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WWith the largest number of registered football players in South Africa and the country’s second largest football fan base after Durban, Limpopo’s passion for the beautiful game was rewarded with a new 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium. The 46 000-seat Peter Mokaba Stadium, named after anti-apartheid activist Peter Mokaba, is located in the province’s capital of Polokwane.
The design of the Peter Mokaba Stadium pays homage to the province's iconic tree, the baobab, sometimes called the upside-down tree as it is topped by foliage that resembles a root system.
This 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium is constructed largely of concrete, topped by a steel structure supported by giant 'tree trunks' in each corner. These 'trunks' cleverly hold lift shafts and spiral ramps.
This Polokwane sports stadium, which hosted 4 first-round matches during the big tournament, is located 5km from the city centre. Its construction created jobs for hundreds of locals, with much of the budget directed to local Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) businesses.
The stadium's VIP area boasts accommodation for 500 VIPs and 1 675 media representatives, an 800m-squared reception area and lounge, offices and storage areas, and parking for both players and officials. It has become Limpopo's prime venue for football and rugby matches, political rallies and entertainment events.
Former African Player of the Year, Didier Drogba, made his international debut for Côte d'Ivoire in a memorable African Cup of Nations (CAF) qualifier against South Africa at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Polokwane is the gateway to a number of other countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that lie on South Africa's northern borders, namely Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Polokwane Visitor Information Centre
Tel: +27 (0)15 290 2010
How to get here
Polokwane is located on the N1 highway and can be reached in a 3-hour drive from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport. The Polokwane International Airport is also known as Gateway International.
Things to do
East of the city is the Kruger National Park, the premier wildlife experience in South Africa. Also nearby are the scenic Magoebaskloof Mountains with quaint hamlets, silver lakes and lush forests.
What to pack
In the winter months Polokwane experiences very pleasant daytime temperatures with lots of sunshine. The evenings are however a lot cooler. Summers can be blisteringly hot, so pack sunscreen.
Where to stay
Polokwane has a full range of accommodation options to suit all needs and budgets. For more scenic areas look for B&Bs in Tzaneen, Magoebaskloof and Haenertsburg.