Limpopo Province

The great, grey-green, greasy waterway, after which this most northerly of South African provinces is named, curls 1,600km in a wide arc around the top of the Drakensberg, separating South Africa from neighbouring Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

The fact is, in thousands of dusty miles, I never actually made it to the river's banks to see how greasy the water really was. It's an enormous journey generally only made by those looking to cross the border. But I did see pretty much everywhere else. Limpopo is an area, which, for the visitor, roughly breaks down into four zones.

The Waterberg, between Thabazimbi and Vaalwater, sits plum in the middle of the region. Its well-watered and lumpy peaks conceal some of the best-kept private reserves in the country, less plagued by both mosquitoes and tourists than their Kruger contemporaries.

Push east from there and you reach Tzaneen, a town surrounded by unexpectedly lush forest and fruit farms and well kitted-out for walkers and adrenalin junkies. To the south lies Hoedspruit, the heart of South Africa's wildlife industry.

Head north though to Louis Trichardt (or Makhado as it is now known) and you'll be rewarded with off-the-beaten-track adventure in the midst of the Venda culture and the fabulous Soutpansberg range.

Limpopo has enough variety to warrant a substantial trip to just this one province. One of my favourite regions of the country.

Limpopo Province Accommodation

Listed by town/area where applicable (click to auto-scroll):
Balule Game Reserve nr Hoedspruit :: nr Hoedspruit ::

Balule Game Reserve nr Hoedspruit

Toro Yaka

Toro Yaka

Balule Game Reserve nr Hoedspruit

2018: R2,100 per person sharing per night (R2,500 single supplement); R400 pp per safari activity. 2019: R2,500 per person sharing per night (R3,500 single supplement). Safari activities R500 per person. 2019 all-inclusive rates: R3,500 per person sharing per night (R4,500 single supplement).

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nr Hoedspruit

Masodini Game Lodge

Masodini Game Lodge

nr Hoedspruit

From R1,400 pp sharing. Game drives charged separately, R500 pp per 3-hour drive.

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