- Louis Trichardt (Makhado)
The Little "Boere" Town
Louis Trichardt lies at the base of the densely forested Soutpansberg Mountains, in the land of litchis, bananas, mangoes, nuts and everyone’s favourite caffeinated drinks, tea and coffee. The region is an important agricultural centre and is often referred to a “Boere” (Farmers) Town!
There is not much to see in the town itself and visitors describe it as a sleepy town that trucks rumble through via the N1, but Louis Trichardt also serves as a gateway to travellers en route to Zimbabwe, Botswana and the Kruger National Park and many stop-over to appreciate the outdoors and the cultural history of the town.
There is a lot to enjoy, including scenic drives and wilderness experiences, artist routes, hiking, mountain biking and birding. Visitors can even find archaeological ruins and rock art in the Soutpansberg mountains. Some of these sights are difficult to find and we suggest you enlist the services of a registered guide if you wish to visit them. Information is available at the Soutpansberg Tourist Office.
There is a variety of accommodation options such as B&B’s, Guesthouses, self-catering and caravanning. There are also several hotels on the heights overlooking Louis Trichardt.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Soutpansberg Hiking Trail
- Hangklip Forest Reserve
- Hangklip Hiking Trail
- Entabeni Forest
- Entabeni Hiking Trail
- Mashovhela Rock Pool
- Dancing Fish Gallery
- Open Air Schoemansdal Museum
- Madi A Thavha Design
- Die Pad Stal
- Lajuma Research Centre
- Albasini Dam
- Lake Fundudzi
Louis Trichardt receives approximately 495 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 20˚C.
There are daily flights into Polokwane International Airport. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport. Louis Trichardt is approximately 108 km away via the N1.
After a war with the Venda tribe in 1898, the then Transvaal government established a town from which to control the area of the Soutpansberg. It was named after Louis Trichardt, the Voortrekker who camped here in 1836 before leaving on his fateful expedition to Lorenco Marques.
Along with other towns in the Limpopo Province, Louis Trichardt was renamed Makhado in 2003, after the Venda King Makhado, who ruled in the area until 1887. However, there was a local rejection to the name change and the locals claimed that less than 1% of the towns’ population had been consulted on the name change.
Many Shangaan people complained as they regarded Makhado as an oppressor, the Afrikaaner's complained for obvious reasons, and a Resident’s Association, in 2005, applied with the Pretoria High Court to have the name overturned. They were rejected and decided to appeal in the SA Supreme Court and here, they surprisingly won. The name was changed back to Louis Trichardt in 2007. Since then the name has changed back and fourth a few times however, in November 2014 it was officially announced that the name would remain as Louis Trichardt.
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