Things to do near
Agatha Forest Reserve
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Tzaneen (0.4 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
The new Agatha State Forest comprises some of South Africa's rare jungle-like, dense forest, just 18 km away from Tzaneen.
This natural forest is also home to the Rooikat Hiking Trail. The facilities include a picnic site, fireplaces and ablutions.
Tzaneen (1.2 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
The beauty of nature is rolled into this one-day route. See stunning landscapes, a variety of birds, such as the rare bat hawk, jackal buzzard, purplecrested lourie or backheaded oriole. Also look out for animals, such as the bushbuck, common duiker, bush pig and baboon. Bird lovers may spot a Set against the Krugerkop and Tandberg, is the New Agatha Plantation through which the Rooikat Day Walk winds.
Wind through pine plantations and then follow the course of the Bobs River.
Take a dip in one of the cascades, rapids and pools along the way. Picnic facilities at the Die Akker Picnic Site.
Tzaneen (3.2 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Cuddle a baby crocodile and count all 68 teeth
If you’re feeling brave you could even feed the big toothy predators. Situated on a scenic avocado farm outside Tzaneen, Agatha Crocodile Ranch is a definitely worth a visit.
On offer are adventurous daily tours, an opportunity to touch a baby crocodile and also to feed the enormous adults. Tours include a fascinating talk about the behaviour, conservation and breeding of the Nile crocodile, followed by a feeding show and guided tour of the breeding dam and enclosures.
Who’s your daddy? Of all the 220 Nile crocodiles on the ranch, Rufus is the biggest at 4.2 meters long and is probably 49 years old.
Daily tours and feeding shows are between 09:00 – 16:00, Monday to Sunday. Tours last one and a half hours and promise lots of thrills.
Agatha Crocodile Ranch also features a local art gallery and curio shop.
+27 (0)15 307 4398
Tzaneen (8.9 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Situated near the dense forests of the Magoebaskloof, the roaring Debengeni Falls is a magical spot for picnicking or swimming in the crystal pool.
Named for the deeply carved pool, Debengi means ‘place of the big pot'.
Right in the middle of hiking country, it’s also renowned for some rare species of birds. One of these is the colourful Grey Wagtail, a regular summer visitor to this pool.
An endemic bird that will get twitchers excited is the Bush Strike – only found here and in the Woodbush Forest nearby.
Other beautiful birds to tick off are the Chorister Robin and green Narina Trogon.
Tzaneen (10.8 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Enjoy delicious cocktails and sun-downers when taking some time out in the bushveld of the Tzaneen area.
The themed Le Toues le Treq bar with its Rosa le Rouge painting is situated at Tzaneen Country Lodge.
Galleries and Museums
Tzaneen (10.8 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Tzaneen Museum exhibits some ethnological artefacts such as weapons, pottery, African drums and utensils of the local Tsonga and North Sotho people.
Well-informed guides show visitors around and explain the Tsonga legends that are depicted in sculptures under the trees in the garden. The museum also possesses a very large number of pole carvings from the region, as well as some world-class woodcarvings and various artefacts from the mysterious minority tribe, the Lobedu, which was ruled by the Rain Queen.
Tzaneen (14.3 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Surrounded by nature reserve, Tzaneen Dam is a popular recreation spot for bird watchers, anglers, picnickers, water-sports. Enjoy a barbecue on the banks of the dam.
Magoebaskloof (16.4 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
The Lesodi Trail
starts opposite Sandford Heights Tea Room near the Magoebaskloof Hotel. The two-hour walk meanders through beautiful indigenous forest and passes magnificent examples of strangler fig trees, most notably the Cathedral Tree.
The entire Magoebaskloof Forest resonates with birdsong and is a wonderful place for birding. Samango monkeys clamber in the treetops. Rare birds to look out for are the Narina trogon and Cape parrot.
Picnic spots and braai facilities are available but bring your own firewood. Grab a map from Sandford Heights Nursery and Magoebaskloof Hotel before setting off into the forest.
Duration: 2 hours
Haenertsburg (17.1 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Get airborne on an adrenalin pumping trip above three waterfalls and the Great Letaba River Gorge!
Zip into the magnificent Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour and slide through the forest on a two-hour arboreal adventure. The impressive foefie slide cables are linked to 13 platforms above the river, waterfalls and indigenous forest floor.
See the beauty of this spectacular area from a vantage point high above the river. Qualified guides ensure safety and chat knowledgeably about the birds, animals and plants. Families, nature lovers and thrill seekers shouldn’t miss this incredible zip slide experience.
+27 (0) 83 866 1546
Magoebaskloof (18.9 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
The Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail offers hikers the choice of several hike duration options that range from two to five days. The three-day 50 km circular trail winds through extensive indigenous forest and pine plantations, and past waterfalls, pristine mountain streams and pools.
Expect your jaw to drop at the magnificent scenery. Look out for bushbuck, bush pigs, Samango monkeys, and amazing birdlife, particularly in the Grootbosch Forest. The five-day option needs a high level of fitness to complete the trail. Family hikers should consider the less demanding two-day route.
Duration: 2 – 5 days
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Distance: 50 – 63 km
Tzaneen (19.2 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Serenely situated on the scenic Hans Merensky Dam, Tzaneen Country Club is an undiscovered challenge for the serious golfer.
The course is alleged to be one of the fairest tests of golf around and should have the high and low handicapper alike urging to book the next round.
Rolling fairways and punishing but fair roughs merge to present a ‘shot makers’ ideal challenge.
A well stocked bar with a cosy fireplace creates a friendly setting for socialising after many rounds.
Tzaneen Country Club hosts some of the major tournaments on the PGA Winter Tour. Local and visiting golfers gather here every May for a weekend of golfing and good times at the annual Koraalboom Tournament.
Haenertsburg (20.4 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Grab the whole family and soak up the countrified charms of this quaint little dairy farm.
Winners of the Eat In 'Best Organic Producer' 2008 award for their organic produce, Wegraakbosch Organic Cheese Dairy is well worth a visit.
Take a tour, taste and watch cheese being made in the traditional way – it’s so good! Cows are milked by hand and curds are stirred in a big copper cauldron over a fire.
Kids will love checking out the chickens, ducks and geese while the older folk are stocking up on organic cheese and dairy products. You’ll find a tempting array of yoghurt, feta, ricotta, cottage and other hard and soft cheeses.
Tours are an hour long and cost R50 for adults. Afterwards take a stroll around the farm and find a good picnic spot.
Haenertsburg (20.5 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Set on a pristine property, Cheerio offers enthusiatic fly fishermen 3 dams to cast their flies in.
This is stricly fly fishing only, which means no bait or spinners allowed. The resort offers beginner rods for rental, as well as a stock of flies for purchase.
Haenertsburg (20.7 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
This ruin of the old Cyril Jackson Observatory was built by the world famous astronomer of the same name. It was built on his farm called Hilltop and finished in 1955. It had a retractable roof. The Haebertsburg skies are still very good for stargazers today.
Tzaneen (21.7 km from Agatha Forest Reserve)
Meet, touch and feed the friendly animals at Mangela Animal Touch Farm Jacob the donkey and the miniature ponies Maya, Misty, Pepe and Inca are waiting for small visitors with crunchy apples and carrots. Mangela Animal Touch Farm also has ostriches, emus, pot-bellied pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, rabbits and more!Pony rides are available with supervision by friendly and helpful staff. The crew at Mangela pride themselves on their management of the animals and the environment. There is no better way for children to safely learn about them. Mangela also specialise in children's parties with different themes, birthday cakes and kiddies gift boxes available together with a jumping castle, jungle gym, self-drive toy cars and other fun activities. Mangela Animal Touch Farm, Tea Garden & Curio Shop offers activities and fun for kids and adults alike.Need to know? Mondays to Fridays 9:00am to 5:30pm Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am to 5:30pm.