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Travel Guide Africa South Africa Limpopo

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Introduction

Waterbucks

Waterbucks

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The Limpopo Province is fast becoming South Africa's favourite eco-tourist destination. It takes its name from the great Limpopo River that flows along its northern border and is rich in spectacular scenery, wildlife and a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. It boasts three national parks, three heritage sites and borders with 3 countries, namely Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique. Recently, two transfrontieer parks have been established with our neighboring countries. The province is home to the big five and over 600 bird species.
The province is largely made up of English, Afrikaans, Venda, Northern Sotho and Tsonga people and is home to the Rain Queen, Modjadji.

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Geography

Limpopo Province shares international borders with districts and provinces of three countries: Botswana's Central and Kgatleng districts to the west and north-west respectively, Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces to the north and northeast respectively, and Mozambique's Gaza Province to the east. The province is the link between South Africa and countries further afield in sub-Saharan Africa. On its southern flank from east to west, the province shares borders with Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West. Its border with Gauteng includes that province's Johannesburg-Pretoria axis, the most industrialised metropole on the continent. The province is at the centre of regional, national, and international developing markets.

The province contains much of the Waterberg Biosphere, a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve. The Waterberg Biosphere, a massif of approximately 15,000 km2, is the first region in the northern part of South Africa to be named as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The massif was shaped by hundreds of millions of years of riverine erosion to yield diverse bluff and butte landforms. The Waterberg ecosystem can be characterised as a dry deciduous forest or Bushveld. Within the Waterberg, archaeological finds date to the Stone Age. Nearby are early evolutionary finds related to the origin of humans.

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Regions

The Limpopo Province is divided into 4 tourism regions, each with their own history and character.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Kruger National Park

Ellie

Ellie

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This park is the largest of all of South Africa's game parks with around 19,000 square kilometers to explore. The park is located in the northeast of the country in both the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, at the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Recently the park has become part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace-park consisting of Kruger National Park, Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe) and Limpopo National Park (Mozambique). It is the most visited of all national parks in South Africa and can become very busy during the South African holiday periods. Also, some of the roads are tarred, which makes this park one of the best to visit when you just have a small 2wd vehicle. More about Kruger NP or visit the official Kruger Park website.

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Events and Festivals

World Cup 2010

The big upcoming event on the South African horizon is of course the FIFA World Cup beginning on the 11th of June 2010. One of the most prestigious and popular world sporting events, the World Cup 2010 promises to bring throngs of passionate supporters from around the globe. Held once every four years, it's a football tournament (known as soccer in South Africa) where 32 world nations vie for the famous golden trophy.
Polokwane will be hosting some of the World Cup matches at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, which has a capacity of 46,000.

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Weather

The Limpopo Province enjoys hot yet pleasant summers and dry winters. The weather is characterised by almost year-round sunshine. It can get very hot in summer (October through to March), with temperatures rising to 27 °C and sometimes reaching temperatures in the mid 30 °C's. This is mild compared to the Lowveld where some towns such as Phalaborwa have been known to reach 45 °C. One of the great attractions is the Kruger National Park, where tourists can expect summer temperatures around the 30 °C mark.

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Getting There

By Plane

Hoedspruit has an airport with regular flights to Johannesburg.
Pietersburg / Polokwane International Airport is situated five kilometres from town.

By Train

Shosholoza Meyl has the following train:

  • Johannesburg/Pretoria - Musina via Louis Trichardt (Makhado), 17 hours, economy class daily except Saturday

By Car

The N1 runs from Cape Town, Bloemfontein and the Gauteng to the Limpopo Province and straight through it and on to Harare in Zimbabwe.

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Getting Around

By Car

If you would like to travel around by car, there are numerous car rental companies available from the airports and downtown locations. Just make sure that you have sufficient insurance to cover you if the need arises. Some of them offer the possibility to reduce excess (the amount you pay when involved in an accident) for a daily fee. Car hire companies include Avis, Imperial, CABS, First Car Rental as well as many other international and local ones. Usually, the local ones are cheaper but don't have the same standard as the international ones, which have more branches throughout the country and therefore are able to help you more quickly if needed.

If travelling by car, be sure to plan your routes carefully to insure that there are sufficient places to fill the tank with petrol as some towns are located quite a distance apart with no filling stations in between. It's a good idea to fill up with fuel when you have about half a tank left if possible.

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Contributors

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This is version 11. Last edited at 10:35 on May 13, 16 by Utrecht. 11 articles link to this page.

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