Lush and verdant, the sunshine valley of Limpopo and its surrounds feels like nowhere else in South Africa. Here are five reasons why you should travel there:
1. Kruger National Park
One of South Africa’s most famous attractions, the Kruger National Park is just a stone’s throw from the town of Phalaborwa in Limpopo. Travellers itching for an authentic African bush experience will be spoilt for choice. With everything from star gazing evenings and wilderness hiking trails to river safaris on the Olifants River followed by a traditional South African braai on the riverbank, it doesn’t get much better than this!
2. Outdoor activities
If you’re a lover of the great outdoors then Limpopo has plenty to offer. Fly fishermen (and women) looking to hook themselves a bass should visit the Middel-Letaba Dam which was completed in 1984, while more lazy spectators can relax and enjoy the views on a boat ride on the dam.
3. Local fresh produce
It’s hard not to notice the abundance Mopane and Amarula trees, so much so that the district is even named the Mopane District. The marula fruit from the famous Amarula trees is harvested and turned into the delicious Amarula liqueur. What’s a visit to the area without a trip to the Amarula Lapa in Phalaborwa, where visitors over the age of 18 can enjoy a tasting and educational tour or browse through the curio shop. There are also wonderful fruits such a rosy red tomatoes and juicy mangoes to be devoured by the truckload and macadamia nuts can be bought at bargain!
4. Arts and crafts
What’s a road tripping holiday without a bit of splurging? Check out local jewellery, pottery and crafts along the route, which are influenced by the tradition and culture of the area, evident in their pottery and beadwork. Take a little piece of the area’s wonderful cultural heritage home with you by supporting the local crafters in the area. Not only will you walk away with something unique, but you will also be supporting local enterprises and sustainable travel! For more information on where to purchase some of these items stop at the Tourism Information Centre as you approach Giyani from the R81.
5. Local Shangaan culture and heritage
The Masorini heritage site close to the Phalaborwa gate was once inhabited by a group of the ‘Ba-Phalaborwa’ people. These people made a living by manufacturing and selling iron artefacts during the Iron Age. Most of the reason for all this mining is because about 2000 million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions left an astounding geological feature known as the ‘Big Hole’ in Phalaborwa. It’s a must-see while you’re in the area as it’s even visible from space!
South African NGO, Open Africa’s Rixile Culture to Kruger Route will take you through all of these attractions and more. The Rixile Culture to Kruger Route was recently adopted by money transfer company, Western Union.
Visit www.openafrica.org or www.westernunion.co.za for more information