History Of Tzaneen

Tzaneen proudly boasts being the cleanest town in all of the Limpopo Province - confirmed by the government of South Africa. The view from Tzaneen town is spectacular, with the Wolkberg (Cloud Mountain, as the locals call it) framing the lush vegetation and picturesque scenery surrounding the town. The Olifants River runs alongside the town, providing it with plentiful water, which contributes to making the region an abundant producer of fruit and vegetables. 

How did Tzaneen come about? 

Based on written documents and stories handed down from generations, Tzaneen was originally known as Tsaneng. Parts of Tsaneng were Mayland, Piesangkop, Hansfontein, and the south side of Westfalia. After the English and Dutch arrived in South Africa, Tzaneen become a melting pot of different people and a diversity of cultures. 

The Original Residents 

Tzaneen residents were originally the Sotho and Shangaan. The Tzaneen Living Museum that is in the midst of the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve showcases their way of life and culture. Just walking through the museum, you’ll find out how life was for them before and during the colonisation period. 

When the railway train network put a station in Tzaneen in 1912, Tzaneen became known as a town. An historical landmark is the 1892 Agatha building, now known as The Coach House Hotel, which was erected long before the train station was constructed. It was the last staging post for travellers going to Thabina, the Lowveld, and Leydsdorp. Travellers passed Tzaneen on their way to Pietersburg (now called Polokwane) where there was heavy mineral mining. It was like a gold rush at the time except that the precious booty was in minerals. 

Most of the history of Tzaneen revolved around the coach loop which was often rough and arduous. It was like the South Africa version of the Wild West where there was looting, robberies, guns and thugs, even one legendary story of an assailant turning out to be a (deceptively brave) little old lady. 

The Pleasures. Pitfalls and Profit Potential of Living in Paradise!

Running contrary to the high rates of urbanisation in most developing countries - as poor rural people gravitate towards the cities - one of the biggest global property trends to emerge in recent years has been the relocation of relatively wealthy city dwellers “back to the country”, in search of a less frenetic, more holistic, “country living” way of life. 

City dwellers are looking for an “old fashioned lifestyle”, away from the growing crime and gridlocked traffic city centres, where their children can grow up in safety in the countryside. Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province of South Africa is proving to be the new “downshifting destination” of choice.

Tzaneen, which resides in the Olifants Valley in the beautiful Limpopo Province of South Africa, is within close proximity of the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon. The town has grown significantly as a result of the increased interest of city folk who have relocated to the country, in search of a better life. The new “downshifters”, enabled by technology and fuelled by “green” ideals and thoughts of self-sufficiency, are increasingly running towards country living, shedding any and all ties to their old city jobs, homes and pastimes.

The most popular options for new property buyers in the Tzaneen area is to buy a plot, smallholding or farm where it is possible to grow your own food and a cash crop, or to keep your own horses and cows while also accommodating an income-generating and employment-creating enterprise. The Lowveld area of Limpopo – where Tzaneen is situated – offers the perfect location to buy a farm, smallholding or plot of land. Tzaneen is situated in a sub-tropical paradise, producing the bulk of South Africa’s avocados, bananas, tea, coffee and a host of other income-generating crops.

The second most popular choice for relocating “townies” and “downshifters” is to buy a home plus an established local business (such as a bakery, butchery, hairdresser or garage) in town, or to buy or set up a B&B or guesthouse, especially as the location is picturesque and attractive to tourists. Six million visitors came to the Limpopo Province in 2011, a major rise since Polokwane success as a host city for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. The Kruger National Park is one of the world’s most famous conservation areas, and a major attraction for the region. Several other public and private game reserves also exist, as well as other leisure activities and attractions such as golf estates, adventure touring and eco- and cultural-tourist sites. Hunting is another big activity in Limpopo, attracting domestic and foreign visitors.

The Mapungubwe National Park in the northern part of the province has achieved World Heritage Site status: it is a hill site where a 12th-century Iron-Age civilisation settled and traded extensively in ivory, iron ore, copper and beads with traders from far afield.

Moving to the country lock, stock and barrel should not be undertaken without careful thought, adequate research and preparation. CENTURY 21 Tzaneen Properties offers a unique consultancy service to people wanting to relocate to the country, with knowledgeable and reputable local estate agents ready to guide you through all the steps. (See our “Buying a Country Property in Tzaneen” Tab).

Remember, this is supposed to be the best thing you can do for your family, not something that will put your financial future at risk.

Get in touch with a CENTURY 21 Tzaneen Properties Estate Agent, and let us help you make your dreams become a reality!