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Limpopo Accommodation

The Limpopo Province is a land of myths and legends - dramatic contrasts characterised by hot savannah plains, age-old indigenous forests and cycads, vast mountains and modern-day infrastructure. The area has a rich cultural history and there are many archaeological sites. The sites of Mapungubwe declared a World Heritage Site and Thulamela are well preserved. Vast expanses of Limpopo, particularly in the world-renowned Kruger National Park and other wilderness areas, are virtually untouched by the passage of time. These areas provide sanctuary to the Big Five and many other species of fauna and flora, and offer wildlife experiences that rank with the best in the world. Combined with the Waterberg Savannah Biosphere and the Nylsvley wetlands, these areas are conserved and managed to promote sustainable development and benefits to host communities in line with eco-tourism principles. Access to the Kruger National Park in the Limpopo Province is via the Pafuri, Punda Maria, Phalaborwa and Orpen gates. There are many wilderness trails and hikes, allowing visitors to experience the wilderness on foot. The Limpopo regions represent a microcosm of varied and interesting cultures, growing industries and an expanding tourism industry.

Polokwane (Pietersburg), the vibrant capital of Limpopo, is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It was founded in the gold rush days of the 1880’s. Around Polokwane there are many attractions, such as San rock art, prehistoric ruins and dinosaur footprints. The Polokwane Museum, housed in the historical Irish House, on the corner of Vorster and Market Streets, preserves much of the past eras of the region. The Art Museum, situated at the Danie Hough Cultural Centre on Schoeman Street, in Polokwane, is home to one of the largest art collections in the country with a special emphasis on the artists of the Limpopo. The Bakone Malapa Museum, situated 9km from Polokwane on the R37 Chuniespoort Road, features a traditional Northern Sotho Village environment, preserving its architectural and cultural styles. Mokopane (Potgietersrus), renamed after the Ndebele chief, Mokopane, was previously named after Piet Potgieter, a Voortrekker leader who was fatally wounded during the campaign against Mokopane in 1854. The area around Mokopane is one of South Africa's richest agricultural areas. Wheat, tobacco, cotton, beef, maize and peanuts are farmed in the region. Zebediela, 40km from Mokopane, was established by the financier L.W. Schlesinger after World War I and is one of the largest citrus farms in the southern hemisphere.

The Makapans Valley, a National Heritage site contains an extensive and complete record of hominid occupation. The valley contains a bountiful cluster of historic and cultural heritage sites that range in age as far back as three million years. The Makapans Cave and nearby archaeological and fossil sites are situated on the farm Makapansgat, 19km north of Mokopane. The fossil remains provide a unique and almost unbroken record of human development, extending from proto-human times, 3.5 million years ago, and through the early, middle and late Stone Age and Iron Age to the present. Alongside and even pre-dating this history of human development is a remarkable record of fossil mammals, micro-mammals and invertebrates, which provide a window into the evolution of fauna.

The African Ivory Route, which has its origins in the exploits of early ivory hunters and gold traders, runs through the Capricorn region. Traversing mountainous terrain and stunning wilderness areas, the route offers 4x4 adventures conducted under eco-tourism principles.

Bushveld - Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) means “the water that boils on its own”. Long before the mineral waters at Warmbaths were used therapeutically, they were discovered by the Tswana in the 1800’s. The town owes its origin to these hot mineral springs that bubble out of the earth at about 22 000 liters per hour at a temperature of around 53°C. The modern Spa offers a large mineral-water indoor pool (rheumatism) bath, sauna, underwater massage and hydrotherapy. Modimolle (Nylstroom) has been renamed after the prominent hill nearby which the locals regard as their holy mountain, Modimolle, meaning “Place of Spirits”. The town's original name, Nylstroom, arose after a group of Voortrekkers mistakenly believed the north-flowing nearby river to be the Nile. Modimolle is the gateway to the Waterberg, known for its horse-safaris, hiking and nature trails. J.G. Strijdom House, the home of the late J.G. Strijdom, Prime Minister from 1955 to 1958, was originally built in the 1920’s and subsequently altered by Gerald Moerdyk in 1948. Nylsvley Nature Reserve provides sanctuary to some 70 mammal species, including endangered antelope such as the roan and tsessebe. The reserve was listed in 1998 as a RAMSAR site, an internationally important habitat for waterfowl. Nylsvley is home to 365 bird species, including 37 red-data listed species, amongst them the critically endangered bittern. The reserve supports important populations of several water bird species that have restricted breeding ranges in South Africa. Rust de Winter Nature Reserve, situated between Pretoria and Bela-Bela, houses an array of flora and small fauna. Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) is a center for sunflowers and citrus fruit. There are many mineral springs and holiday resorts in the area. Thabazimbi, meaning “mountain of iron” in Tswana, is named after the highly lucrative iron ore reef first discovered here in 1919, and mined since the 1930’s.

The Waterberg is a majestic wilderness area, offering a true African bush experience. 4x4 excursions, rustic self-catering hide-aways and luxury upmarket lodges in a malaria-free area make the region a sought-after holiday destination.

The Marakele National Park has an impressive variety of wildlife, and hosts the Big Five. Bordering the Marakele, the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve has become a popular weekend safari destination from Johannesburg. The malaria-free reserve is less than three hours' drive north of the Johannesburg International Airport and is home to the Big Five. Situated in the rolling foothills of the Waterberg, the terrain is thickly layered with bush willow and the narrow valleys contain a variety of fauna, including many succulents. Due to heavy summer rainfall, the vegetation is predominantly sour bush, as opposed to the sweet bush of the lower-lying, hotter Kruger National Park area. Game-watching is excellent and includes rhino, elephant, buffalo, zebra and various antelope species, as well as leopard, lion, wild dog and hyena. Bird-watching is good, particularly during the rainy season.

The Valley of the Olifants is an area rich in wildlife, scenery, mountains, rivers and cultural and ethnic attractions. The area stretches from Giyani through to the Kruger National Park, and includes towns such as Phalaborwa, Tzaneen, Hoedspruit, and Bosbokrand. Haenertsburg is a picturesque village on the slopes of the Wolkberg and Drakensberg Mountains. It forms a natural gateway to the Kruger National Park, and is well known for its annual Cherry Blossom Festival and Spring Fair in September. The Wolkberg Wilderness area, Magoebaskloof and Georges Valley comprise indigenous forests, waterfalls, lakes and craggy kloofs. Hoedspruit, bordering on the Kruger, is in the heart of the central lowveld, and is conveniently located to explore the many nearby game lodges and game reserves. Phalaborwa was established in 1958 after the discovery of huge mineral deposits in the area. Called “the town of two summers” as it never really gets cold in the winter, Phalaborwa is situated right at the central gate to the Kruger. The open-cast copper mine is considered the widest man-made hole in the world. Tzaneen is an attractive sub-tropical town, situated at the foot of the Wolkberg Mountains. The town has a profusion of indigenous and exotic plants and offers visitors a change of scenery.

The Soutpansberg region is named after the impressive mountain range that stretches for some 130km from west to east. The area incorporates endless expanses of undulating indigenous bush, characterised by the mighty baobab trees. The region has varied natural, geological, archaeological and cultural systems and a fascinating history. Beads and ceramics were traded for the gold and ivory of the ancient African kingdoms, ensconced in the fortresses of Mapungubwe and Thulamela. Mapungubwe Hill, a World Heritage Site, is situated on the southern banks of the Limpopo River. It forms part of the Vhembe/Dongola National Park as well as the Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Archaeologists believe that the iron- age sites of Mapungubwe were once the capitals of mighty African kings. The significance of Mapungubwe and related sites was first realised in the 1930s when graves with gold, iron artefacts, pottery and glass beads were found on top of the sacred Hill of the Jackal. Extensive excavations were undertaken before World War II, and further excavations were done between the 1950’s and 1990’s.

Louis Trichardt developed as a Voortrekker settlement, named after Louis Trichardt, who moved away from British rule in the Cape in 1836. The town lies at the foot of the Soutpansberg Range, conveniently close to the Zimbabwean border and the Kruger National Park. Thohoyandou, near Makhado, is the capital of the Venda region, a region steeped in the spirit world, finding expression in dancing, woodcarving and pottery. Wyllie's Poort near Makhado is known for rare aloes. It is also the start of the two tunnels which cut through the Soutpansberg Mountains.

Tshipise is a mineral spa and holiday resort between Makhado and Musina. Musina (Messina), in the Limpopo Valley, is the northernmost town in South Africa. The town developed around the copper-mining industry in the area, and is known for its many baobab trees, all of which are declared national monuments. The Elephant's Trunk, named because of the shape of its branches, is an impressive baobab, found just outside the town in the Erich Mayer Park. The Soutpansberg Hiking Trail, starting near Makhado, is 83km long and has overnight huts.

Hoedspruit, bordering on the Kruger, is in the heart of the central lowveld, and is conveniently located to explore the many nearby game lodges and game reserves. In this natural heart of the Lowveld...
A well known destination for local and international visitors Thornybush has earned its reputation as one of the country's finest bush experiences. Situated within 11 500 hectares of pristine...
The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve came into existence on July 1956 when a group of conservation-minded people who owned game farms on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park came together...
North of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and blessed with magnificent mountain scenery, Limpopo Province now offers game viewing in a malaria-free region. Several generations ago, this area was home to a...
The 36 000 hectare Welgevonden Private Game Reserve is situated in the heart of the Waterberg, and boasts beautifully unspoilt, malaria-free bushveld. The area will soon expand to approximately 100,...