The Greater Tzaneen Municipality comprises a land area of approximately 3240 km², and extends from Haenertsburg in the west, to Rubbervale in the east (85km), and just south of Modjadjiskloof in the north, to Trichardtsdal in the south (47km). The
Greater Tzaneen Municipality area encompasses the proclaimed towns of Tzaneen, Nkowankowa, Lenyenye, Letsitele and Haenertsburg. It is comprised of 34 wards and there are 125 rural villages. Almost 80% of households reside in these rural villages.
The municipal area is further characterized by:
extensive and intensive farming activities (commercial timber, cash crops, tropical and citrus fruit production);
mountainous, inaccessible terrain in the west and south, and
uneven topography (gentle slopes) to the north and east
The area abounds with exceptional natural beauty and considerable untapped tourism potential.
The Phalaborwa SDI transverses the Greater Tzaneen Municipal Area, while one of the major road links between Gauteng and the Kruger National Park also passes through the area.
In addition, a large area of land is in private ownership, ranging from smallholdings to extensive farms, used mainly for commercial farming activities, equally large areas of land is in the ownership of the State, under the custodianship of six
Tzaneen Town Suburbs
Tzaneen has been awarded the name: “Cleanest Town in South Africa” for many years in a row now. The town is lush and green, with manicured pavements and beautiful plants & shrubs lining the streets. Some of the areas are shown below.
Avispark: A quiet and picturesque suburb bordering the Tzaneen Dam, with great views of the dam.
Aquapark: Upmarket suburb bordering the Tzaneen Dam, with loads of new townhouse developments.
Premierpark: A relatively new and developing suburb, on the banks of the Tzaneen Dam, with spectacular views of the Dam and the surrounding mountains.
Arborpark: Tzaneen’s premier suburb, which is upmarket with great amenities available, such as schools, parks for children, churches and medical facilities.
Medipark: Upmarket modern suburb, relatively new in Tzaneen.
Florapark: Smaller, mid-lower class area with relatively cheap housing available.
Tzaneen Pathways to the Past Tour
The Tzaneen “Pathways to the Past” Experience
A round trip from Tzaneen to the Merensky Nature Reserve - including the Tsonga Kraal, then on to Die Eiland Hot Springs, travelling from there to Leydsdorp, then Ofcolaco and finally back to Tzaneen – approximately 125km in total – will
ensure you experience a taste of history.
Tzaneen, which is a colourful town in the lush Lowveld, has a wide range of shops and innumerable roadside stalls selling an amazing array of locally grown tropical fruits, nuts and
honey. There is an excellent local Museum next to the Tzaneen Library.
The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve and Tsonga Kraal Museum is situated on the R529, 38km from the R71 towards Eiland, and incorporates an area of unspoilt
natural bushveld, home to a wide variety of game and birdlife. The Museum is a living cultural museum depicting the life and culture of the Tsonga / Shangaan people.
The Aventura “Eiland Hot Spring Resort” is a paradise for
children, and is warm most of the year round. There are a variety of hot and cold swimming pools, water slides and recreational facilities, which have been developed round these hot mineral springs on the banks of the Great Letaba River.
is an old "gold rush" town dating back to the end of last Century. Historic buildings, a fascinating cemetery and a big Baobab tree make this an interesting place to visit.
Ofcolaco is 3km off the R36, and 44km from Tzaneen.
This African sounding name is in fact an acronym for Officers Colonial Land Company - formed by a group of redundant British Regular and Indian army officers who pooled their resources and settled in this area, adding an extra dimension
to the meaning of "Untamed Africa." The Ofcolaco Club still thrives on its untamed reputation and a lovely church also makes this an interesting place to visit.
Origins of Tzaneen
Greater Tzaneen Municipality is named after Tzaneen town which was surveyed and planned by H Manaschewitz, a surveyor, in 1919. It was in that year that a Certificate of Township Title was issued by the Government of the Union of South Africa,
providing for a township called the Township of Tzaneen, thus the town was founded in the year 1919. This year, 2012, the town is 93 year old.
There are several theories regarding the origin of the name Tzaneen, all assuming that it is derived from the Sesotho language. The first theory is that the name originates from Batsaneng (meaning “People of the Small Village”) - a group who
split away from the Bokgaga tribe.
Another theory is that the name is derived from the word tsaneng, which means “come together”, or tsana - meaning “basket of hills”. There is a theory which goes that the name Tzaneen came from the name Dzanani, the place where the vha-Venda
lived many years ago. It is said that the whole area from Limpopo (Vhembe) river to the now called Olifants River was occupied by vha-Venda all the way until the side of Madzivhanombe (around Giyani).