Limpopo

Overview

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Limpopo, South Africa’s northernmost province, shares borders with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, making it the ideal gateway to Africa. Named after the Limpopo River that flows along its northern border, the province is rich in wildlife, spectacular scenery and a wealth of historical and cultural treasures.

The province is linked to the Maputo Development Corridor through the Phalaborwa SDI, which is a network of rail and road corridors connecting to the major seaports, opening up Limpopo for trade and investment. This is complemented by the presence of smaller airports in centres such as Phalaborwa and Musina, as well as the Gateway International Airport in Polokwane, the capital city, which lies strategically in the centre of the province.

The Great North Road, running through the centre of the province, strings together a series of interesting towns such as Bela-Bela, with its popular mineral spa; Modimolle with its beautiful Waterberg mountain range; Mokopane; Polokwane; Makhado at the foot of the Soutpansberg mountain range; and Musina, with its thick-set baobab trees. The crossing into Zimbabwe is at Beit Bridge.

Phalaborwa and Thabazimbi are Limpopo’s major mining centres, while the town of Tzaneen in the picturesque Magoebaskloof is known for its tea plantations, forestry products and tropical fruits.

Census 2011 statistics indicate that the province’s 5,5 million people live on about 123 910 km2 of land. The majority speak Sesotho sa Leboa, followed by Tshivenda and Xitsonga.

This province is in the Savanna Biome, an area of mixed grassland and trees, which is generally known as bushveld. The province’s natural resources include more than 50 provincial nature reserves, as well as several private game reserves. The Largest section of the Kruger National Park is situated along the eastern boundary of Limpopo with Mozambique.

Several museums and national monuments bear testimony to the ancient people and fearless pioneers who braved the unknown. Living museums include:

The Bakone Malapa Museum near Polokwane, where Bapedi tribespeople practise age-old skills for the benefit of visitors

The Tsonga Open-Air Museum near Tzaneen

Mapungubwe (“Place of The Jackal”) Hill, some 75 km from Musina, a world heritage site. It served as a natural fortress for its inhabitants from about S950 to 1200 AD.

Statistics

 

Capital Polokwane
Principal languages Sesotho sa Leboa 52,9%
Xitsonga 17,0%
Tshivenda 16,7%
Population 5 518 000
Share of total population 10,4%
Area (km2) 125 754
Percentage of total area 10,3%

Info Box

Info
South Africa’s northernmost province shares borders with Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, making it the ideal gateway to Africa. Steeped in history, Limpopo has a rich cultural heritage, and at many archaeological sites the mysteries of the past and ancient peoples are still being unearthed.

 

Geography

History

Cities and Towns

Fauna and Flora

Places to See