24 Hours in Limpopo

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Wildlife

Limpopo, South Africa’s northern province and named after the Limpopo river that boarders, has been dubbed Africa’s Eden. It is rich with wildlife and is home to the Kruger National Park. The park was first protected by the South African Republic in 1898 and became the first national park in South Africa in 1926.It covers 19,485 square kilometres, and visitors have the opportunity to view the Big Five – rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. While you can self-drive through the park, booking a guided tour is likely to increase your chances of catching a glimpse of the more elusive inhabitants. But the Kruger isn’t the only place to experience the province’s wildlife. Kololo Nature Reserve, in the Waterberg, provides a Big Five family experience.

Adventure

Limpopo has some fantastic opportunities for adventure seekers. The Manyeleti Wilderness Trail is a three-day walking safari in the Manyeleti Game Reserve. Each day is an average walk of 12 kilometres, during which all you carry is a backpack. Food is provided and you spend each night at a safari camp. The 4,000 hectare game farm Diepdrift, just outside Bela-Bela, offers a series of hiking trails designed for all fitness levels. Petrol-heads can enjoy the 40-kilometre Serendipity Eco Trail in the Tierkloof Game Farm, a collection of three 4×4 trails that can be linked together or enjoyed separately. When linked, the trail takes about four to five hours to complete and presents some challenging steep slopes with rocky terrain, as well as muddy areas and river crossings. There’s also facilities for motorbikes and quad bikes and hiking and cycling trails. The two-day Stamvrug Hiking Trail, in the Bateleur Nature Reserve, includes an overnight stop at the Stamvrug hut. There are alsoVarious other day trails are available to choose from should you prefer, allowing you to choose a route suitable to your fitness level and time available.

Museums

The Polokwane Art Musuem offers a modern take on colonialism, with many exhibitions of Nelson Mandela and interesting displays on women and art in South Africa. The Hugh Exton Photographic Museum is housed in an 1890 Dutch reformed church building in Polokwane. Visitors can browse through over 23,000 negatives and original photographs taken by Hugh Exton who lived to the age of 91. The museum photos offer a unique travel opportunity in Polokwane’s history between 1892 and 1945. Masorini Village Museum, just inside the Phalaborwa gate of the Kruger National Park, is the only museum based in a restored village dating back to the Stone Age. Restoration began in 1973, and now offers fascinating insight into a Stone Age hunter-gathering society, long before the arrival of Europeans to South Africa.You can also visit the Modjadji Village to indulge in folk stories about the Rain Queen, who is preserved in a small museum at the entrance to the Modjadji Nature Reserve. The reserve has 12,000 mature cycads that have thrived in the Limpopo climate to become one of the biggest cycad forest in the world. The Arend Dieperink Museum in Mokopane is housed in a 1917 stone building that originally served as the Old Klip School. It holds a collection of cultural history, made up largely of Sotho and Voortrekker artefacts. Agricultural implements feature strongly in its displays, and there’s a replica of a bosveldhuis, the type of house in which white farmers resided.

Shopping

L’abri Farm Shop and Tea Garden is a quaint farm style shop a little way from Bela Bela that carries a wide range of homemade treats like preserves, jams, cookies, rusks and sweets as well as handmade local arts and crafts.There are vegetable and herb gardens were you can pick your own completely natural produce. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere while enjoying homemade ginger beer, a good meal and a slice of home-made cake under a shady tree. The Mall of the North is the giant of Polokwane and is situated on the outskirts of the city, covering 27 hectares. It offers the biggest and choice of retail goods, services, shopping and entertainment in the province. With over 180 retail outlets and enough parking for 4,500 cars. Get to the Farmers Trading Post market day which happens from 09h00am to 15h00 on the last Saturday of the month. The 20-stall market offers a wide variety of goods, from clothes, jewellery, beading to antiques arts and crafts. The restaurant is open all day with specials available on the menu.

Meropa Casino

Meropa Casino and Entertainment in Polokwane is a Moroccan-style fiesta of fun .Situated in the heart of the Limpopo province, the casino is a one-stop entertainment destination. There are lots of activities to choose from, such as mini golf, go karting and a cultural village, which offers a glimpse of the day-to-day culture of the Limpopo people. There is also a show of traditional Xitsonga and Sepedi dancers. For a more laid back environment, there is Wild Things Café situated in the casino’s bird and reptile park. The casino also hosts the Limpopo Kofifi Dance party that brings to life the old-school fashion, dance and music. Jembe Tavern, located inside the casino, serves local cuisine and live entertainment. Harvest Grill and Wine serves steak and flame-grilled dishes for meat lovers.