Hotels in and around the Limpopo province
The beautiful province of Limpopo is South Africa's northernmost, bordering Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Its breath-taking scenery is rivalled only by its proliferation of wildlife. As a popular tourist destination, Limpopo is well equipped to handle the visitors that frequent the area every year. Indeed, there is a plethora of fun and interesting activities for the entire family, honeymooners, or corporate travellers to enjoy.
Limpopo also boasts a significant historical value in terms of archaeological findings and the remnants of ancient civilisations. Some of the findings have been dated back millions of years. This, together with the high concentration of African cultures still existing within Limpopo, lends it a traditional and mythical air.
The Waterberg is a significant area for various regions. It stretches for 15 000 square kilometres and is a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. The topography was formed by millions of years of erosion by rivers, giving it a uniquely intricate appearance. The caves, rocks and surrounding bushveld have yielded evolutionary findings that are believed to date back to the Stone Age.
The fertile land is used to farm bananas, litchis, papayas, mangoes, pineapples, nuts, tea and coffee. Below the ground is another treasure – the rich supply of mineral deposits like coal, diamonds, copper, emeralds and gold. These resources work well to sustain the economy of this gorgeous South African province.
As with most of southern Africa, the Limpopo region was once inhabited by localised African tribes. Those that lived in this tough environment were known as the Pedi. The Europeans landed on the South African coastline in the 17th Century and, as they grew in numbers and required more land, they moved further north. The Pedi defended themselves and their land, and many soldiers on both the Pedi and the Boer sides lost their lives.
The Christian missionaries soon arrived, determined to educate and convert the indigenous people of Africa. They brought with them many beliefs and customs that have been incorporated into the area in unique combination with the deep-rooted African traditions.
Although Limpopo is situated right on the border of other southern African countries, it remains accessible from all major areas of South Africa via the motorway, the N1. It is relatively close to Johannesburg. Depending on the city within Limpopo, the drive from this commercial capital takes 4 to 6 hours.
There are minibus taxis available in almost every town and city in South Africa. However, these are not recommended unless you are very familiar with the customs and languages spoken here. Rather organise a professional service to provide a formal taxi, or ask your hotelier to do this for you.
The airport in Polokwane, Limpopo, is small. It is called an international airport due to its flights to and from Zimbabwe and Botswana, but it is not equipped for large or numerous flights to other countries. It flies nationally on the South African carrier SA Airlink.
Limpopo's natural beauty entices travellers from all over the world to catch a glimpse of this fascinating province. It's plentiful vegetation means that a host of birds and wildlife have made their home here. This sets Limpopo apart as a prime hunting destination. Ranches also offer tourists and locals the opportunity to participate in controlled hunting initiatives. Nature enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy trips to the Kruger National Park, set partly within the borders of this province.
The Soutpansberg Region lies on the border of Botswana and Zimbabwe and is characterised by stunning vistas. Mountain ranges, the giant salt pan and the plants and animals to which these are home are truly spectacular. The famous Baobab tree is scattered across the horizon in haunting beauty and the Limpopo River is a life source for plants and animals alike. The Soutpansberg is a perfect destination for travellers who are seeking an authentic African experience and is ideal for young and old alike.
The Valley of the Olifants (the Afrikaans word for “elephants”) is situated in the eastern Lowveld and within the Kruger National Park. It is a particularly lush and green section of the famous Drakensberg Mountain Range, and deep valleys are shaded by imposing mountains. The Olifants River winds through the park and is home to a variety of marine life. This valley truly is one of nature's most spectacular offerings and is a ‘must see' for all visitors to the Limpopo area.
The Makapansgat Valley is the site of many fossils, natural wonders and fascinating wildlife. The archaeological findings have, in fact, been dated back to over 3 million years ago, and continue to support theories of this area being the original Cradle of Humankind. The caves in this valley are a National Monument and testify to ancient civilisations and their customs.
Limpopo generally experiences year-round temperateness. Most of the days are warm to hot, and almost always dry. Summer is officially from December to March, but the hot days last for much longer. Summer highs in most areas of the province average about 27 degrees Celsius. However, in the Lowveld, this can soar to about 45 degrees at noon. Afternoon thundershowers are brief and impressive, cooling the land and its residents effectively. Winters are from June to August and remain pleasant and sunny, although mornings and evenings can be quite cold.
Limpopo is a recognised malaria area. Summer is the highest risk period, but anti-malarial prophylaxes are recommended year-round. In addition, sleep under a treated mosquito net, spray clothes, bedding and skin with a good insect repellent, burn citronella candles in and around the tent or room and wear impenetrable clothing that covers all exposed areas of skin (especially the ankles). The most dangerous times in terms of malaria are between December and April and from sunset to sunrise.
Sunscreen is essential in Limpopo, regardless of the time of year that you visit. Sunshine is almost year-round and the damaging effects are dangerous. Use a high-factor cream or spray and wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a sunhat to ensure that your face, neck and any other exposed area is protected.
It is advised that you bring your prescriptions for spectacles and medication so that you can restock at a local pharmacy without having to consult with a doctor.
Ensure that your tetanus shots are up-to-date.
Do not leave your belongings unattended at your accommodation site or at any of the tourist attractions. Do not accept help from strangers, especially if it involves handing over any of your valuables. Consult with your tour operator to learn of any areas that need to be avoided, particularly at night. Do not walk around with large amounts of cash or photographic equipment and never pick up hitchhikers.