Polokwane (Previously known as Pietersburg) was founded by The Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter on the farm Sterkloop in 1884 providing 150 erven covering 2 200 morgen. Polokwane has enjoyed a long history of prosperity and has grown rapidly given its proximity to Gauteng and the rich agricultural district surrounding it.
The town of Pietersburg / Polokwane earned city status on 23 April 1992 and is now the major centre and capital city of the province, indeed for the country’s entire area north of Gauteng.
The city of Pietersburg / Polowane holds an enviable position. Its proximity as a major centre near the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland make it a strategically located, fully equipped destination, and it is within convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoesbaskloof.
Pietersburg / Polokwane boasts excellent accommodation, fine weather and a busy, friendly population, making it the ideal business or getaway destination in the geographic and economic heart of the Limpopo Province.
Activities in Polokwane
Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum
This museum depicts the traditional and modern-day culture and lifestyle of the Bakone people.
Curious and handmade goods made by local craftspeople can be purchased at this pleasant trading store.
Cheune Crocodile Farm
Croc feeds and frequent talks provide a fascinating counterpoint to the sight of these impressive beasts.
Concentration Camp Cemetery
An idyllic cemetery housing the graves of the victims of nearby Anglo-Boer War concentration camp.
The site of the country’s first gold crushing site and its first gold power plant are marked by monuments.
A wide assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, confectionery and other delights.
A charming gazebo built in 1924 in the Civic Square.
Hugh Exton Photographic Museum
Photographer Hugh Exton took 23 000 glass negatives capturing the first 5 years of the town on celluloid.
Polokwane is considered the premier hunting destination in South Africa.
Makapansgat Caves & Limestone Works
A look at ancient human habitation in the area.
All guns confiscated at the end of the Magoeba War in 1893 were melted into a mass of metal. Upon the building of a golf course in 1975, this was found and is now considered a gun memorial.
With a host of shops, chain stores and fast foods outlets this is a shopper’s shangri-la.
A world famous forest housing the world’s larges concentration of indigenous cycad species.
Moletzie Bird Sanctuary
A sanctuary housing many bird species and highly acclaimed for its excellent work in the protection of rare Cape Vulture.
Polokwane Bird & Reptile Park
Snake demonstrations are a popular feature of this attractive park.
Polokwane Game Reserve
More than 21 species inhabit this scenic reserve, wherein an enjoyable afternoon can be spent on one of the walks on offer.
This national monument building houses exhibits detailing the history of the city and its environment.
A modern shopping centre with a tranquil ambiance and a great choice of restaurants and coffee shops.
Voortrekker Memorial & Wagon Tracks
Voortrekker history is in evidence in the form of wagon tracks and is commemorated by a symbolic memorial to the 1838 Great Trek.
Doorndraai is popular with anglers and water sport enthusiasts and also offers exceptional game viewing opportunity.
Pietersburg / Polokwane, capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic centre. Its proximity to the neighbouring countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, as well as its convenient distance from the Kruger National Park and Magoebaskloof, makes it a perfect gateway and good destination in itself.
Polokwane, the vibrant capital of the province, is one of the fastest growing cities in the southern hemisphere. Founded in the gold rush days of the 1880s, it has witnessed Stone Age nomads, Iron Age settlements, European migrations, wars and political upheaval. For the tourist in today’s peaceful times, it promises an abundance of fascinating historical sites and attractions.
The historical and cultural attractions of the region are equally varied. They embrace San rock art, a host of legendary characters who made history in the region, the Voortrekkers who arrived here to escape an oppressive regime in the Cape and their conflict with the locals who considered this magical region their home and weren’t always eager to share it. Visitors will gain insight into the tapestry of human drama that unfolded on this land through archaeological evidence unearthed and preserved, the legacy left by the San in their rock art and relics preserved in the many museums and memorials of the region
The region is home to fascinating and diverse people. It is the centre for local African culture in which the coming together of carefully preserved social traditions and indigenous identity has taken place. One of the most notable archaeological and historical sites in the country is found at Makapan’s Valley in the region. Here the sediments, fossils, bones and artefacts found in the caves have revealed a unique record of hominid habitation and evolution dating back 3,3 million years. The valley which has stood at the frontier of palaeontological and archaeological research for much of the twentieth century has been declared a National Heritage Site.
The African Ivory Route which has its origins in the legendary exploits of early ivory hunters and gold traders runs through the Capricorn region. Today the route is an important ecotourism and 4X4 adventure destination much sought after by safari enthusiasts. Traversing rugged mountainous terrain and stunning wilderness areas, the route will appeal particularly to the person drawn to the African wild. Today good roads traverse the scenic Capricorn region where once wagons and stage coaches negotiated precipitous declines, and these, together with an excellent tourism infrastructure that includes fine accommodation establishments, encourage tourists to explore and linger in the area.
Out of the vast expanses of bushveld wilderness, roamed by an abundance of wildlife species, rise titanic mountain ranges trimmed with indigenous forests, tranquil streams and spectacular waterfalls. Much of the Limpopo Province, particularly the Kruger National Park and other game and nature reserves, is unspoiled, providing sanctuary to large varieties of African flora and fauna.
The Limpopo Parks surrounding Polokwane, provide sanctuary and habitat for a variety of African mammals, special plant species as well as water catchments and wetlands of international status. It is these landscapes and the Province’s untamed wilderness that provide a nature enthusiast with a variety of nature based tourism activities which include:
NATIONAL PARKS OF THE LIMPOPO PROVINCE
D’NYALA NATURE RESERVE
10 km from Lephalale.and Named for the beautiful Nyala tree, the reserve has excellent accommodation facilities and is an ideal venue for a conferences in the wilderness.
PERCY FYFE CONSERVANCY
The Conservancy is prime breeding habitant for rare and endangered animal species such as roan, sable and Addo buffalo. A youth education centre provides accommodation for up to 20 persons and here children can learn the diversity interaction of wildlife.
MASEBE NATURE RESERVE
120 km north-west of Mokopane. Masebe encompasses the picturesque Waterberg mountain formation and bushveld landscape rock art sites. Visitor facilities include luxurious accommodation, conference facilities, hiking trails and picnic sites.
The Nylsvley flood plains are home to an incredible 420 recorded bird species, thus making the conservancy a great attraction for bird watchers and researchers. A group camp accommodates 30 persons at a time and a lecture hall is ideal for conferences.
80 km east of Polokwane. The Wolkberg is part of the massive Drakensberg ranges. In a scene reminiscent of the South American Andes, the Wolkberg region is dotted with steep rough mountain peaks, awe-inspiring forests balanced on vertical rock slopes, daunting ravines and astonishing valleys. the reserve provide an ideal tropical rain forest wilderness trails and an ideal destination for back packers and mountain climbers.
This wilderness area incorporates the dam basin and a peninsula of the dam. The dam offers good angling and boating opportunities. Stay overnight at a picnic site or a caravan park.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
With nearly 2 million hectares of bushveld, the Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its ecosystems and is home to an impressive number of animal, bird and plant species.
SCHUINSDRAAI NATURE RESERVE
North of Marble Hall lies Schuinsdraai ecosystem that surrounds Flag Boshielo, a popular fishing destination for anglers and water recreation. The reserve provide accommodation and exceptional camping facilities on the shores of the dam.
MUSINA NATURE RESERVE
10 km south of Musina. Musina Reserve is unequalled in its concentration of wilderness features such as the legendary baobab tree, many species of game and the internationally known Sand river gneiss. Guest facilities include a bush camp, guesthouse, hiking trail and picnic sites.
NWANEDI NATURE RESERVE
Nwanedi reserve incorporates the N’wanedi and the Lupepe dams, spectacular waterfall, great game viewing and a resort that accommodate many visitors that the reserve hosts each year. Stay at the rest camp and enjoy other facilities such as a la carte restaurant, conference centre, swimming pool, canoeing and angling.
MAKUYA PARK NATURE RESERVE
A massive reserve on the north-western region of the Kruger National Park. The reserve is incorporated with the Kruger National Park and is home to big game such as buffalo and elephant. 4×4 enthusiasts will enjoy the tented camp set on the Pafuri River.
BLOUBERG NATURE RESERVE
20km west of Vivo. Set at the eastern end of the Blouberg Mountain Range. The reserve has an education centre and is also home to a cape vulture breeding colony.
MODJADJI NATURE RESERVE
One of the largest reserves of a single species of cycad in the world. The cycad nursery, picnic sites, day trails and information centre make this reserve a highlight on any tour of the Rain Queen’s kingdom.
This area covers a huge 18 718 hectares of protected escarpment, scenic landscape, mountain vegetation and wildlife. Accommodation facilities available with conference room and swimming pool.
MANYELETI GAME RESERVE
This reserve is uniquely positioned between the Timbavati Reserve, Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Game Reserve, providing a tranquil bush region of 23 000 hectares.
MARAKELE NATIONAL PARK
Located between the contrasting dry western and wet eastern regions of Limpopo, the Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountain is characterized by magnificent mountain backdrops, rolling green hills and deep valleys.
HANS MERENSKY WILDERNESS
38 km from Tzaneen. Hans Merensky is most popular for its 4 excellent hiking trails, but is also home to the Tsonga Kraal open-air museum and Eiland Aventura Resort.