Limpopo South Africa is a wildlife destination with plenty game and nature reserves including the northern Kruger National Park. Apart from game viewing and birding, it is home to the remains of ancient cultures as well as the intriguing Venda culture, steeped in myth and legend.
Limpopo South Africa is the country's most northern region, bordering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is bushveld country - rolling savannahs abound teeming with fauna of every description, making Limpopo safaris one of the most popular visitor activities
However, Limpopo's tourism offerings are not restricted to wildlife alone; it has an interesting pre-historic past and a fascinating cultural heritage that speaks of ancient tribes and kingdoms.
One of Limpopo's biggest drawcards is the northern Kruger National Park. This 2-million hectare reserve dominates the province's eastern region and is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
It boasts hundreds of tree, fish, amphibian, reptilian, bird and mammal species, including Africa's Big Five. Game walks and drives, hikes, eco-trails, 4x4 adventures and mountain bike routes provide fantastic ways to explore this untamed wilderness. Similar activities can be enjoyed at the province's other 50-odd parks and reserves.
Limpopo is renowned for its impressive mountains, including the Soutpansberg and Waterberg. There are a number of tourism routes and trails that open up these mountainous regions with their abundant fauna and flora to visitors. A visit to the Waterberg region is a must - this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve features age-old rock formations and stunning scenery
The province's rich cultural and historical heritage has earned it the reputation of being a land of great mystery. Not only is it the home of the legendary Modjadji Rain Queen, but also to the remains of the lost kingdom of Mapungubwe.
This ancient civilisation can be re-discovered at the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site. The site forms part of the Mapungubwe National Park, which also features Iron Age sites, San (Bushmen) rock paintings and fossilised dinosaur footprints and skeletal remains.
Some great outings are a trip to the Amarula Lapa, where you can see how the ever-popular Amarula Cream liqueur is made, enjoying adventure in the lush Magoebaskloof, having a drink in the world's largest and oldest baobab tree or even participating in extreme golf!
How to get there:
Fly direct from Johannesburg to Polokwane.
If you’re driving, from Johannesburg take the N1 north motorway direct to Polokwane.
By road, take the N1 motorway from Johannesburg and continue north to Polokwane. From Durban, either take the N3 motorway to Johannesburg and then pick up the N1 north to Polokwane, or take the N3 to Ladysmith and then pick up the N11 to Polokwane.
Best time to visit:
Limpopo is an all-year-round destination due to its sub-tropical climate. Summer (October to February) can get very hot, especially in the lowveld region.
Where to stay:
The region offers a full range of accomodation from backpackers and B&B's to hotels and guest houses.
What to eat:
Enjoy traditional South African cuisine at game reserves around the province and authentic African fare at the various cultural villages. Drink Amarula Cream.
Cherry Blossom Festival at Haenertsburg, Magoebaskloof in April; Ellisras Bushveld Festival at Lephalele in July; Hoedspruit Airshow and Game Festival at Hoedspruit in July.
The cultural museums of Bakone Malapa at Polokwane and the Tsonga Open-air Museum at Tzaneen; Modjadji Cycad Reserve; Mapungubwe World Heritage Site and National Park; Soutpansberg and Waterberg; Kruger National Park; Myths and Legends of the Venda culture; hot air balloon flights over Hoedspruit; Amarula Lapa; Ribolla Open Africa Route; Waterberg Rhino Museum; African Ivory Route.
There are hundreds of curios and keepsakes to look out for in Limpopo, from Big Five-inspired gifts in the province’s game reserves to local arts and crafts. Try the Ribolla Open Africa Route for stunning, locally-made products.