Activities

Activities

The Ribolla Arts Route 

Shiluvari Lodge was one of the founder members of the Ribolla Tourism Association – an association started in 1997, with the aim of showcasing the many talented artists and crafters of the Region. In 2003 the Ribolla Open Africa, in conjunction with Transnet, was launched. This route takes you along the crown of the Rainbow Nation, at the very top of where the Drakensberg meets the Soutpansberg. This is home of our ‘big five’- the world renown & highly acclaimed artists – Nora Mabasa, Jackson Hlungwani, Churchill Madzivhandila, John Baloyi, and Meshack Raphalalani.

In addition, there textile weavers, beaders, potters and wood carvers – these talented craftsmen make up the heady mix that is our culture…This area is certainly a ‘road less traveled,’ and if you enjoy experiences off the beaten track with a true, authentic reflections of what our culture is, then this is the place for you. Take a look at the Open Africa website for further information of the various routes linking up to the Open Africa Route as well as more detailed information on the Ribolla route www.africandream.org.

The Venda Myths and Legends Route  

One of the best known sacred places in Venda is located on the R523 between Sibasa and Fondwe in the Limpopo Province. This Lake Fundudzi, on the Mutale River where, as legend has it, the giant python God of Fertility dwells. From time in living memory it has been and still is regarded as a spirit world and in the past it was believed that a great white python accepted human sacrifices in the form of young maidens before it would command the much need rains in the Region. This sacrifice became the integral part of Venda life together with remarkable ceremony known as the Domba Dance (Python Dance) which has become part of the initiation rites of young women. The dance is performed by rows of girls imitating the movements of a python. 

Lake Fundudzi lies hidden in view in a valley and one may visit it with permission from the Priestess of the Lake. It can be seen from the road winding up through surrounding hills. In addition, some other mystical attractions of Ancient Venda include the Thathe Vonde Forest, the Dzata ruins and the Phiphidi waterfalls.

Half and full day guided tours are available with accredited guides through Shiluvari Lodge.

Walking & Hiking Trails  

As Shiluvari is set in the Albasini Conservancy, the 30HA of indigenous bush are home to smaller game species such as duiker and bushbuck, as well as some of the nocturnal species such civet and genet. Two trails meander through the property allowing one to enjoy not only the abundance of flora and fauna, but also the abundance of bird species, smaller game and a vareity of ‘Bushveld’ sights and sounds… 
For the more adventurous the Ben Lavin Nature Reserve is only a short drive away, is home to a bigger array of game and also allows one to hire mountain bikes and ride through the Reserve, allowing for closer encounters to Nature!

There are also a number of walking, hiking and 4x4 trails throughout the Soutpansberg – from the Western Escarpment Conservancy (which also has a large number of rock art sites) through to the Ribolla peak at Elim.

In a radius of not more than 40 kms, one will find two of the more well known hiking trails of the Soutpansberg. The Entabeni Hiking trail, operated by SAFCOL have recently re-established two wonderful hiking trails, the Phadzima view trails as well as the Redwood Trail. These two trails meander through stunning indigenous forest and some of the largest Redwoos to be found in Southern Africa. , the Hangklip Hiking Trail, based at the Hangklip Forest Station just outside Loius Trichadt. This well constructed hiking trail also takes you through indigenous forests, rocky outcrops and amazing views…Consider doing the Entabeni and Hangklip trails in conjunction with each other to maximise this stunning scenery…

Did you know?

That Shiluvari, in partnership with Kuvona Cultural Tours and the Ribolla Tourism Association, won the international acclaimed TODO award, in recognition of their achievement and efforts in sustainable tourism, in Germany 2005?

Day Trips

• Day trips to the closer Ben Lavin Nature reserve, where half and full day mountain bike trails are available 
 
•Hiking trails in the Soutpansberg and Hangklip mountains
Birding – Shiluvari is a birdwatchers paradise, and is home to both the montaine and riverine bird species. Shiluvari has recorded over 140 bird species on its property and includes the African finfoot, the green backed night Heron, Osprey, and all Kingfisher species.
Arts and crafts route: Shiluvari is situated in the heart of the rich and diverse Venda and Shangaan culture, famous for their multi talented arts and crafts. Take one of the artists route and see local potters, wood carvers, textile weavers and bead makers all in their own villages. Guided half or full day tours to the artists are also available.
Venda Legends route: Take a journey to the ancient spirits, and appease the python God….The heart of Venda takes a look at the secrets of Lake Fundudzi and the Holy Forests, where legend has it t he Giant python God of fertility dwells that demands the sacrifice of a maiden each year. The Thathe Vondo Forest is a beautiful indigenous forest that incorporates the sacred burial ground of the chiefs of the Thathe Clan, while the scenic Phiphidi Falls are believed to be the home of the water spirits that foster good relations with the ancestral spirits. …Stop at the Tshakuma fruit market along the way and stock up on the abundance of tropical fruit from the Levubu valley. Guided full of half day tours can also be arranged.
Baobab meander: The Baobab is the undisputed King of the savannah trees of Africa and occurs mainly north of the Soutpansberg mountains and in the extreme North of the Kruger Park. The Giant tree is surrounded by Legend, one of which explains the root like branches by saying that the Gods, in a frivolous mood, planted the trees upside down, exposing the roots!! A winding road leads down the northern slopes of the mountain range through dramatic countryside. Aloes, mopane and giant baobab trees occur along the route to the hot mineral pools, game farms and citrus farms of Tshipise. The BIG TREE, the largest Baobab in the country with a girth of 43 m can be found near the Sagole Spa and the scenic Nwanedi national park. The park is situated 75 km’s north of Thoyoyandou on the R525.
The Messina Nature Reserve, established to preserve the Baobabs of the area, over a hundred mature specimens of the fascinating tree can be seen. The strikingly beautiful reserve also contains the world’s oldest datable rock, a piece of granite gneiss 3852 million years old, and provides sanctuary to many game and bird species..
Sunset cruises: Shiluvari has its own motorised raft, the “Savannah” which is used for sunset cruises along the Levubu River. Sip a gin and tonic, whilst keeping an eye out for the resident Hippo or croc…..Snacks and drinks are served aboard.
Birding
SLL was a founder member of the Soutpansberg Limpopo Birding route (now part of the Greater Limpopo Birding Route) in 2003.
Ideally situated, Shiluvari offers the discerning birder the opportunity to visit 3 eco systems within half an hour to an hours drive. These eco systems with the diverse birding opportunities are:-

•Montane forest 
•Bushveld

•Riverine

Self drive or guided tours of the various areas are on offer from the lodge.
Shiluvari has been the host of the Glendower Forest Birding Festival for the past 2 years which has attracted birders from as far a field as Norway and the USA.
Shiluvari also offers interesting birding with 4 walking trails on the estate. Over 125 species have been sighted at Shiluvari including:-

•Green twin spot

•Wood owl

•Crested guinea fowl

•African Finfoot

•Gorgeous Bush shrike

•White backed night heron

•Arnots chat

Shiluvari has a resident birding guide, Samson Mulaudzi, who is available to share his wealth of birding and local knowledge with you.
Samson has been interested in birds for a long time and with sheer determination taught himself until 2005 when the SLBR got sponsorship from De Beers and sent him on an introductory birding course. Due to his enthusiasm on this course Birdlife SA chose him to attend a further birding course at Wakkerstroom.
He has been employed by Shiluvari since September of 2006. Shiluvari has a joint business agreement with Samson whereby 80% of the revenue from his birding trips go directly to him. The idea is for Shiluvari to mentor market and develop Samson’s birding business.Samson has his own email address: birding@shiluvari.com, where interested birders can contact him.

The Shiluvari Birding Route  

Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge was a founder member of the Soutpansberg Limpopo Birding route (now part of the Greater Limpopo Birding Route) in 2003.

Ideally situated, Shiluvari offers the discerning birder the opportunity to visit 3 eco systems within half an hour to an hours drive. These eco systems with the diverse birding opportunities are:-
•Montane forest 
•Bushveld
•Riverine
Self drive or guided tours of the various areas are on offer from the lodge.

Shiluvari has been the host of the Glendower Forest Birding Festival for the past 2 years which has attracted birders from as far a field as Norway and the USA.

Shiluvari also offers interesting birding with 4 walking trails on the estate. Over 125 species have been sighted at Shiluvari including:-
•Green twin spot
•Wood owl
•Crested guinea fowl
•African Finfoot
•Gorgeous Bush shrike
•White backed night heron
•Arnots chat

Shiluvari has a resident birding guide, Samson Mulaudzi, who is available to share his wealth of birding and local knowledge with you.

Samson has been interested in birds for a long time and with sheer determination taught himself until 2005 when the SLBR got sponsorship from De Beers and sent him on an introductory birding course. Due to his enthusiasm on this course Birdlife SA chose him to attend a further birding course at Wakkerstroom.

He has been employed by Shiluvari since September of 2006. Shiluvari has a joint business agreement with Samson whereby 80% of the revenue from his birding trips go directly to him. The idea is for Shiluvari to mentor market and develop Samson’s birding business.Samson has his own email address: birding@shiluvari.com, where interested birders can contact him. 

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