Soutpansberg Tourism, salt of the earth culture | history | nature accommodation, adventure, eco tourism, routes, tours, hospitality, guides


The Soutpansberg has a fascinating history dating back many centuries. The World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe unlocks the secrets of an iron-age civilization. The rich history of the vhaVenda can be explored at the Dzata museum and at sacred sites like Lake Fundudzi and the Thate Vondo Forest. Take a trip back in time to the heroes and villains of the Anglo Boer War on the Zoutpansberg Skirmishes Route.

History of the Shangaan & VhaTsonga people
Until the arrival of the Nguni refugees who had been forced to flee their Kwa- Zulu Natal homeland by Shaka the Zulu King, the vhaTsonga people enjoyed a peaceful life in dispersed settlements between the Indian Ocean and Lebombo Mountains. The arrival of the Nguni shattered this existence, however, and the vhaTsonga became subjected to their rule. The Nguni group with the strongest influence over the Tsonga was the Shangaan under the rule of Soshangane. Infighting between the various refugee leaders resulted in severe clashes that forced Tsonga refugees to flee. Some settled in the Bakgogat area of Tzaneen, others in the territory of the Balobedu people under Modjadji, the Rain Queen. Other groups settled in the Mpumalanga Province near the present day Kruger National Park.