Forgotten Provinces: Limpopo

Posted by Leila Stein on 15 May 2020

Named after the Limpopo River which forms its north and western borders, this province is often forgotten besides for its part of the Kruger National Park.

While Kruger is always impressive, there is so much more. As a transitional province, transitional between vegetation regions and between South Africa and the rest of the continent, Limpopo has a lot to offer.

Get excited to explore South Africa’s doorway to Africa.

Mapungubwe National Park 

 

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This park and World Heritage Site is home to artefacts from one of the oldest Iron Age kingdoms in Southern Africa, Mapungubwe.

Known for the beautiful gold rhino statue and other gold items discovered at Mapungubwe hill, the incredible history of the area is only rivalled by its natural beauty.

Guests can go on heritage tours to see the site of this great state and a tour of the museum to see the famed rhino. There are also game drives and guided walks to see the game which roams around this area.

For an extra-special bush experience the park also offers bush braais to eat among the calls of the night, overlooking one of the parks dams.

There are multiple camping sites and a luxury lodge, with the most beautiful pool in the country which is often frequented by elephants, for those who want a fully immersive experience.

Bela-Bela 

 

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Yellow Billed Hornbill #birdsofinstagram #birdsofsouthernafrica #birds #hornbill #africa #busveld #belabela #limpopo

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Previously known as Warmbaths, this town was built around the geothermic hot springs which give it its name. Since it is close to the border of Gauteng, the town is often visited by those form the city for a relaxing dip.

Found in the Waterberg district, those visiting can take day trips to the conservancies that are part of the Waterberg Biosphere.

Waterberg Biosphere Reserve 

 

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The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is the first region in South Africa to be named a Bispohere Reserve by UNESCO.

The area is dominated by different veld types, from the mixed bushveld typical of savanna vegetation types to the Waterberg Moist Mountain bushveld. This variety lends the area to an incredibly diverse species. With very few people living in the area, and vast areas of unspoiled wilderness, this is a beautiful representation of the area’s natural splendour.

With no shortage of trails, visitors can explore the region on foot through hiking trails, on horseback or just through a drive.

With game reserves, the Marakele National Park and the town of Vaalwater all offer great accommodation spots.

Marekele National Park 

 

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Found in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, the Marakele National Park is situated on a transitional zone between the country’s dry western and moister eastern regions.

With plenty of activities from bird watching and game viewing to driving a mountain pass up to the Cape vulture colony, there is plenty on offer.

Those who really want to experience the park can take on the 4×4 eco-trail exploring the for three days and two nights. Camp in pristine nature with unfenced camp sites.

Those who don’t wish to stay in the great outdoors can access camps in the park or in Vaalwater.

Makhado 

 

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Previously known as Louis Trichardt, this is the most well-known town in the province. Found at the foot of Soutpansberg Mountains, there is no shortage of hiking trails from this farm town. Avid birdwatchers can go spot some of the country’s most beautiful feathered friends at the Roodewal Nature Reserve, just outside the town.

Historians can visit the Museum of the Drum and Dzata ruins, an archaeological site of the royal kraal of the Venda kings who once lived in the area.

Accommodation is available at the many bed and breakfasts and guesthouses.

Magoebaskloof 

 

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Magoebaskloof is found at the very north eastern tip of the Drakensberg mountain range. This beautiful, lush mountainous area is a burst of green, with an impressive indigenous forest.

Visitors to the area can explore on foot, following one of the many hiking trails with an overnight and other day options. Birding and fishing are also on offer for those wanting to flex their skills.

Avid mountain bikers and trail runners can take on the forests at more speed, with dedicated trails for these activities.

Those who are really looking for a thrill can glide among the trees and across waterfalls with the guided Magoebaskloof Canopy Tour.

Those wanting to stay in the area have access to multiple accommodation options in the village of Haenertsburg or nearby Tzaneen.

Tzaneen 

 

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On the one side of the Magoebaskloof Mountains, visitors can stay in the town of Tzaneen while exploring the area.

The Debegeni Waterfall just outside the town is a must, witness the natural beauty while swimming in the rockpools and having a picnic on the rocks.

The area is also great for those looking for adventure, with mountain biking and hiking in the nearby mountains.

Those looking to step back in time can experience Kings Walden Garden, an English garden that had once been part of a great estate. With a tea garden to get nibbles at, the gardens are an old colonial experience of the area.

Gravelotte 

 

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This very out of the way town is not known by most. Found along the R526, this town is known for one incredible experience, a pub inside the trunk of a giant Baobab tree.

Since it’s quite small, this detour is a great stopover on the way to a stay in the Kruger National Park.

Image: @TourvestDM/Twitter

 

 






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