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Samson Mulaudzi

Professional Birding Guide in the Soutpansberg and Venda area

Map Soutpansberg birding
+27 (0) 836 629 960 or book here Logo Birdlife South Africa

Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge

Madi a Thavha, meaning "water from the mountains", is set in a beautiful and quiet valley of the Soutpansberg mountains, Limpopo, only 10 km drive from the centre of Louis Trichardt (Makhado).

Enjoying the stylish and bright accommodations, excellent food, the warm hospitality and supportive attitude of the Madi a Thavha staff will make your stay a remindable experience.

At Madi a Thavha you will find all the area has to offer, the Dancing Fish Gallery with a permanent exhibition about Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho culture, numerous bird species, walking routes, and the textile workshop of Madi a Thavha Design.

The lodge is an excellent base to spend a few days to explore the Venda and Tsonga culture by visiting the artists and crafters in the villages around Elim and Thohoyandou, and to discover unspoiled nature and culture of the people of the Soutpansberg and Limpopo valley.

Madi a Thavha is a nice stop over when travelling to the Northern part of the Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe World Heritage site, the bush camps at Tuli Block in Botswana or the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe.


Madi a Thavha provides self catering, bed and breakfast and full boarding services for up to 22 people.

The accommodation consists of guest rooms and guest houses, which are located in and around the original farm house, all with mountain view and terrace or veranda and own entrance.

The following accommodations are available:

  • 2 guest rooms with bathrooms en suite in the farm house (1 with double bed, 1 with 2 twin-beds)
  • 2 self catering guest houses (2 and 3 beds)
  • 1 large self-catering family guest house with 2 bedrooms and bathrooms en suite (5 beds)
  • 1 self-catering family guest house with one bed room and 2 extra beds in the lounge (4 beds)
  • 1 wooden cottage with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom (4 beds)

The farm house includes a lounge with a fire place and DSTV, dining room, open plan kitchen, reception with telephone and Internet facilities, craft shop and verandas. In the garden you will find a refreshing swimming pool and lapa.

We serve breakfast and dinner on the veranda of the farm house or in the dining room. We offer a three course dinner as a set menu in the evenings. Breakfast is an exclusive and varied buffet of juices, yoghurts, fruits, muesli's, baked muesli or pancakes, bread, toast, muffins, cheese and various egg dishes.


During your stay at Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge you can explore the area or enjoy the activities on the farm.

Activities at the lodge

There are walking routes at the lodge and excellent birding opportunities. Guests can visit the craft shop in the farm house, displaying the products of 25 artists and craft groups and the sewing workshop of Madi a Thavha Design. In addition to the textile collections that are available at the craft shop, the Madi a Thavha Design team makes tailor made products such as tablecloths, cushions and bed spreads.

Dancing Fish gallery

The gallery offers an overview of Venda, Tsonga and Northern Sotho culture and their developments with arts and crafts from traditional to transitional and contemporary. Art and crafts from various artists and crafters are displayed in and around the lodge and you will find information, and displays about medicinal plants and traditional healing, agriculture and food preparation, childhood and family life, traditional story telling, music and musical instruments.

Activities in the surrounding

You can join one of the organised tour programmes or explore the area on your own. We offer various self-drive or guided day trips by car or 4 x 4. There are tour programmes focusing on arts and culture, history and nature, such as the Elim art and culture tour, the Land of Legends tour and the Soutpansberg Skirmishes tour that lead you to historical places of the Anglo-Boer War. In the Soutpansberg area you will also find various birding hot spots.

Some examples of tour programmes include:

  • Walking routes and hiking trails, varying from 2 hours to 2 day hikes
  • Village life and sun downer mountain bike tour
  • Birding tours with Samson Mulaudzi
  • Baobab and Land of Legend tour to Northern Venda
  • Soutpansberg Skirmishes route
  • Elim Art, Crafts and Culture tour and Village walks
  • Blouberg and Makgabeng Cultural Heritage tours
  • Workshops with artists and crafters
  • Programme with dancing, singing traditional music and storytelling

Activities with children

Madi a Thavha offers opportunities for children and their parents to experience a special and exciting holiday. While playing and enjoying the activities, children learn about African culture and daily life of people living in the rural villages. Social responsibility Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge is a Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) certified establishment where tourists are assured that their travel benefits local communities and economies, and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner


  • SA Grading council – 4 star lodge
  • Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) certified
  • Member of the AA Quality Assured programme – highly recommended
  • Member of the Portfolio Collection