Polokwane might be better known be people under its former name: Pietersburg. In February of 2005 the name was changed to Polokwane, meaning 'place of safety' in the Northern Sotho language. The city is the capital of the Limpopo province, the most Northern province of South Africa. The city has over 500,000 inhabitants, and is one of the fastest growing cities in the southern hemisphere. It will be one of the host cities of the World Cup Football in 2010. Games will be played at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Polokwane is a good starting point for many kinds of Ecotourism. It is en route to the northern part of the Kruger National Park, and the Tzaneen and Magoebaskloof areas. Close to the city you will find the Pieters Game Reserve
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 2010 matches at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, which has a capacity of 46,000.
Polokwane lies on a plateau 1,230 metres above sea level, and therefor has a moderate climate, with temperatures are 11 °C in winter to around 22 °C in summer.
Polokwane International Airport (IATA: PTG, ICAO: FAPP) is located 5 kilometres north of the city, and is upgraded with the World Cup in 2010 approaching. There are daily flights to Johannesburg carried out by South African Airways.
In Polokwane, like most South African cities, public transport is limited. Visitors arriving in Polokwane by plane have the option of hiring a car. Avis, Hertz, Budget and First Car Rental all provide car hire at the Polokwane Airport.
|Igloo Inn Backpackers Accommodation||87 Pietersburg Str Annadale||Hostel||-|
Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).
See also International Telephone Calls
South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.
South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.
There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.
The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Polokwane searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Polokwane and areas nearby.
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