Polokwane is the urban centre of the Limpopo province and the most important city north of Gauteng. Polokwane offers an abundance of adventure activities, animal parks, and sporting venues, and is considered to be the best hunting destination in South Africa.
Previously known as Pietersburg, Polokwane (meaning “Place of Safetyâ€) is a fantastic holiday destination all year round. It lies between Gauteng (300km) and the Zimbabwean border (200km) on the N1 highway, connecting Zimbabwe with Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town. It has a semi-arid climate with summer rainfall. Average temperatures reach around 21 - 22ËšC in January and fall to 11ËšC in July.
With an endless array of accommodation on offer, from self-catering to guest houses, Polokwane suits all vacation budgets. Polokwane International Airport is located just north of the city, and allows easy access with scheduled flights to and from Johannesburg.
There is plenty to see and do in Polokwane. Animal lovers will love the 3,200 hectare Polokwane Game Reserve that is home to 21 species of animals, including the endangered White rhino. Other animal parks include Polokwane Bird, Snake, and Reptile Park (home to over 280 species of birds), The Moletzie Bird Sanctuary (protecting rare birds like the Cape vulture), Cheune Crocodile Farm, and The Ranch Hotel and Conservancy where you can walk with lions.
History lovers will enjoy Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum, High Exton Photographic Museum, Concentration Camp Cemetery, the Irish House Museum, and Eersteling Monument. The Polokwane Cricket Club is one of the oldest in the country, established in 1902.
Meropa Casino and Entertainment World offers exciting entertainment, with a bird park full of colourful birds and butterflies, an insectarium, and snake park. Other draw cards include live cabaret, comedy, and music shows, as well as restaurants, kids’ entertainment, go karting, and a mini golf course.
Adventure activities include hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, quad biking, paintball, water sports, and abseiling. The canopy tour in Magoesbaskloof, between Haenertsburg and Tzaneen, is not to be missed.
Leisure lovers will enjoy shopping trips to Limpopo Mall, Savannah Mall, and Mall of the North. Alternatively, tee off at Polokwane Golf Course, take a family trip to Middestad Centre and Farmyard Trading Post, or visit Polokwane’s Art Museum. Interestingly, the city has more public sculptures in its parks per capita than anywhere else in South Africa. The farmyard market day operates every second and last Saturday of the month, and offers biltong, salami, steaks, organic cheese, preserves, baked breads, and farm chicken.
Day trips into Magoebaskloof, Waterberg Biosphere, and Makapan’s Valley are very popular. Makapan’s Valley is situated just outside of the city and has caves filled with fossils, bones, and artefacts dating back as far as 3 million years!
No matter how you choose to spend your time, a holiday in Polokwane will fit all leisure seekers, adventure lovers, and family-first bucket lists.