Louis Trichardt – Home to the Upside Down Tree

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Situated close to the Kruger National Park in the heart of Limpopo, Louis Trichardt offers a mosaic of exceptionally scenic landscapes, a fascinating cultural heritage and an abundance of natural wildlife and nature reserves.

The town’s name, which was changed to Makhado in 2003, hit a raw nerve with local residents who appealed the name change in the High Court and won their case. Amidst further attempts to change the name, the name Louis Trichardt remains intact for the time being.

Famous for the giant baobab tree and the salt pans that surround the Soutpansberg mountain ranges, this fertile region is the land of bananas, mangoes, tea, coffee and nuts. One of the most unique attractions that tourists frequent in Louis Trichardt is the “Tree Bar”, which is situated inside a giant baobab tree on the Sunland’s Farm. The tree which is estimated to be approximately 6000 years old and is 155 feet in diameter can accommodate approximately 54 people at any one time and attracts over 7000 tourists per annum.

The nature and game reserves in the area are well-frequented by tourists, and resident eagles and falcons that nest on the mountain ranges delight avid bird watchers. Louis Trichardt is also home to the largest concentration of leopards that can be found in the world.

Residential property in Louis Trichardt has been in fairly high demand and in 2006 price averages breached the R1m mark for the first time due to ongoing growth of the town’s retail sector, according to reports. This precipitated an influx of senior management and affluent business people who in turn bought upmarket homes in the area.

Current property price averages are benchmarked at R867 000 for freehold property and R531 000 for a sectional title units, according to recent statistics released by Lightstone. This is perhaps due to the property slump that has been experienced nation-wide. This said, there have been a total of 77 properties sold in the area over the last 12 months, dominated by the freehold sector. The highest price achieved for a property in the area was R7.5m. Over R43m worth of bond finance has been approved in the same period.

Surrounded by fascinating archaeological sites, natural lakes, mountain ranges and game reserves, the rugged hot terrain of Louis Trichardt continues to draw the tourists in. Louis Trichardt, described as a fearless and impetuous pioneer who was born near Oudtshoorn in 1783, led a group of Voortrekkers out of the Cape Colony in search of greener pastures. The town that eventually adopted his name certainly seems to have made the grade.

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