Stories and Traveltips

ID #2382

Modjadji -- The Rain Queen, Duiwelskloof, Escarpment, Limpopo Province.

Truth is often more interesting than fiction. In Africa, where there is no lack of legends, the two often intermingle. In the northern part of South Africa lives a mystical queen with awesome magical powers. However, she is not surrounded by opulence, pomp and ceremony. On the contrary, she lives in seclusion, being seen by only a chosen few. Her domain is a dusty corner of Africa. She is Modjadji – the She of legend and the inspiration for H Rider Haggard’s novel of the same name.

The first Modjadji established herself in the area in the 16th century and founded the Lobedu nation. Her authority is based on her ability to make rain -- a gift passed on to her successors.

Although the area immediately adjacent to Modjadji’s village is dry and dusty, the vegetation is some of the most interesting in the country. An entire hillside nearby is covered by a huge forest of cycads (encephalartos transvenosus), some of which reach a height of 13-m. This forest, which is under her protection, is open to the public. There are pleasant picnic spots, braai facilities, an information centre and a small shop selling snacks.

Duiwelskloof (Devil’s Valley) is on the R38 north of Tzaneen, which is on the R71 east of Pietersburg, which is on the N1 north of Potgietersrus, which is at the intersection of the N1 with the N11. Travel north on the R38 from Tzaneen towards Duiwelskloof. Turn east off the R38 towards Modjadji prior to reaching Duiwelskloof. AIModjadji

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Last update: 2014-05-14 01:49
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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