- Tourist Information & Activities
Limpopo Province, South Africa
to Map of Limpopo Province Images © South
THE LIMPOPO PROVINCE,
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.
Known as the Great North, Limpopo province is home to ancient lands
and pre-historic secrets. This 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.
Straddling the northern Kruger Park,
Limpopo province boasts wildlife safaris, nature trails –untamed
Africa at its finest. This is the land of wide-open bushveld, big-sky
country, the ever-present thorn tree and the mystical baobab tree.
The Limpopo province also offers up Africa’s wild Edens – from
highveld grassland savannahs to subtropical forests to formidable mountain
South Africa’s northernmost province, Limpopo, borders onto Mozambique,
Zimbabwe and Botswana thus making it the ideal entrance to Africa. The
Limpopo province celebrates a rich cultural heritage and at many archaeological
sites the mysteries of the past and ancient peoples are still being unearthed.
Historians reveal that the first black Africans moved across the Limpopo
(into what became known as South Africa) before 300 AD. The Voortrekkers
arrived in the early nineteenth century and this part of the world changed
forever. Numerous battles between indigenous African people and the Voortrekkers
ensued. During apartheid, portions of land were divided into homeland
areas. However, today the Limpopo province is united in its aim to offer
the best possible welcome for its visitors.
Limpopo is renowned for its hot yet pleasant summers and dry winters.
Its weather is characterized by almost year-round sunshine. It can get
very hot in summer (October – March), with temperatures rising to 27ºC
(80,6 ºF) and, sometimes, even touching the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit).
GETTING TO KNOW THE LIMPOPO
South of Limpopo are the Soutpansberg mountains, South Africa’s northernmost
mountain range and one of the most diverse habitats in the country. There
are 340 indigenous tree species here, an abundance of animal life and the world’s
highest concentration of leopard. Ancient, gigantic baobabs (“upside-down
trees”) guard vast expanses of mountains, bushveld, indigenous forests
The Limpopo Province is divided into four regions:
The Capricorn region stretches from the Ysterberg, all along the foothills
of the lush Wolkberg, to the tropic of Capricorn in the north. The
region’s position makes it a perfect stopover between Gauteng
and the northern areas of the province and between the country’s
northwestern areas and the world-renowned Kruger National Park. It
is also in close proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana,
Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland.
• The Bushveld Region
The Waterberg Mountains stretch along more than 5 000 km2 of spectacular
vistas and scenic valleys – the ideal destination for off the
beaten track tourism. The area is steeped in history and some
artifacts found here date back to Stone Age times. The area’s
rich mosaic of culture and tradition is reflected by the different
rural tribes such as the Bapedi, Tswana and Basotho, while the Voortrekkers
also left their distinctive mark on the area.
• The Soutpansberg Region
Across the northwest, and framing the northern border of the province,
lies the Soutpansberg area. One of the main geographical features of
this region is the Limpopo River, which forms South Africa’s
northern border. The western section of this region is framed
by the rocky spine of the awe-inspiring Soutpansberg (salt pan mountain)
It is in this region that visitors will find the former independent
homelands of Lebowa and Venda where traditional African cultures thrive.
In fact, this fertile valley has been home to cultures dating back to
the Iron Age. Relics of the Stone Age San and their incredible rock art
can still be viewed here today.
• The Valley of the Olifants
Traveling east, visitors will discover the rich natural heritage of
the Lowveld with its claim to fame – the world-famous Kruger
As its name suggests, this region falls in the valley of the great
Olifants River that meanders through the Kruger national Park, forming
the southern border of the province. The Olifants Valley is teeming
with a variety of wildlife. It is known for its spectacular scenery,
mountains, rivers, dams, history and cultural and ethnic attractions.
Major attractions in the area:
This valley is directly linked to the history of the Cradle of Humankind,
this is where, in February 1925, Professor Raymond Dart announced the discovery
of the first ape-man. The caves at Makapansgat Valley have rendered fossils
dating back 3,3 million years. Stone Age and Iron Age relics have also
been located here. This area is destined to become a World Heritage Site.
One of the most remarkable icons in Limpopo, Mapungubwe is situated at
the confluence of the Sashi and Limpopo Rivers.
The great ruins at Mapungubwe, in the
Limpopo River Valley, show remains of the first and greatest ever South
African kingdom to have flourished. Mapungubwe shows remains of human
occupation in and around 850 AD (two and a half centuries before Great
Zimbabwe). The most significant find at Mapungubwe was a gold rhinoceros
and gold bowl dating back to around 1200AD. The artifacts at Mapungubwe
illustrate a flourishing trade and advanced social systems of African
kingdoms in the 13th century.
• Modjadji Cycad
In the Lobedu Mountains near Duiwelskloof and situated next to the home
of the fabled rain queen, lies the Modjadji Cycad Reserve – boasting
some of the oldest and largest cycad specimens on earth.
• Kruger National
Spot the big five from your luxury safari vehicle, or go tracking on
foot in the most famous game park in the world. The northern Kruger
offers excellent game-viewing and world-class accommodation. A number
of community lodges are also springing up, adding to the authentic
• The Ivory Route
There are 54 provincial reserves, 10 of which are being developed into
a series of camps that follow in the footsteps of historical characters.
Dubbed the African Ivory Route, these reserves form an arc
that follows the peripheral borders of the province along Botswana,
Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and includes the northern part of the Kruger
Known as Warmbaths for a few decades, because of the hot mineral spring
at its centre. This part of the world offers cheap accommodation and
fun for the whole family. Bela-Bela is a gateway to the southern Waterberg
• Venda Myths and Legends
Visit the sacred burial ground of the royal Venda clan, and place of
birth and creation in Venda mythology. It is said to be protected
by a python god, who had to be placated annually with gifts of beer
The Vondo Forest
Contains the Holy Forest within which lies Mount Thate, home of the Venda’s
ancestral spirits and burial site of the royals.
Built in around 1700, and once the flourishing capital of the Venda empire. Dzata
was occupied for only about 60 years and was last ruled by the great
Thohoyandou who forged the Venda nation from clans already living in
The legendary domba dance
Known by some as the python dance, the Domba dance is an essential ritual
in the initiation rites for young Venda females. The dance imitates
the movement of a huge snake as the young initiates move around the
fire singing ancient songs.
• Lapalala Wilderness
This 25 000 hectare wilderness in the Waterberg contains rare roan and
sable antelope, white and black rhino and a plethora of animals and
birds. Lapalala is a sanctuary for endangered animals.
Known as the Land of the Silver Mist, this gorgeous village in the misty
Magoebaskloof mountains near the town of Tzaneen is famous for its
cherries, azaleas and abundant flora and birdlife. The perfect spot
for the ultimate weekend getaway.
Nylsvlei is a 160km nature reserve enclosing one of the most important,
and beautiful, wetlands in South Africa. Offering 150 species of bird
including some of the rarest species on the planet. A wonderful campsite
offers the basic amenities and the walking trails and picnic sites
are a treat.
• Hiking in Letaba
Due to its spectacular scenery and deep forests, hiking in the Letaba
region is popular with visitors. The two-day Debegeni and three-day
Dokolewa trails are a must. Day-walks are also on offer.
• Horse-back Safaris
The Waterberg is recognized as one of the best places to take part in
horse-back safaris. There are a number of well-established outfits
that will cater to all your needs. A combination of a tented safari
camp combined with a horse-trail safari is certainly an option for
• Rhino Museum
The Lapalala Wilderness Area is a sanctuary for wild and endangered animals
and birds. The world’s only dedicated Rhino Museum can be found
here – and is dedicated to the achievements with these animals
by founder, Clive Walker.
• Small town Treasures
Limpopo Province offers sleepy small-town South Africa at its best. Why
not journey from one town to the next – sampling the hospitality
along the way. Traveler’s favorites are Haenertsberg, Elim,
Vaalwater and the entire Magoebaskloof region.
• Top-class Lodges
Limpopo province offers top-class accommodation, across the board. From
colonial-type hotels to tented camps to five star safari lodges, the
hospitality industry standards are absolutely world-class.
• Art and Crafts
The Gazankulu and Venda regions are known for their fantastic arts and
crafts. Clay pots, basketwork, painting, tapestries and fabrics are
all up for grabs at pretty reasonable prices. There are a number of
famous artists (sculptors) that come from the Venda region namely:
Noria Mabasa and Jackson Thugwane.
Information courtesy of South African
to Map of Limpopo Province
For further information about Kruger National Park, click More
For History and General information about South Africa, click More