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LLimpopo is South Africa’s most northern province, bordering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. It is bushveld country − rolling savannahs dotted with the occasional stubby thorn tree, teeming with fauna of every description, making a safari in Limpopo one of the most popular visitor activities.
One of Limpopo’s biggest drawcards is the northern Kruger National Park. This 2-million-hectare reserve dominates the province’s eastern region and stretches south into Mpumalanga province. It forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
It boasts hundreds of tree, fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species, including Africa’s Big 5. Game walks and drives, hikes, eco-trails, 4-wheel drive 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 several 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.
However, Limpopo’s tourism offerings are not restricted to wildlife or scenery alone; it has an interesting prehistoric past that speaks of ancient tribes and kingdoms, as well as fascinating cultural heritages that its indigenous people preserve to this day.
The province’s rich cultural and historical legacy gives it a reputation as a land of great mystery. Not only is it the home of the legendary Modjadji, the Rain Queen, a traditional role that has been passed on for centuries, but Limpopo is also where the remains of the lost kingdom of Mapungubwe are to be found.
This civilisation, a trading hub that dominated the area in the 13th Century, can be rediscovered at the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site. The site forms part of the Mapungubwe National Park, which is also home to Iron Age archaeology sites, San rock paintings and fossilised dinosaur footprints and bones.
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.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Polokwane Visitor Information Centre:
Tel: +27 (0)15 290 2010
+Tel: + 27 (0)12 428 9111
How to get here
Fly direct from Johannesburg to Polokwane, the provincial capital. If you’re driving from Johannesburg or Pretoria, take the N1 north direct to Polokwane.
Best time to visit
Limpopo is an all-year-round destination due to its subtropical climate. Summer (October to February) can get very hot, however.
What to eat
Enjoy traditional South African cuisine at game reserves around the province and authentic African fare at various cultural villages.
Cherry Blossom Festival in Haenertsburg in April; Ellisras Bushveld Festival at Lephalele in July; Hoedspruit Airshow and Game Festival at Hoedspruit in July.
There are hundreds of curios and keepsakes to look out for in Limpopo, from Big 5-inspired gifts in the province’s game reserves to local arts and crafts. Try the Ribolla Open Africa Route for stunning locally made products.
- South African National Parks (SANParks)
- Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
- Greater Limpopo Birding Routes
- Limpopo Tourism Authority