Moving to Tzaneen 

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Perhaps you find yourself in the curious position of considering a move to a small town, or maybe you have already purchased property and are in the process of moving to a small town? 

More likely, your reasons for this are family related: you want security for your children, fresh air, good old fashioned values... perhaps your reasons are work related, or maybe you just need a change of scenery. Whatever the reason, you’re almost definitely going to experience a culture shock. 

The shift in lifestyle and tempo when you move to a small town from a big city is noticeable and poignant, and you should be prepared for the change. Below I have listed some important points to consider when moving to a small town – things that are likely to crop up – and some tips to deal with them. 


The term “small town” is entirely relative. If you are, for example, moving from Johannesburg, pretty much anything short of a Cape Town-sized city will seem small by comparison. If, however, you already live in a smaller city – like Port Elizabeth or Bloemfontein – the transition to “small town” life might not be so extreme. 

Lets talk about an extreme transition from a big city like Johannesburg, to a town like Tzaneen in the beautiful province of Limpopo. Johannesburg has a population of millions;Tzaneen is made up of 80,000 residents! What will be noticeable right off the bat is the absence of those multitudes of people. Johannesburg is essentially an ever-shifting urban puzzle with new faces and sites around every corner. In Tzaneen, you will find yourself confronted by the same places and people every day – and many fewer of them. While this may sound dauntingly sparse for a former city-dweller, like most things, this change will eventually grow on you if you give it a chance. 

Another shift will be the stores, restaurants and bars you frequented in the city – hopefully some of which you enjoyed specifically because they evoked small-town charm or presented a more village-esque take on things. In Tzaneen, you will not have the scale or variety of places you enjoyed, however you will now get the chance to take in the aesthetics you enjoyed in the city, but this time from the source. Hopefully you’ll find the new haunts more charming, for their actually being in a small town, rather than when they were a car or a taxi ride away. 


The very idea of wealth and money differs from city to town. Small towns require fewer public services such as busses and taxis, and are typically not wanting for space. In Johannesburg, the need for space and regular access to public services defines a big part of what it means to live there. In Tzaneen, there is comparatively less need for higher wages to support a higher cost of living. Salaries are lower and it is unlikely you will find your fortune working in the private or public sector, for a monthly income. The upside of this is that you’ll learn to redefine your personal sense of prosperity in other ways, through close-knit friendships and a sense of community. This sense of belonging, which will strengthen and grow with your stay in this beautiful little Hamlet, will astound you – to say the least. You will learn, as I have, to take great comfort in the simpler things in life. My life has become more meaningful and richer than I could ever have imagined. As the saying goes: “God is in the details” and there will be many opportunities for discovery and creativity of things you might have put on hold in the cities – or dreams you are finally reawakening because you now have the time! 

Ultimately the best advice for anyone moving to a smaller town is to just take a breath, look around, smell the roses and recharge your batteries. You’re starting over and beginning a whole new life, so relax and learn to share the best parts of yourself. Sometimes we can do our most creative work on the least important problems. The important problems often demand quick solutions, so we fall back on familiar methods. Leave the city-centric parts of you behind that no longer make sense in a small town context and most of all, be open to what you may learn from your new community. 

Read our “Employment Options in Tzaneen” page, for ideas on what to do to generate an income in a small town. 


No matter where you’re moving, you’ll need advice regarding a home purchase or property for rent. Century 21 Tzaneen offers you trustworthy, top-notch service and support in securing a property in Tzaneen that is ideal for you. We will assist you every step of the way, so don’t delay... speak to a professional Century 21 Tzaneen Agent today and let us help you make your dreams come true.

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