different theme or country e.g. Darnis France, Paris, Egypt, Morocco, Venice and Holland come to mind. Their property has a large pond and hectares of unspoilt, indigenous forest. Long ago this piece of land was used as a Magic Mushroom farm, but that is another story . . . They will be open for business in April 2006. You can email them here. Their place is over the road from the Magoebaskloof Hotel which is home to the most delicious, awesome chocolate biscuits which can be bought from the Coffee shop (at a price!)



 

Looking towards Robin and Mel's place from the road.

 

The Misty Mountains, famous for its early morning mist did not disappoint and a walk
through the forest was a treat not to be missed.

This area is a mix of commercial tree plantations, indigenous forest, tea plantations and tourism. The routes into the forest, either by foot or by motorcycle are subtly marked with signs that mean nothing to the casual passer-by. The area is prone to mist, clouds and drizzle which can obscure the sun for days and therefore a good map from the local information bureau is a must. A GPS or a compass can also come in handy until you get a feel for the area. For the pioneering biker types out there you travel west into the forests and then turn South or North. When you are ready to go home turn East and you will eventually return to the main road.

 

 

These trees are BIG . . . spot the
motorcycle!

 

The short trail on Robin and Mel's place.

 

 

The area is home to a very well known, but difficult hiking trail. This photo is near to one
of the overnight huts

These are not roads you want to ride on after days of constant mist and drizzle yet it is this very
drizzle that makes the vegetation so lush.

The Debengeni Falls road, Forest Drive, Woodbush or De Hoek are different names for basically the same ride . . . an awesome 17km ride through some of the most beautiful forest landscapes you will ever see. As a biker you will want to ride uphill so join the dirt road near to Tzaneen (not on the Haenertsburg side).

The Forest Drive does have slow moving logging trucks that lumber by but they are more of a comfort than a threat especially if you are alone as I was (Caz being pregnant is not allowed to do too much off-road riding!)

The Global village is a frightening concept sometimes. Tzaneen had a number of large tea plantations which opened in the late 1960s. Today they are all closed, the fields of tea bushes dieing or growing wild, the hundreds of workers without jobs. It would seem that some country in the Far East has flooded the market with cheap tea leading to an international collapse of the entire industry in many parts of the world.

Pekoe Tea Plantation. Home to the most decadent chocolate cake and home-made Lemon Juice


Ashley, Robin's five year old daughter gives her flower picked specially for her Mom some
water before heading back to the house.

 

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