Limpopo, is one of the nine provinces and the so-called land of myths and legends that bordesr Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique in the North. It’s not very touristy yet, located in the Far North of South Africa. Perhaps it’s not the place which first comes to mind when thinking about South Africa, but this is exactly where our journey leads us.
Our starting point is the small airport at Polokwane – Limpopo’s capital which means “place of safety”. The further North we go the more hilly and green it gets around us. Baobab trees with their healing power loom into the sky. Here you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of the South African cities and loose yourself in the silence and vastness of the bush land. We discover a nature of rugged wilderness with unexpected valleys, subtropical forests, steep canyons and mile long mango, lychee and avocado plantations.
This region forms the backdrop of many talented and creative tribes, especially the Venda, Tsonga, Zulu and Tsonga people. Their rich cultural heritage, mythical background and spiritual beliefs are connected to the surrounding nature. Many of these places carry a spiritual meaning, a place where people can connect with their ancestors. One of the holy places is lake Fundudzi – according to legend inhabited by a goddess of fertility in the form of a python. These myths are handed down from generation to generation and get clearly visible in the artistic expression and unique interpretations of their art.
The artists and craftsmen of the region are known for their wood carvings, their unique drums and textiles. In the townships we experience an authentic and modern everyday life and the hospitality and ‘joie de vivre’ of its proud inhabitants. On a weekly market we bravely taste Mopane worms and termites and learn from a local 91-year-old healer about the miraculous powers of roots and herbs. We visit a storyteller and listen to the pulsating rhythms of homemade instruments.
This part of the country is also famous for its abundant wildlife. A large part of the Kruger National Park is located in this province, but Mapungubwe National Park is just as worth seeing. It was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and is the richest archaeological site of Africa. We take an early morning walk through the bush, criss cross parched riverbeds and watch elephants and frolicking monkeys from afar. If they’re not hiding from the african sun, you can also see the Big 4 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant), take a sunset drive and end your day with a Bush Braai (BBQ African) and the swirling sounds of the South African bushland.
Thanks to South African Tourism for the invitation to this special and pristine region. If you want to visit South Africa yourself, you can send a free postcard to a friend and win a trip to South Africa here.