The Cheerio Valley covers nearly 100 ha of forest and includes the world-famous Cheerio Gardens with their Azaleas, flowering cherries and crab apples. Interestingly, these exotic gardens attract a remarkable array of forest and mountain birds, and a walk along the well laid out paths may provide sightings of Lemon Dove, White-Starred Robin, Barratt’s Warbler, Orange Ground-Thrush and Green Twinspot. There have even been a few sightings of Bush Blackcap here.
The Capricorn-Letaba birding route stretches from the city of Polokwane in the west to the Great Letaba River beyond the Letsitele valley in the east. The route runs just a few degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn, mainly along the R71 road which links the towns of Polokwane, Haenertsburg, Tzaneen and Gravelotte.
Other activities include trout fishing, mountain biking and hiking. There are picnic sites and a beautiful tea garden that serves light meals.
Approaching Polokwane on the N1, just after the Shell Ultra, the road separates into two and there is a sign (Tzaneen 600mts.) Slow down, as the turn is very sharp left onto the Tzaneen bypass.
Pass through two 4-way stops before reaching the R71 coming from Polokwane and turn right to head towards Tzaneen. Do not go directly across the road as you will end up in Duiwelskloof. If you miss the Tzaneen bypass, proceed directly to and through Pietersburg and you will be directed to the R71 – Tzaneen.
Proceed on the R71 for approximately 57kms.
After passing Zion Christian City and going up and down a winding mountain pass, you will come to the village of Haenertsburg
Just past the village is a signboard giving directions to Tzaneen. Make sure that you continue on the R71 (via Magoebaskloof). Do not turn right at the bridge (via Georges Valley).
3kms from Haenertsburg, turn left onto a sand road clearly marked “Cheerio”. From Tzaneen, the “Cheerio” sign is 3kms after the Magoebaskloof Hotel.
GPS: S23° 53’47.3 E29° 57’10.3