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Polokwane – the Capital of the Limpopo Province

Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa
The Capital of the Limpopo Province, Polokwane was formerly called Pietersburg under the old regime, and it is one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa.

Despite the blandly commercial look of a city that has more photos taken of its Peter Mokaba Soccer Stadium than any other attraction, Polokwane is an eco-tourism and cultural destination, with bird sanctuaries and game parks and reserves nearby. It is also known for the Polokwane Art Gallery, which houses an extensive collection of South African art.

Polokwane is situated in the Capricorn region of the Limpopo Province, named for the Tropic of Capricorn that is aligned with its northern border, and famous for its San Rock Art, archeological sites, rich natural and cultural heritage and sub-tropical afro-montane forests. The region around the city is also rich with the remains of prehistoric and Iron Age settlements, as well as the more recent 1820 Settler and Colonial heritage and battle sites. The most famous, and notably very beautiful, of these areas is the Makapans, or Makapansgat Valley – a forested valley filled with ancient limestone caves and archeological and paleontological sites that is a South African National Monument,  open to the public on guided walking tours. The nearby Magoebaskloof area is also a heavily forested and historical area that attracts hikers, fly-fishermen and adventure seekers. Notable attractions in the Magoebaskloof area include the Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail, the Ebenezer Dam and the Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours. The small town of Haenerstburg situated just before Magoebaskloof from Polokwane, is an attraction in itself – the Haenertsburg Mountain and the Magoebaskloof together called the Land of the Silver Mist.

Getting there: Polokwane has a commercial airport. Driving – from Gauteng, follow the N1 north. It is a 3 to 4 hr drive from Pretoria.