Facts Overview

Below you can find some facts about the Limpopo Province, which include history, culture, fauna & flora, infrastructure as well as some fun facts.

  1. Marula fruit

    The skin of the Marula fruit can be boiled to make a drink or burnt to be used as a substitute for coffee.

  2. Mampoer

    In South Africa moonshine made from fruit (mostly peaches or marulas) is known as mampoer (named after the Pedi chief Mampuru). The equivalent product made from grapes is called witblits.

    Witblits has a long history in the Cape Province (over 200 years) and many producers take great pride in their product. Most witblits is therefore of a very high quality compared to typical moonshine world-wide. Even though it is illegal to distill one's own alcohol in South Africa, it is widely available from liquor stores and at farmers' markets.

    Skokiaan is a low-grade (often dangerous), fermented brew of variable composition widely consumed amongst poorer people in southern Africa. Although it is often referred to casually as a form of 'moonshine', this is a misnomer, because it is not a distilled product.

    Source: www.wikipedia.org

  3. Limpopo Province, South Africa's Food Basket

    Limpopo Province is the Bread and Fruit Basket of South Africa, producing up to 60% of all fruit, vegetables, maize meal, wheat and cotton.

    Limpopo is also one of South Africa's richest agricultural areas. More than 45% of the R2-billion annual turnover of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market comes from Limpopo.

    The Province is endowed with abundant agricultural resources and it is one of the country's prime agricultural regions noted for the production of livestock, fruits and vegetables, cereals and tea. The province produces about 75% of South Africa's mangoes, 65% of its papayas, 36% of its tea, 25% of its citrus, bananas, and litchis, 60% of its avocados, 60% of its tomatoes, 285.000 tons of potatoes, and 35% of its oranges.

    One of the major players is ZZ2 (Pty) Ltd, which is the largest privately owned producer of tomatoes in the world and supplies 40% of South Africa’s tomatoes.

    Three distinct climatic regions can be identified in the province. These are the: 

    • Lowveld (arid and semi-arid) regions.
    • Middle veldt, highveld, semi-arid region. 
    • Escarpment region having sub-humid climate with rainfall in excess of 700 mm per annum.

    More info: Limpopo Department of Agriculture

  4. Limpopo River

    The Limpopo River rises in the interior of Africa, and flows generally eastwards towards the Indian Ocean. It is around 1.600 km long (or 1.770 km according to another source).

    The Limpopo is the second largest river in Africa which drains to the east after the Zambezi River. It flows in a great arc, first zig-zagging north-east and north, then turning east and finally south-east. At this point it serves as a border for about 640 km, separating South Africa on the south-east bank from Botswana in the north-west and Zimbabwe on the north.

    The main tributary is the Olifants/Letaba river (Elephant River). The port town of Xai-Xai (Mozambique) is on the river near the mouth. Below the Olifants, the river is permanently navigable to the sea, though a sandbar prevents access to large ships, except at high tide.

  5. Mining Industry

    Major international mining operations contribute to 20% of Limpopo's economy, making mining the primary driver of economic activity after government services. Substantial mineral reserves include platinum group metals, diamonds, coal, chrome, iron ore and copper. Limpopo's diverse mining activities include diamonds, iron ore, coal, copper and phosphates.

    The world's largest reserves of platinum group metals are to be found in the centre of the province, which also has rich deposits of chrome, vanadium, nickel and titanium. Large coal reserves occur in most of the western part of the province and are associated with significant quantities of natural gas or coal bed methane.

    A joint South African and US feasibility study is being conducted to assess the potential of these reserves. The province is also the world's largest producer of antimony, a strategic element used in alloys and medicine. There is also a host of smaller operations extracting a range of minerals including gold, emeralds, mica, scheelite, black granite, potassium and silica. The potential of a new ilmenite, magnetite and vanadium mine is being assessed.

    Source: www.southafrica.net

  6. The Olifant's Circle Route

    Big game enthusiasts will want to take this route. From Polokwane, the circuit heads eastwards through Chueniespoort in the Strydpoortberg Mountains and Sekhukhuneland.

    Big game enthusiasts will want to take this route. From Polokwane, the circuit heads eastwards through Chueniespoort in the Strydpoortberg Mountains and Sekhukhuneland. En route, travellers have various overnight options, including the Sekhukhuni Camp that forms part of the Ivory Route, built in Sepedi style, honouring the rebellious 19th century African king, who refused to bow to Boer dominance.

    En route to Big Five country, travellers come to the Drakensberg Escarpment, with its sheer rock walls, pockets of indigenous forest, grass-covered slopes and vast plantations. It abounds with streams, waterfalls, crystal-clear ponds and potholes and embraces the world’s third largest canyon.

    This is the world of the adventurous hikers and cliff climbers – it is one of the last remaining unspoilt regions of South Africa. From the top of the Escarpment, the route descends sharply into the Lowveld along the banks of the mighty Olifants River.

    Amongst some of the places to visit is one of the premier provincial nature reserves: the 23.000 hectare Manyeleti Game Reserve, which has similarities with the Kruger National Park. Walking safaris are organised, elephant back rides and tracking, and the traditional game viewing drives.

    For accommodation purposes, the traveller has various options ranging from 5-star private game lodges (which abound in the Hoedspruit area), to public rest camps and tented safari camps. Travellers can also set off for the Kruger National Park via the Orpen Gate for more game spotting before leaving the area via Hoedspruit airport. Alternatively, the traveller can opt to travel through the KNP to exit at Phalaborwa Gate whereupon the route runs westward to attractions such as Letaba Ranch.

    Here the tourist can view hippos and crocodiles on the banks of the mighty Letaba River. Award winning accommodation is in abundance in the Phalaborwa area including the Ivory Route camp built on tribal land in Shangaan style near the Baleni Salt Pan, close to the Little Letaba River. Here there’s the chance to learn about Shangaan culture as well as the ecology of saltpans.

    The homeward journey could be by flight from Phalaborwa airport to Johannesburg or by driving through the town of Modjadjikloof to visit the Modjadji Cycad Reserve. The Modjadji cycad, which grows up to 13m, has been protected by several generations of rain queens.

  7. Government

    South Africa is the only nation in the world with three capital cities ...

    Cape Town, the oldest of the three, is the legislative capital. Pretoria is the administrative/executive capital. Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. In Limpopo, the capital city of the province is Polokwane, previously known as Pietersburg.

  8. Limpopo, Gateway to Africa

    Limpopo is the gateway to the rest of Africa. It is favourably situated for economic co-operation with other parts of southern Africa as it shares borders with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

  9. Rhinoceros

    The horns of a Rhinoceros are made of keratin, the same type of protein which comprises hair.

  10. Zion City Moria

    Zion City at Moria near Polokwane is the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church, which attracts more than a million pilgrims every Easter.

    The church was initially based in Lekganyane's home village of Thabakgone, Boyne near Polokwane in South Africa's Limpopo Province, and was officially registered as a church in 1942, by which time congregations had additionally been established in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

    History/Origin: The ZCC was formed by Engenas Lekganyane, a former member of the Free Church of Scotland, Apostolic Faith Mission and Zion Apostolic Church. ZCC members trace the founding of the church to a revelation which Lekganyane is said to have received from God in 1910.

    Every year over 5 million people travel to Zion City Moria at Easter, in early September and over Christmas for religious celebrations.

    Members believe that the religious and administrative leader of the church (or bishop) is a mediator between the congregation and God, and that, like Christ, he can perform supernatural acts, e.g. the use of different mechanisms for faith-healing.

    These include the laying-on of hands; the use of holy water; drinking of blessed tea and coffee; bloodletting with needles (now obsolete); the wearing of blessed cords or cloth and the burning of blessed papers called mogau, as well as faith-healing.

    For more details about the ZCC (Zion Christian Church), please can contact the following numbers:

    Tel: 015 267 1124/5

    Fax: 015 267 1124/5

  11. Limpopo's Mineral Resources

    Limpopo's rich mineral deposits include platinum group metals, iron ore, chromium high- and middle-grade coking coal, diamonds, antimony, phosphate and copper, as well as mineral reserves such as gold, emeralds, scheelite, magnetite, vermiculite, silicon and mica.

    Major international mining operations contribute to 20% of Limpopo's economy, making mining the primary driver of economic activity after government services.

    The world's largest reserves of platinum group metals are to be found in the centre of the province, which also has rich deposits of chrome, vanadium, nickel and titanium. Large coal reserves occur in most of the western part of the province and are associated with significant quantities of natural gas or coal bed methane.

    A joint South African and US feasibility study is being conducted to assess the potential of these reserves. The province is also the world's largest producer of antimony, a strategic element used in alloys and medicine. There is also a host of smaller operations extracting a range of minerals including gold, emeralds, mica, scheelite, black granite, potassium and silica. The potential of a new ilmenite, magnetite and vanadium mine is being assessed.

    Source: www.southafrica.net

  12. Limpopo figures

    Limpopo is the 5th largest province in South Africa (10.2%), with a population of approx. 5.6 million (2013 estimate). 

    • Capital: Polokwane
    • Languages: 52.9% Northern Sotho, 17.0% Xitsonga, 16.7% Tshivenda
    • Population: 5.518.000 (2013)
    • Share of SA population: 10.4%
    • Area: 125.754 km²
    • Population density: 43 people per km²

    Sources: Wikipedia and SouthAfrica.info

     

  13. Official Languages

    There are 11 official languages in South Africa ...

    The languages are as follows: Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu.

    The languages spoken in the Limpopo are Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Tsonga, and Venda.

  14. Mealie Pap

    Pap, a traditional porridge made from mielie-meal (ground maize or other grain), is a staple food of the African inhabitants of South Africa (the Afrikaans word "pap" is taken from Dutch and simply means "porridge" or "gruel").

    Many traditional South African dishes include pap, such as smooth maize meal porridge (also called slap pap), and crumbly "phutu" (pronounced "poo-too") pap.

    Since mielie-meal is inexpensive, poor people can afford to combine it with vegetables and be sure of one good meal a day. It can be served hot or, after it has cooled, it can be fried, giving it a different texture.

    Source: Wikipedia

  15. Mapungubwe World Heritage Site

    The Mapangubwe World Heritage Site, one of the best-known Iron-Age sites in South Africa, harbours evidence of the first signs of a class distinctive society in the country.

  16. Water Birds

    Nylsvlei, between Modimolle and Mookgophong, is the largest and best conserved flood plain in South Africa. Eighty-seven of the 94 water bird species known to breed in Southern Africa can be found on this flood plain.

  17. Modjadji Cycad

    The cycad forest near Modjadjikloof, protected by Queen Modjadji, the Rain Queen and her people, is the largest growth of cycads in the world. At 13 metres, the cycads are also the world's tallest.

  18. Limpopo Parks

    Limpopo hosts more than 3.6 million hectares of national parks, nature reserves and game farms, making up 70% of South Africa's protected land.

  19. Rural Communities

    Limpopo has the largest areas inhabited by rural communties who are still living as they used to for centuries.

  20. Peter Mokaba

    Peter Mokaba (7 January 1959  - 9 June 2002) was Former President of the ANC Youth League, Member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), and Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the government of former President Nelson Mandela (1994 - June 1999).

    The Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) stadium for the Soccer World Cup 2010 was named after him.

    The student uprisings of 1976 drew new battle lines in the struggle against apartheid. Although the ANC Youth League produced some of the country's most militant leaders in the 1950s, the mass of the youth were not directly involved in national politics before 1976. Since then youth militancy has been a central factor again and again.

    Peter Mokaba, born in Mankweng near Pietersburg on 7 January 1959, was an activist who clearly expressed the militancy of the '76 generation. As a student at Hwiti High School in Mankweng, Mokaba became a leader of the school boycotts in the north. He slept in the mountains to evade arrest until he was captured in November 1977. He was charged with public violence but acquitted after all 28 state witnesses refused to give evidence against him. He was then 19.

    The authorities banned him from attending school so he completed matric on his own in 1978, working at a variety of jobs. In 1979 he taught maths and science at Makgoka High School in Moria City. In 1980 he registered at the University of the North.

    He was arrested in 1982 and tried for membership of the ANC, possession of weapons, undergoing military training in Angola and Mozambique, and recruiting for the ANC. Sentenced to six years, Mokaba was released from Robben Island one year later when the Appeal Court set aside his conviction. However, he was immediately rearrested on the same charges and tried in Pietersburg. The court sentenced him to three years suspended for five years.

    During the apartheid years, more than a dozen attempts were made to kill Mokaba. Shots were fired at him, his home was fire-bombed, and a would-be assassin once confessed he had been ordered by security police to kill him.

    Mokaba was re-elected to the SAYCO (South African Youth Congress) presidency in March 1990, and in July 1991 he was elected to the NEC of the ANC. After the unbanning of the ANC, SAYCO was dissolved. Mokaba was elected national chairperson of the Provisional National Youth Committee (PNYC), a caretaker structure overseeing the establishing of the ANCYL.

    In December 1991 at the 17th national conference, he was elected ANCYL president. He bowed out of the ANCYL at its national congress at Soweto's Vista University in January 14-18.

    Elected as a Member of Parliament in April 1994 and again in June 1999, Mokaba served as Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the government of former President Nelson Mandela.

    Sources: ANC, wikipedia

  21. Mopane Worm

    Gonimbrasia belina is a species of moth found in much of southern Africa, whose large edible caterpillar, the mopani or mopane worm, is an important source of protein for millions of Southern Africans.

    Like most caterpillars, the mopane worm's lifecycle starts when it hatches in the summer, after which it proceeds to eat the foliage in its immediate vicinity. As the larva grows, it moults 4 times in its 5 larval stages, after which the mopane worm is considered its most desirable for harvesting.

    Provided that the larva has not been harvested after its fourth moult, it burrows underground to pupate, the stage at which it undergoes complete transformation to become the adult moth. This stage happens over winter, for a duration of 6 to 7 months, whereafter it emerges at the beginning of summer (November or December). The adult moths live only for three to four days, during which time they seek to mate and lay their eggs. (www.wikipedia.org)

  22. Limpopo from A to Z

    Limpopo is South Africa's most wild and untamed province. Go Limpopo, they say, go wild!

    • A is for its African-ness. Limpopo is South Africa’s most wild and untamed province. Go Limpopo, they say, go wild!
    • B is for the bushveld. Beyond the escarpment, the hot lazy lowveld stretches out towards Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The towns of Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit are the region’s friendly centres.
    • C is for ceramics. Limpopo’s rural women are famed for their pottery and ceramics and have founded an African Pottery Network.
    • D is for design. Limpopo is well known for its arts, crafts, both traditional and contemporary. Especially in Venda, a sub-tropical region famed for its culture, mythology, wood carvers, potters and sculptors.
    • E is for Eugene Marais. Marais was the author of Soul of the Ape who lived in the Waterberg area in the early part of last century and became the first man to study primates in the wild. Poet, philosopher, doctor, lawyer and morphine addict, Marais lived alongside a troop of 300 chacmas.
    • F is for flowers. Azaleas, clivias, agapanthus, cherry blossoms, wild flowers. Limpopo has a wonderful floral diversity. In spring the mountainsides light up with wild flowers and the village of Haenertsburg celebrates with a spring fair.
    • G is for Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. It has been dubbed the world’s greatest animal kingdom.The GLTP has seen fences going down between the Kruger Park and parks in Mozambique and Zimbabwe to create the world’s largest transfrontier park.
    • H is for Human Origins. Visit Makapans Valley World Heritage Site, sister to the Cradle of Humankind. This incredible cave and archaeological site is where Raymond Dart found the fossil remains of Australopithecus Africanus, a 3.5 million year-old apeman in 1948.
    • I is for Ivory Route. This is a self-drive route through the wild heart of the province. A series of rustic and remote camps follow in the footsteps of historical characters. A great one for off-road adventurers!
    • J is for Jumbos. Limpopo was the first province to offer elephant-back safaris. Visit Camp Jabulani at Kapama and meet Jabulani, the elephant that inspired it all.
    • K is for Kruger National Park. Did you know almost two-thirds of the Kruger National Park falls within the border of Limpopo?
    • L is for Limpopo River. This is the legendary and ancient river that cuts its course through the northern borders of our lovely province.
    • M is for Magoebaskloof. The hamlet of Haenertsburg is at the heart of the Magoebaskloof mountains. Hike in cool forests, go trout fishing in silver lakes, explore the misty mountains.
    • N is for Nylsvley. In the rainy summer months, the wetlands and floodplains of Nylsvley attract the highest number of birds in the southern hemisphere. A birder's paradise.
    • O is for the Olifants River. This mighty river is at the centre of the Valley of Olifants, a region famed for its scenic beauty, dramatic mountains and rich culture.
    • P is for Polokwane. The name means “place of peace” and the capital city of Limpopo province is fast-growing and friendly. Polokwane is one of the host cities for the Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup.
    • Q is for Queen Modjadji. At Modjadji village near Tzaneen you can visit the ancient homestead of the Rain Queen and see a slope of rare cycads that dates back to the time of the dinosaur.
    • R is for romance. No shortage of this in Limpopo. The region offers weddings in spectacular settings and honeymoon opportunities aplenty!
    • S is for the Soutpansberg. South Africa’s northern-most mountain range rises from the bush in the east, near the tiny town of Alldays. It stretches east becoming lush and sub-tropical.
    • T is for tourists. Limpopo welcomes all tourists in true African style and hospitality!
    • U is Upside Down Trees. Much loved symbol of Limpopo is the upside down tree or baobab tree, many of which are over a thousand years old and play an essential part in the history of the province.
    • V is for Venda. Home of the Venda Bender – a self-drive route through the artistic heart of the province, visiting artists, craftspeople, wood carvers, potters and sangomas.
    • W is for the Waterberg. North-east of Pretoria, this region is one of South Africa’s most important conservation and wildlife regions.
    • X is for X factor, the secret ingredient that makes our province so special.
    • Y is for Yes. A resounding thumbs up to the tourists, travellers and adventurers who are visiting Limpopo province.
    • Z is for Zen. The province of Limpopo invites you to explore its Zen, to experience its rhythms and beauty, to share in its soul.
  23. The Shangaan - Tsonga

    The Tsonga are a diverse people, generally including the Shangaan, Thonga, Tonga, and several smaller ethnic groups.

    Historical Background

    The first Tsonga-speakers to enter the former Transvaal probably did so during the 18th century. They were essentially traders who followed rivers inland, where they bartered cloth and beads for ivory, copper and salt.

    The Shangaan tribe came into being when King Shaka of the Zulu, sent Soshangane (Manukosi) to conquer the Tsonga people in the area of present-day southern Mozambique, during the Mfecane upheaval of the 19th century.

    Soshangane found a fertile place inhabited by scattered communities of peace-loving people, and he decided to make it his home rather than return to Shaka.

    Social and Cultural Life

    Traditionally, the Tsonga lived mainly by fishing for subsistence. A few goats and chickens were raised, and crop cultivation was important. Their tsetse fly-infested coastal lowland habitat made cattle-raising an uncommon practice.

    Belief System

    Whilst generally in African culture, and specifically in Shangaan-Tsonga culture, a Supreme Being is acknowledged, far more relevant are the powers of ancestors who are believed to have considerable effects on the lives of their descendants. The ancestors appear mainly in dreams, but sometimes manifest themselves as spirits.

    Some spirits or ancestors are believed to live in certain sacred places where ancient chiefs have been buried. Each clan has several of these burial grounds. The ancestors are propitiated by prayers and offerings, which range from beer to animal sacrifices.

    By the 18th century, most Tsonga were organised into several small and independent chiefdoms in which inheritance by brothers, rather than sons, was a defining feature of the social system, a practice common in many Central African societies but rare among other South African groups

    To view whole article click here: (Source: www.krugerpark.co.za)

  24. The Ndebele

    Although the origins of the Ndebele are shrouded in mystery, they have been identified as one of the Nguni people.

    The Nguni people represent nearly two thirds of South Africa's African population and can be divided into 4 distinct groups:

    • Central Nguni (Zulu-speaking)
    • Southern Nguni (Xhosa-speaking)
    • Swazi (from Swaziland and adjacent areas)
    • Ndebele (of Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga)
  25. Shashe River

    Shashe River is situated at the northern-most point of South Africa, in Limpopo, where the combined borders of SA, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet.

    Visit the confluence of the Shasha River, which separates Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. This river joins forces with the majestic Limpopo River, the second largest River on the African Continent.

  26. African Elephants

    Did you know that elephant is the only animal that can bend all its legs in the same direction?

  27. The Pedi

    The Pedi's are Bantu-speaking people inhabiting Limpopo province, South Africa, and constitute the major group of the Northern Sotho ethnolinguistic cluster of peoples. These people numbered about 3.700.000 in the late 20th century. Their traditional territory, known as Bopedi, is located between the Olifants and Steelpoort rivers.

  28. Limpopo Districts and Municipalities

    Limpopo Province is divided into five municipal districts, subdivided in 26 local municipalities

    Limpopo Province shares international borders with districts and provinces of three countries: Botswana's Central and Kgatleng districts to the west and north-west respectively, Zimbabwe's Matabeleland South and Masvingo provinces to the north and northeast respectively, and Mozambique's Gaza Province to the east.

    The province is the link between South Africa and countries further afield in sub-Saharan Africa. On its southern flank from east to west, the province shares borders with Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and North West. The province has excellent road, rail, and air links.

    The N1 route from Johannesburg, which extends the length of the province, is the busiest overland route in Africa in terms of cross-border trade in raw materials and beneficiated goods.

    Source: wikipedia.org

  29. Africa's Big Five

    The term "Big Five" originated from the hunting jargon for the most dangerous and sought-after trophy animals. The Big Five occur in many of the game and nature reserves in Limpopo.