More About The Region
“The land of wide-open bushveld, big-sky country, the ever-present thorn tree and the mystical baobab”
Welcome to the southern tip of Africa. Here, two great oceans meet, warm weather lasts most of the year, and big game roams just beyond the city lights.
This is where humanity began: our ancestors’ traces are still evident in fossilised footprints 80 000 years old, and in the world’s oldest rock paintings.
Today, South Africa is the powerhouse of Africa, the most advanced, broad-based economy on the continent, with infrastructure to match any first-world country.
You can drive on wide, tarred highways all 2 000 kilometres from Messina at the very top of the country to Cape Town at the bottom. Or join the millions of international travellers who disembark at our airports every year.
Two-thirds of Africa’s electricity is generated here. Forty percent of the phones are here. Twenty percent of the world’s gold is mined here. And almost everyone who visits is astonished at how far a dollar, euro or pound will stretch. Welcome to the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa is a nation of over 46-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Around 79% are black (or African), 9% white, 9% “coloured” – the local label for people of mixed African, Asian and white descent – and 2.5% Indian/ Asian. Just over half the population live in the cities.
There are 11 officially recognised languages, most of them indigenous to South Africa. Around 40% of the population speak either isiZulu or isiXhosa. You don’t speak either? If your English is passable, don’t worry. Everywhere you go, you can expect to find people who speak or understand English.
English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government, of road signs and official documents. Road signs and official forms are in English. The President makes his speeches in English. At any hotel, the receptionists, waiters and porters will speak English.
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 extraordinary wildlife, and nature trails – untamed Africa at its finest, and the ultimate location for an exhilarating South African safari near the Kruger National Park. 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 ranges.
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 characterised 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).
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 and cycads.
The Limpopo Province is divided into four regions:
• The Capricorn Region
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 artefacts 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) range.
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
Travelling east, visitors will discover the rich natural heritage of the Lowveld with its claim to fame – the world-famous Kruger National Park.
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.
Click here to learn more about the Kapama Reserve.