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Limpopo Province is South Africa’s northernmost province. It borders Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Limpopo takes up 10.2% of South Africa's land area. Named after the great Limpopo River that flows along its northern border, this province is rich in wildlife, spectacular scenery and a wealth of historical and cultural treasures.

The Great North Road from Pretoria was carved by the creaking wheels of ox wagons. Today, when you follow the footsteps of the Voortrekkers, you'll travel on fast, safe roads with modern amenities. Known as the Great North, Limpopo is land of abounding ruins and relics, ancient forests, sparkling trout waters, hot mineral springs and waterfalls. Much of it has remained unchanged for centuries. Limpopo is home to Modjadji, the fabled Rain Queen, the Stone Age and Iron Age relics of Makapansgat Valley and the treasures of Mapungubwe that date back to time immemorial.

Regions[edit]

Map of Limpopo
Limpopo

Dramatic contrasts in landscape and vegetation are symbolic of the Limpopo Province. Encompassing dry savannah plains, steep valleys and majestic mountain ranges, the province is one of legend and of the early pioneers during the Great Trek.

The province used to be known as the Northern Province and includes vast areas of the Kruger National Park and many private reserves. In the North coffee, tea and citrus plantations can be found due to the more exotic climate above the Tropic of Capricorn. The province in divided into four tourism regions; the Capricorn region, the Bushveld Region; the Soutpansberg region and the Valley of the Elephants.

  • Northern (the Limpopo part of the Kruger National Park)
  • Soutpansberg
  • Bushveld
  • Capricorn
  • Valley of the Elephants

Cities[edit]

  • 1 Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) — the provincial capital of Limpopo and a good base for game viewing, Kruger National Park visits, cultural & historical experience and break-aways into the mountains
  • 2 Giyani — Giyani is surrounded by a villages, that are rich in Tsonga cultural activities.
  • 3 Haenertsburg — with the rush waning the town grew steadily, providing for its inhabitants while retaining its rural charm.
  • 4 Hoedspruit — provides access to the Kruger Park and various surrounding game reserves and is the ideal base to explore South Africa's wildlife from.
  • 5 Phalaborwa — next to the Kruger Park, it is a modern town and a major provider of ore for South Africa's mining industry.
  • 6 Tzaneen — a busy town in the picturesque Letaba district with tropical and subtropical farming and only 90 minutes drive from Kruger National Park.
  • 7 Waterberg — the mainly rural western part of the province

Other destinations[edit]

  • Louis Trichardt/Makhado — there's a continual battle over the re-naming the largest town in this province with a population of more than 500,000 swollen by refugees. It's the last town of significant size for stocking up with supplies before reaching Zimbabwe after an hour's drive north.
  • Mokopane (Potgietersrus) — two hours from Gauteng, the town acts as a getaway destination and stopover for travellers en route to Botswana, Zimbabwe and the Kruger National Park.
  • Musina — in the lovely Limpopo Valley, close to the border to Zimbabwe, sub-tropical climate, in the midst of game and nature reserves.
  • Thabazimbi — massive iorn-ore reserves brought about the establishment of Thabazimbi, gateway to Marakele National Park.
  • Thohoyandou — the centre for southern Venda situated in a beautiful area and offering many fascinating tourist attractions.

Nature reserves[edit]

  • 1 Mapungubwe National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • 2 Marakele National Park — a park is dominated by the Waterberg mountains with lush bushveld in the lower regions of the park
  • 3 Musina Nature Reserve Musina on Wikipedia — established to protect Baobab trees. A 2-hour circular route allows visitors to admire the baobab trees, and offers the opportunity to spot the rare sable antelope. Other species here include giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland and other antelopes. Facilities: Day visitors’ area, educational centre, tented bush camp with communal braai. Follow the N1 south for 10 km from Musina; entrance on the right hand side.
  • 4 Wolkberg Wilderness Area — offers many hiking opportunities around the "cloud mountain" and its area.

Understand[edit]

Limpopo borders the following provinces: Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North-West

Climate[edit]

The Limpopo Province enjoys hot yet pleasant summers and dry winters. The weather is characterised by almost year-round sunshine. It can get very hot in summer (October through to March), with temperatures rising to 27 ºC and sometimes reaching temperatures in the mid 30s ºC. This is mild compared to the Lowveld where some towns such as Phalaborwa have been known to reach 45 ºC. One of the great attractions is the Kruger National Park, where tourists can expect summer temperatures around the 30 ºC mark.

Talk[edit]

Sepedi (52%), Xitsonga (22%), Tshivenda (16%).

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The N1 runs from Cape Town, Bloemfontein and the Gauteng to the Limpopo Province and straight through it and on to Harare in Zimbabwe.

Car hire and transport services: Public roads in South Africa are well developed and well sign-posted with driving done on the left hand side of the road. Drivers may be required to have an international driver's licence and a minimum of 5 years driving experience to hire a car in South Africa, depending on their nationalities. With a European driver's licence you can drive legally in South Africa for up to 1 year.

By plane[edit]

Hoedspruit has an airport with regular flights to Johannesburg.

Pietersburg/Polokwane International Airport is situated five kilometres from town. There is no bus service to town, but major car hire companies have rental kiosks at the airport and taxis are also readily available.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

Game reserves[edit]

With its vast expanses of bushveld wilderness habituated by an abundance of wildlife species, the Limpopo Province is the perfect destination for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The Limpopo province is predominantly rural with the result that large areas still remain untouched by human development.

Valley of the Olifants[edit]

  • Balule Game Reserve.
  • Klaserie Nature Reserve.
  • Manyeleti Game Reserve.
  • Thornybush Game Reserve.
  • Timbavati Game Reserve.
  • Tshukudu Game Reserve.
  • Umhlametsi Game Reserve.

Waterberg[edit]

  • Mabula Private Game Reserve.
  • Marakele National Park.
  • Welgevonden Private Game Reserve.

Do[edit]

  • Rock Climbing
  • 1 Mashovhela Lodge, Morning Sun Reserve N1 (14 km north of Makhado), +27 12 991-6930. Experience the African bush, feel the beat of Venda drums in the heart of the Soutpansberg. R680.
  • OppiKoppi (Literally translates to On the Hil): –11 August. Music festival held in Noryham, Waterberg. Plays host to roughly 160 sets of international and South African music and entertainment acts of all genres including rock, hip hop, hardcore, punk, ska, folk, blues, drum ‘n bass, big beats, kwaito, jazz, funk, traditional, world music, comedy, metal, indie, and house. R930 includes 3 days of camping. R1400 includes tent hotel accommodation. (date needs updating)

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Take the same safety precautions as you would in any other international city or town, particularly when sightseeing in built-up urban areas. Avoid unnecessary displays of valuables including jewellery, cash or audio/visual recording equipment. Do not walk in deserted places or go out alone at night. Always lock your car doors and keep the windows closed. It is better to carry travellers' cheques or credit cards than carrying large amounts of cash.

  • Police Emergency - Tel 10111
  • Ambulance - Tel 10117

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Limpopo is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!