Polokwane was founded by The Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter on the farm Sterkloop in 1884 providing 150 even covering 2 200 morgens. The city was previously known as Pietersburg. Our city has enjoyed a long history of prosperity and has grown rapidly given its proximity to Gauteng and the rich agricultural district in the surrounding areas.
The town earned city status on 23 April 1992 and is now the major center and capital city of the province. The city Polokwane holds an enviable position. Its proximity to a major center near the neighboring 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.
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.
Polokwane, the capital of Limpopo, is the largest metropolitan complex in the north and a major economic center. Its proximity to the neighboring 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 center 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 artifacts 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 eco-tourism 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 conferences in the wilderness.
PERCY FYFE CONSERVANCY
The Conservancy is prime breeding habitat for rare and endangered animal species such as roan, sable and Addo buffalo. A youth education center provides accommodation for up to 20 persons and where 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 floodplains 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 provides 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 unrivaled 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 provides accommodation and exceptional camping facilities on the shores of the dam.
MUSINA NATURE RESERVE
10 km south of Musina. Musina Reserve is unequaled 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, guest house, 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 center, swimming pool, canoeing, and angling.
MAKUYA PARK NATURE RESERVE
A massive reserve in the northwestern 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 center 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 center 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.