Open Africa

The #WeOpenAfrica Ribola Art Route Itinerary

07 Nov 2016

Open Africa is {a social enterprise that works with small businesses to establish local tourism routes that offer travellers fun, authentic and life-enriching experiences, while generating income and jobs for local people}

The Ribola Art Route

There is a constant pulse, a Deep Rhythm pushing life through the veins of the Limpopo Province, some may say that this is the real heart of Africa.

The Open Africa Ribola art route in Mbokota, near Elim, Limpopo, personifies this African spirit; a melting pot of Tsonga, Venda and Shangaan cultures, Ribola celebrate this authentic rhythm through art; music and the age-old African tradition of storytelling.

Experience the 'Art-beat of Limpopo through the Ribola artists and musicians. You are invited to come and feel this rhythm at the heart of Limpopo - to forget the racket of daily life and join in the ancient rhythms of the African soul.

The #WeOpenAfrica Roadtrip

We’ve invited a group of multi-skilled storytellers to join us on an epic road trip from Gauteng to Limpopo along the Ribola Art Route. They’ll be hitting the road from 14 - 19 November, stopping at local villages to learn new skills, beautiful natural wonders to hike, zipline and cruise, organic markets and farm stalls to taste the local flavour and more.

They’ll be connecting with artists, entrepreneurs, artisans, musicians and of course, wildlife.

We’ve put together one mega-epic itinerary, which we hope will inspire you to hit the Ribola Art Route yourself, following in the footsteps of our storytellers, and stepping out to leave footprints of your own.

Follow along across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to see the trip unfold and be inspired to Open Africa with your friends or family.

Stories, images and highlights will be shared across social media, so check the hashtag #WeOpenAfrica to be part of it and find some tips for your next roadtrip.

The Itinerary

Monday 14 November 2016 – Cape Town to Joburg

  • Check in at Once in Joburg 

  • Joburg City Walk & Pub Crawl

Tuesday 15 November 2016 - Joburg to Kurisa Moya Lodge (Magoebaskloof)

  • Canopy Tour OR Real-Life Village Experience

Group A: Canopy Tour along the scenic rivers of Magoebaskloof

Group B: Real-Life Village Experience with traditional snacks

  • Check in at Kurisa Moya Lodge

  • OR Forest Lodge Cabin in the canopy of the indigenous forest 

  • OR Thora Boloka Stone Cottage looking down over the Valley 

  • Home-cooked dinner 

Wednesday 16 November 2016 – Kurisa Moya to Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge (Elim)

  • Check out from Kurisa Moya Lodge

  • Champion Tree and Bird Watching with South Africa’s top Local Bird Guide OR Slow Food & Organic Cheese Farm

Group A: Join David Letsoalo, South Africa’s top local Bird Guide for a bird and nature walk in a forest of ancient trees, monkeys and special birds.  Check out the Champion Tree, a 2000 year old Cussonia.

Group B: Head off to the the quaint hamlet of Haenertsburg for a ‘slow-food’ breakfast at the charming Wegraakbosch Organic Cheese Farm where geese, goats and cows live a blissful free-range life.

  • Check in at Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge 

  • Sunset dam cruise, bird watching/hippo watching & sundowners 

  • Traditional dinner 

  • Music under the stars 

Thursday 17 November 2016 – Shiluvari to Shiluvari (Limpopo)

  • Open Africa Limpopo Art Route OR Mukondeni Village Experience

Group A: Hit the Open Africa Ribola Art Route. Twananani Textiles: Learn the art of textile design in an interactive, hands-on way. Design and draw on our own cloth, trace the outline with wax and then paint it to create your own tablecloth to take home. Learn the art of wood sculpting with ingenious tools.

Group B: Mukondeni Village: Learn the creative process of making a pot and feel the joy of clay between your fingers becoming a work of art.  Learn how to decorate a bowl or pot and get to take it home.  Head off for a game of pool at the local spaza shop before visiting Pilato Bulala at his incredible ‘Scraptures’ home-gallery.

  • Lunch at Ceasar’s Roadside Chicken

  • Make music with the Tinyiko Art School musicians

  • Traditional dinner at Shiluvari

Friday 18 November, 2016 - Shiluvari to Stargaze Hammock Camp at the Morning Sun Nature Reserve OR the Venda Village at Leshiba Wilderness Game and Nature Reserve  (Soutpansberg)

  • Check out at Shiluvari

  • Scenic route to the Venda Village, game drive at Leshiba Wilderness Game Farm and spend the night at the Venda Village OR Scenic hike, waterfalls, Venda dance performance and spend the night in the Stargaze Hammock Camp at the Morning Sun Nature Reserve

Group A: Take the scenic route to the Venda Village at Leshiba Wilderness, another member of the Ribola Art Route. Spot giraffe in the treetops below your dramatic bathtub on the hillside. Beyond that is the game-filled mountain wilderness where you can walk right up to wildlife and take a walk to admire rock art from the earliest times.  (only 3 places available)

  • Dinner and spend the night at the Venda Village at Leshiba Wilderness Game and Nature Reserve (Group A)

Group B: Hit the road to the Morning Sun Nature Reserve, tucked into the Soutpansberg Mountains above Makhado in Northern Limpopo. (Think lush vegetation, dramatic rock faces with Verreaux Eagles nesting on the cliffs and waterfalls dropping down to rock pools.)

  • Scenic hike and waterfall visit (Group B)

  • Guided drive, hike, lunch, Venda dance performance (Group B)

  • Potjie dinner under the stars (Group B)

  • Spend the night in Stargaze Hammock Camp (Group B)

Saturday 19 November, 2016 - Limpopo to Joburg

  • Check out at Leshiba Wilderness Game Farm and Morning Sun Nature Reserve

  • Scenic route back to Joburg via the Waterberg

  • Explore the Black Mamba Gallery

  • Lunch at Seringe Cafe

Watch this whole trip unfold on social media using the #WeOpenAfrica hashtag from 14 - 19 November 2016.


Join the conversation! Share your own #WeOpenAfrica experience or follow our bloggers as they explore southern Africa