Download GPX file for this article
-23.90153329.455032Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Polokwane (Place of Safety) is a city of 130,000 people (2011) in South Africa. It is the capital of the Limpopo Province. It is South Africa's largest urban centre north of Gauteng. It used to be known as Pietersburg.

Get in


By plane


The Polokwane International Airport is in the city and has multiple flights daily to and from Johannesburg. The main airline servicing the airport is South African Airways.

The airport is north of the city centre as is accessible via Landdros Mare Street (R101). There are multiple car rental agencies within the airport and this is generally the best way to get around town. There are metered cabs as well.

Just south of the city is the Gateway Airport, primarily a business and general aviation airport. It is also known as the Polokwane Civil Airport.

  • 1 Polokwane International Airport. Polokwane International Airport (Q2233103) on Wikidata Polokwane International Airport on Wikipedia

By car

Nelson Mandela road traffic island on the approach to Polokwane

Take the N1 highway north from Johannesburg through Pretoria and on. Have cash at hand for the toll gates. You also might need to stop at a fuel station to refill fuel on the way.

City Distance in miles Distance in kilometres
Bloemfontein 419 miles 750 kilometres
Cape Town 1076 miles 1735 kilometres
Durban 576 miles 930 kilometres
Johannesburg 222 miles 330 kilometres
Mbombela 133 miles 215 kilometres
Port Elizabeth 854 miles 1395 kilometers
Pretoria 169 miles 275 kilometres
Rustenburg 214 miles 244 kilometres

By train


The Shosholoza Meyl[dead link], South Africa’s intercity rail service, operates a daily service (except Saturday) between Johannesburg, Pretoria and Polokwane. The train station is near the city centre on the corner of Hospital and Silicon Streets.

  • 2 Polokwane railway station.

By bus


Translux, Greyhound, SA Roadlink, City to City have buses to Johannesburg and the Zimbabwe border. The bus fare to Polokwane from Johannesburg with City to City is around R180. Tickets can be booked via Computicket.

There are also minibus taxis from Pretoria, Johannesburg, Mbombela and Musina. They are generally not considered to be safe.

Get around

Map of Polokwane

Polokwane was a city built for the car and so public transport, as in most South African cities, is extremely limited. Construction has started on the Polokwane Integrated Rapid Public Transport System (IRPTS) but won't be complete or available to the public for quite some years still.


  • 1 Polokwane Art Museum, 70 Schoemann Street (At Danie Hough Cultural Centre, Library Gardens Complex), +27 15 290 217. A compelling selection of paintings, ceramics, mixed media and sculptures by artists from Limpopo. Over 1000 works are housed in an indoor collection at the Danie Hough Cultural Centre in the Library Gardens complex. The museum features local art icons, such as the celebrated Jackson Hlungwani, Samson Mudzunga, Johannes Segogela, John Baloyi, Avhashoni Mainganye and Lucas Thobejane. The art museum holds regular exhibitions.
  • 2 The Irish House, Polokwane Museum, Market St & Thabo Mbeki Street, +27 15 290 2182. A Victorian building was prefabricated and moved to the city by German immigrant in 1906. The building was restored to its former glory in 1986 and converted into the Polokwane Museum to display the diverse cultural heritage of the city and the Limpopo province.
  • 3 Hugh Exton Photographic Museum (Polokwane Civic Centre, entrance off Landdros Mare Street parking lot), +27 15 290 2186. Exhibits 23,000 glass negatives portraying the first 5 years of the town’s history on celluloid. These were taken by photographer, Hugh Exton, between 1892 and 1945. The museum is housed in a Dutch Reformed church built in the 1890s. Bookings are essential.
  • 4 Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open Air Museum (9 km from the city on the R37 to Lebowakgomo), +27 15 295 2432. The Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum provides insight into the traditional and modern-day culture and lifestyle of the Bakone people. It has thatched houses, grinding stones and calabashes that were used in the olden days. A tour guide is available and a special arrangement can be made to visit the museum on Sundays. The museum is excellent for family picnics and braais. Bookings are essential.
  • The Industrial Art Park (N1 North to Makhado, corner of Landdros Mare and Potgieter Avenues), +27 15 290 2177. The Polokwane Art museum curates 15 works of art produced from industrial material in an open air park. Sculptures are on permanent display. The museum was established in 1970 and is the only one of its kind in Africa.
  • Eloff Gallery, 74 Dorp Street, +27 15 297 0911. An unusual and eclectic mix of local rural crafts, bespoke furniture and the works of many South African artists are on display at Eloff Gallery. Unlike many modern art studios which are somewhat stark, this warm and inviting gallery, opened in 1989 by Barenda Eloff, offers unusual, original works of real value.
  • Civic Centre, Cnr. Landdros Mare & Bodenstein Street. The elegant gazebo in the Civic Square was built in 1924. The building was once the home of coach magnate, Doel Zeederberg, who established the first passenger stage-coach service between Pietersburg (now Polokwane) and Bulawayo (in Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia) in 1894. It is a reminder of an era of huge progress and the route was significant in attracting people to the region.
  • Roman Catholic Church, 54 Biccard Street. The Roman Catholic Church in the heart of the city was built in 1934. Although it is a relatively contemporary building, it is considered one of the city’s finest pieces of architecture. Still the home of the large Catholic congregation in Polokwane, this is a grandiose monument.


  • Gun Memorial, Library Gardens, Cnr. Grobler & Schoeman Street. Guns confiscated at the end of the Magoeba War in 1892 were melted into one mass and put on display.
  • Eersteling Monument (18 km from the city on R101 South to Mokopane. Take the exit marked Eersteling Monument and drive another 5 km). The monument marks the country's first gold crushing site and gold power plant in the country.
  • Concentration Camp Cemetery, Kobalt Street, Nirvana. The cemetery houses the graves of the victims of a nearby Anglo-Boer War concentration camp.


  • 1 Polokwane Game Reserve, 59 Letaba Ave, +27 15 290 2331. Polokwane Game Reserve offers excellent game viewing of as many as 21 species including white rhino, sable antelope and giraffe. There are a number of walks, including a one-day 20km hiking trail with overnight accommodation. The Polokwane Nature Reserve also conserves the Pietersburg Plateau false grassland that is home to important indigenous birds such as the short-clawed lark, the ashy tit and the Kalahari scrub-robin. Comfortable accommodation is available in self-catering chalets. A well-managed and well-equipped caravan site is adjacent to the reserve. Polokwane Game Reserve (Q7225919) on Wikidata Polokwane Game Reserve on Wikipedia
  • Polokwane Bird and Reptile Park, Lawton Road 118, Ivydale, +27 15 292 1719. The Polokwane Bird and Reptile Park has over 280 indigenous and exotic bird species and a variety of snakes, lizards and crocodiles. There are also numerous picnic spots as well as an 18-hole golf course.
  • Cape Vultures at Moletjie Bird Sanctuary, Polokwane Game Reserve, Silicon Road, +27 15 290 2331. Cape Vultures are one of the largest raptors in Africa and are endemic to South Africa. The population of Cape Vultures has been dwindling and the species is considered vulnerable. The Moletjie Bird Sanctuary in Polokwane is internationally-acclaimed for its work in the protection of the Cape Vulture.
  • Polokwane Golf Club, Off Dorp Street South, +27 15 295 4118. The Polokwane Golf Club is older than the city; founded in 1863. It is rated one of the best in South Africa. Over the years, the golf course and its clubhouse have evolved it into an iconic sporting attraction. With 700 members, it is a hive of activity. US Open Champion, Retief Goosen learned to play here and Springbok golfers Ray Earle and Callie Swart both hail from the club.
  • Let’s Go Bowling Polokwane, Farmyard Trading Post, Cnr Munnik and School roads, + 27 15 296 1353. The competitive game of ten-pin bowling is as mentally and physically challenging as it is just plain fun. Founded in 2012 by John Knott & Paul Altenroxel the company specialises bowling.
  • Meropa Sun Casino and Entertainment World, Plot 59, Sterkloop, Roodepoort Road, +27 15 290 5400. A fun and exciting attraction featuring world-class gaming facilities as well as entertainment for kids. Highlights include a butterfly and bird park, a fun park and several entertainment areas.


  • Mall of the North, Cnr R81 and N1 interchange, Bendor, +27 15 265 1026. A super regional shopping mall featuring a 6 cinema movie complex and over 180 stores.
  • Savannah Mall, Corner of Grimm and Thabo Mbeki Streets, +27 15 296 2977. 67 stores including banks, eateries and clothing outlets.
  • Checkers Centre, Corner of Grobler and Hans van Rensburg Streets, +27 15 621 2015. In the CBD and has over 30 stores including supermarkets and clothing outlets.
  • Standard Bank Square, Corner of Thabo Mbeki and Hans van Rensburg Streets, +27 15 295 9038. 23 stores including eating spots, clothing and other retail businesses.
  • Lifestyle Centre, Corner of Landros Mare’ and Market Streets, +27 83 276 7797. 22 stores including an electronic goods store and printers.
  • The Mall, 25b Thabo Mbeki Street, +27 15 291 4260. 5 stores and a good location.
  • The Crossing, Corner of Grimm and Grobler Streets, +27 15 291 4700. 4 stores.
  • Game Centre, Corner of Mark and Hospital Streets, +27 15 291 4700. 20 stores including fast food outlets, airtime vendors and small independent boutiques.
  • Thornhill Shopping Centre, Modjadjiskloof Road, +27 83 289 6423. 32 stores ranging from clothing outlets to restaurants and small independent outlets.
  • Shoprite Centre Metropolitan, Corner of Church and Rissik Streets, +27 15 297 1383. 10 stores at Market Street. There are another 18 shops at the Taxi Centre in the CBD that selling household wares, food and other items.
  • Platinum Park, General Maritz and Outspan Streets, +27 15 297 5890. 18 stores and a Cuban restaurant, bakery and businesses including KPMG.
  • Cycad Centre, 80 General Maritz Street, +27 15 291 2929. 19 stores including eateries, a supermarket and clothing shops.







Go next

This city travel guide to Polokwane is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!