N1 avacation 021Louis Trichardt,as known to one group of South Africans, Makhado to another, the picturesque, once sleepy little town at the far North of Southafrica is quickly becoming an important gateway into Africa.

The town is nestled beautifully against to foot of the Soutpansberg mountain range.

Louis Trichardt ( is the centre of the Makhado Local Municipality, which comprises 16,000 km² with a total population of 270,000 ( census 2001). There are an estimated 5 Million consumers to whom Louitraffics Trichardt is the vital center of public services and goods. Around payday (basically the start, middle and end of every month) the streets are overcrowed with people, bank queues stretch around a block and traffic is slow.

Louis Trichardt is located in a fertile region where litchis, bananas, mangoes and nuts are produced.

The national road N1 runs through the town being basically the direct link between Capetown and Cairo. Many visitors to the Kruger National Park also use the town as a stop-over.

Louis Trichardt is 437 kilometres from Johannesburg and one hour’s drive from the Zimbabwean border at Beitbridge.

The post-Apardheid aera saw most towns in Southafrica undergoing a name change. Louis Trichardt was changed into Makhado. There was a huge battle between various ethnic groups.

On Thursday, 29 March 2007, the Supreme Court Appeal (SCA) ruled in favour of an appeal to reverse the name change ordered in June 2003. The successful appeal was lodged by the local group, the Chairpersons’ Association.

The SA Geographical Names Council met in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, on Thursday 4 February 2010, to hear presentations on renaming the town to Makhado, again.

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Most of Louis Trichardt’s economy is boosted by farming activities around the town. The town’s economy might experience a further boost if proposed mines open in the area. There has, however, been a lot of resistance from nature conservationists against mines or even a bigger mall opening in the area. I believe, however, that big industries are going to move in soon. Infrastructure is quickly coming into place, although certain vital necessities like a bigger water reservoir, are taking their time to be build.

The geographic location of the town makes it an interesting spot to start investing and developing now. Skilled labour is, however still a problem and you might find public services rather slow.

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Louis Trichardt has over 70 churches of all varieties

– just like the Soutpansberg area  or “Tha vhani ya muno” (mountain of salt) is known for its biodiversity. The mountains are overgrown with with yellowwood trees, twelve acacia species, including fever trees, giant cabbage trees, proteas and ancient tree ferns.The rocky summits are a haven for birds of prey.

There are many things to do in the area, mainly attracting Eco tourists and backpackers.
I myself am a hiking enthusiast and have enjoyed the great sights and close encounters with nature on some of the mountain trails.
Nevertheless the town has some excellent hotels and restaurants for those who just stop overnight on a trip to Zimbabwe or further north.
Over the next posts I will blog about things to do and where to dine around Louis Trichardt:
Soutpansberg Conservancy

Giant Baobab Trees

Mountain View Hotel

Purple Olive Restaurant

The Ultimate Guesthouse

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