Price range, per nightmin R max R
Bela Bela (Warmbaths), Thohoyandou, Alldays, Hoedspruit, Vaalwater, Modimolle (Nylstroom), Entabeni Game Reserve, Welgevonden Game Reserve, Lephalale (Ellisras), Karongwe Game Reserve, Mapungubwe National Park, Polokwane, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Thabazimbi, Magoebaskloof, Louis Trichardt, Tzaneen, Balule Nature Reserve, Phalaborwa, Mokopane (Potgietersrus)
Regarded as a unique eco-destination, the Limpopo Province is South Africa’s gateway to the north. The province shares borders with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and is named after the Limpopo River that is the region’s natural boundary.
Limpopo is a patchwork of different landscapes; the flat shrubby terrain in the west so perfectly suited for game reserves and cattle farming, the mysterious tropical rainforests and waterfalls in the central regions where exotic fruits are grown and the thick bushveld in the northern section of the Kruger National Park, all accessible via an excellent road network.
The people of Limpopo appreciate their heritage and are lovers of music and sport, and several festivals are held throughout the year to celebrate these pursuits.
Expect to be pleasantly surprised by the scenic wonders and cultural experiences on a visit to the Limpopo Province.
Top 8 reasons to visit the Limpopo Province
1. Take a guided walking tour of the Thulamela Iron Age site in northern Kruger National Park. The site has ruins of an old palace where iron workings took place. Nearby is a waterhole on the Tsende River and an opportunity to see the Big 5 and other mammals. Look out for hippos and crocodiles lurking in the water.
2. The Bela Bela hot springs is a popular weekend retreat for visitors from all parts of the country and said to cure various ailments. The Forever Resort offers heated pools, a wave pool and supertube along with many other forms of entertainment.
3. The town of Hoedspruit prides itself on its green community initiatives. Visit the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, established to save vulnerable species, in particular the cheetah and rhino.
4. Polokwane is the capital of Limpopo and the city hosts a number of annual music festivals at either the rugby stadium or in the Meropa Casino gardens. Choose your preference of jazz, hip-hop or house music and book well in advance.
5. The Waterberg area is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and popular for mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing. Expect to be watched by baboons, monkeys, rock hyrax and birds of prey that inhabit the mountain cliffs.
6. Tired of the bush? Stop in at the glitzy Meropa Casino to splash some cash. The resort has 2 restaurants, a cocktail bar, cultural village, health spa, mini golf and bird & reptile park to keep all members of the family entertained.
7. The Mapungubwe Hill west of Musina is a place of superstition and is the site of one of the greatest archaeological finds in recent history. The lost city was occupied by a Shona kingdom sometime between 1000 and 1200 BCE and discoveries include drystone ruins, iron tools and advanced gold-smelted treasures.
8. Hike the Mabudashango hiking trail that passes through the Thathe sacred forest, important Venda burial grounds, Lake Fundudzi – a lake revered by the Venda as a meeting place of their spiritual ancestors, and the Tshatshingo potholes. Consider yourself fortunate if you come upon a Domba dance at a local village, the sacred python dance performed by young girls prior to marriage.
The nearest international airport from Limpopo is OR Tambo International in Johannesburg. International travellers can easily reach the province from Gaborone (Botswana), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mbabane (Swaziland). Smaller airports are located at Polokwane, Phalaborwa and Musina. The Limpopo Province is split by the great north road (N1 national highway) that begins in Cape Town and ends at the Zimbabwean border post in Beit Bridge. A car rental is the best option for the area, which can be obtained at any of the major centres or booked online.
Did you know?
Sesotho is the main language spoken in Limpopo, however, English is the 2nd language taught at all schools and there should be no communication barriers.
The Modjadji Rain Queen, said to have rainmaking powers, lives in Limpopo in a town called Duiwelskloof (devil’s ridge). The area has a high rainfall average and the surrounding forests are lush and green throughout the year. A coincidence or just a well-chosen site?
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.