Land of Myth and Legend: Easy Limpopo experiences and why you should check them out

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Limpopo is truly a land of myth and legend waiting to be experienced! Come and experience the adventure, the culture and lots of entertainment.

Make Limpopo your next destination.

1. Mapungubwe World Heritage Site

The Mapungubwe 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.

Mapungubwe was a kingdom in northern South Africa 1 000 years ago. The people of Mapungubwe mined gold and traded with other parts of the world – even China. They left many objects that show how they lived and how rich they were, like the golden rhino that was made from pure gold.

Mapungubwe is a World Heritage Site, which means that it is an important place in the history of the world, not only in South Africa, and it must be protected so that people can see it and know what it was for many years to come.

Mapungubwe is also the name of one of South Africa’s highest orders of merit, a prize for people who served South Africa.

SEE: Living Heritage: Inside SA's 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

2. Makapan’s Cave

Makapan Valley World Heritage Site is the 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 hominin in 1948. It is another important archaeological site in Limpopo and people lived there about 1.5 million years ago, and left objects and fossils behind.

It was also the place where a battle between the Boers and the Kgotla was fought in 1854. The Boers won, and they named a town nearby after their hero of the battle, Piet Potgieter. The town was called Potgietersrus and, in 2002, the name was changed to Mokopane. Chief Mokopane was the chief of the Kgotla.

3. Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is one of the most valuable attractions in the province and is home to the Big Five – lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino. Thousands of international tourists and locals visit the park every year.

Almost two-thirds of the Kruger National Park falls within the borders of Limpopo. It’s now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which has been dubbed the world’s greatest animal kingdom as fences have been removed between the Kruger Park and parks in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

In 2002, then Mozambican president Joachim Chissano, then South African president Thabo Mbeki and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe signed an international treaty for the establishment of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park in Xai-Xai, Mozambique. This allowed for the formal proclamation of the park, and also provided a platform for the future development and implementation of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, which includes various land uses around the core protected areas, varying from communal areas to private reserves.

SEE: Incredible Kruger: Unusual battle as bird takes out two snakes

4. Modjadji Cycad Reserve

The cycad forest near Modjadjieskloof, which is protected by Queen Modjadji, the rain queen, and her people, is the largest growth of cycads in the world. At 13m tall, the cycads are also the world’s tallest.

Nylsvley Ramsar Site

Nylsvley, a birder’s paradise, is situated between Modimolle and Mookgophong, and 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. In the rainy summer months, the wetlands and floodplains of Nylsvley attract the highest number of birds in the southern hemisphere.

SEE: PICS: Restoring Gonarezhou National Park


Baobab Trees

Baobab trees are large African trees that are sometimes described as upside-down trees because of the short branches that look like the roots of a tree.

Baobabs grow very slowly, but they can live for thousands of years. Old and large baobabs have hollow trunks, and animals and even people can fit in a baobab trunk.

Some of the baobabs in Limpopo are possibly even more than 3 000 years old, and the biggest baobab in the world can be found in Limpopo.

One of the orders of merit in South Africa is called the Order of the Baobab.

SEE: Wild Limpopo: 10 reason to explore this beautiful gateway to Africa

Zion Christian Church Pilgrimage

Zion City at Moria near Polokwane is the headquarters of the Zion Christian Church, which attracts more than 1 million pilgrims every Easter. The church was initially based in church founder Engenas Lekganyane’s home village of Thabakgone, near Polokwane, and was officially registered as a church in 1942, by which time congregations had additionally been established in Botswana and Zimbabwe.

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