Wide streets, jacaranda and coral trees, colourful parks and sparkling fountains characterise the principal town and vibrant capital of Limpopo. Described as "a bustling development situated in a sea of grassland interrupted by rounded granite kopjes", the city of Polokwane was founded in the gold rush of the 1880s.
Meaning 'place of safety' and known as the 'place of peace', it is the largest metropolitan complex in the north, one of the fastest growing cities in the southern hemisphere and the undisputed geographic, commercial and industrial centre of the Great North.
Polokwane also serves a rich agricultural district. Strategically placed on the Great North Road and halfway between Tshwane and the Zimbabwean border, this attractive city is a perfect gateway city and worthwhile destination per se. It is also a port of call for visitors en route to the Tzaneen and Magoebaskloof areas, as well as the northern part of the Kruger National Park.
The town was established in 1886 after the Voortrekkers arrived here to escape an oppressive regime in the Cape. Their resulting conflict with the locals, who considered the magical region their home and were not always eager to share it, makes for interesting and dramatic historical reading.
The Voortrekker monument and wagon tracks take one back to its founding roots, the Great Trek, whilst a Concentration Camp cemetery is a reminder of the hardships of the Anglo-Boer War.
Equal importance is attached to its art and culture and the city has an extensive and fascinating art collection to go with an abundance of public sculptures, museums and architecture. Apart from attractions within the city itself, a range of fine game reserves, including the outstanding Polokwane Game Reserve, lie virtually on the city’s doorstep.
In addition to its status as a major commercial and agricultural centre, Polokwane is the cultural hub of the region, featuring impressive art exhibitions and elegant historical buildings. A lively city with a good infrastructure and amenities, it offers a number of museums and historical sites presenting the history and cultural heritage of the northern territory.