Leg 6 of Peter van Kets and Jacques Marais’ Beyond Lockdown, Beyond Expedition, took them to the Magoebaskloof. This indigenous forest is located in the heart of the Limpopo province and is home to spectacular bird watching.

‘Kurisa Moya’ loosely translates as ‘The Place of Tranquil Spirits’, and it is easy to understand why when you wander into the green heart of this breath-taking swathe of indigenous forest. Situated near the village of Haenertzberg and teetering on the edge of the escarpment, Magoebaskloof is often blanketed in fog. It boasts a much higher rainfall and a more temperate climate than the surrounding Lowveldt.

This natural paradise was the sixth provincial stop for the Isuzu South Africa Beyond Lockdown Expedition. “It’s quite possibly the region that resonates most with my personal quest to slow life down” confessed Jacques Marais. “Expansive forests and the distant ridges, of the northern Drakensberg. entice you to kick off your shoes, take a seat on a moss-covered log, and bathe in the ample fresh air of this botanical paradise.”

David Letsoalo hugging South Africa’s oldest tree. At 2 000 years old it has grown through a challenge or two. Which is exactly what the talented bird guide, David, will have to do; with the help of local tourism Photo by Jacques Marais.

Inside the deciduous indigenous forests of Magoebaskloof, there stands a giant cussonia tree, estimated at approximate 2 000 years of age. This sounds implausible, as it would mean this ancient kiepersol has outlived empires and dynasties, but when you stand amidst its gnarled roots, chances are you too would gaze upon this woodland giant in awe.

“We were incredibly fortunate to have David Letsoalo, one of Bird Life SA’s top guides, join us in Limpopo” Marais enthused. “This added immeasurably to our experience.” As did the team’s stop at the Wegraakbosh Organic Cheese Farm. There they were treated by a group, called the Mountain Foodies, who laid on a delectable slow food feast to fuel the team’s forest runs and cold-water immersion sessions in the upper Letaba River.

Wegraakbosh Organic Cheese Farm proving that there’s no such thing as a good meal without cheese. Photo by Jacques Marais.

This brings us back to why you need to support South African Tourism. People like David and companies like the Wegraakbosh Organic Cheese Farm rely on South Africans visiting places like Magoebaskloof. So, you can change the lives of many thousands of people dependent upon your contribution to the local economy, and this really is what the ‘Long Drive to support SA Tourism’ is all about

The next stop on the journey is the Mariepskop, one of Mpumalanga’s highest peaks. Keep following the Beyond Lockdown adventures on social media on the following channels to stay updated on their Beyond Expedition:

Facebook: OutdoorZone.Africa

Instagram: @ozone.africa

Twitter: @OZone_africa

YouTube: Ozone Africa

Podcast: oZONE Podcast

Website: www.ozone.africa

The Mountain Foodies fed the Beyond Lockdown team so well they had to go on a longer than planned forest MTB ride. Photo by Jacques Marais.