Name: Polokwane, place of safety
Map: Google Map
Population: 508 272
Geography: 60 kilometers south of the Tropic of Capricorn. The landscape is mainly grassland interspersed with rocky granite hills, referred to as ‘koppies’ in South African English.
Climate: Tropical climate with winter temperatures 20°- 4° Centigrade and summer temperatures between 28-16° Centigrade.
Key Economic Sectors: Agriculture, mining, manufacturing
Professional Football Clubs: Black Leopards, Dynamos, Winners Park (1st Division)
Stadium: Peter Mokaba Stadium
Place to See
Makapan’s Cave – One of the major tourist attractions in the area is Makapan’s Cave, which is located in Mokopane in Limpopo Province. Visitors should not miss the opportunity to visit the caves where extensive cultural deposits have played a crucial role in furthering our understanding of human evolution and the appearance of modern man. The Cave of Hearths is one of only two Stone Age sites in the world that contain an unbroken sequence of artefacts from the Earlier Stone Age to the Later Stone Age. The Cave of Gwasa, one of the historic caves in Limpopo, was a site of repeated refuge from conflicts, and was later renamed as Makapan’s Cave after the great chief Makapan. Visits to the fascinating Makapan’s Valley must be arranged in advance by contacting the Mogalakwena Bushveld Community Tourism Association.
Meropa Casino and Enterntainment – Meropa Casino and Entertainment World is situated in the Limpopo Province, only five kilometres from Polokwane. The Meropa Casino and Entertainment world has a separate conference centre, which caters for a wide range of events ranging from fashion shows, product launches and conferences and a cinema. The casino is of upmarket design, with modern technology employed throughout.
Jembe Tavern – Made popular during the apartheid regime in the townships, taverns are some of the most popular places in the townships of South Africa. And, when you are in Polokwane, the Jembe Tarven is certainly the place to be. After a long day of working hard or travelling, you need a place to relax and unwind. Jembe Tavern is popular with young and old alike and hosts popular bands, karaoke evenings and comedians for those socialists looking for fun-filled, foot-tapping evenings. Join hands with the locals and spoil yourself!
Ndebele Village – The Ndebele culture is one of the most fascinating in South Africa. And, if you visit Polokwane, this will be an ideal time to make your way to the Ndebele village. Ndebele (isiNdebele) is one of the 11 official languages in South Africa. Ndebele women traditionally adorn themselves with a variety of ornaments, each symbolising their status in society. After marriage dresses became more elaborate. The Ndebele have always been known for their artistic skills. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, it has a cultural significance that serves to reinforce the distinctive Ndebele identity. The skill of the Ndebele has always resided in their ability to combine exterior sources of stimulation with traditional design concepts taken from their ancestors.
Although painting was done freehand, without prior layouts, the art always displayed a linear quality reflective of their environment. Ndebele women were responsible for painting the colourful and intricate patterns on the walls of their houses. This presented the traditionally subordinate wife with an opportunity to express her individuality and self-worth. The Ndebele are further characterised by their intricate beadwork – a time-consuming craft which requires a deft hand and good eyesight.
Lake Funduzi and Thathe Vondo Forest – Locals refer to Lake Funduzi as a place of ‘peace and tranquillity’. And, once you are there, it does not take long before you realise why people from around the area give rave ratings. Lake Funduzi is a magical place that is steeped in Venda mythology and legend. Its condition changes seasonally, but it is always worth the visit from a cultural perspective. From Lake Funduzi you will drive along the very top of the Soutpansberg.
Thathe is an indigenous forest which is sacred to the Venda people. Here look out for forest species such as Chorister Robin-Chat, White-starred Robin, Knysna Turaco, Yellow-streaked Greenbul and Orange Ground-Thrush.