Limpopo Province was formerly known as the Northern Province, simply because it is situated at the northernmost extremity of the country, bordering Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. A large section of the Kruger National Park lies in Limpopo Province. The capital city of Polokwane lies at the centre of the province.
The northern section of the province is generally more arid and has fewer visitors than the south. However, the northern section still offers game viewing. The key towns in the area are Phalaborwa, which is home to some fascinating prehistoric discoveries, and Hoedspruit, where one finds the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and the Cheetah Project. To the west of the park lies the Letaba area, a fertile agricultural zone with excellent walking, riding and bird-watching in the Magoeboeskloof Mountains. Tea is also grown here. North of Letaba, close to the Zimbabwe border, lie Gazankulu and Venda, which are traditional rural communities who produce arts and crafts. South African artist Jackson Hlungwane, who has exhibited locally and internationally, is based here, as is Mojaji, the Rain Queen, who is rumoured to have been Rider Haggard’s inspiration for She. One also finds the Mojaji Forest here, which is actually the world’s largest plantation of cycads (cycads are prehistoric palms – ownership requires a special permission under South Africa law, as they are a legally protected species). In the western section of the province, one finds the Waterberg and Soutpansberg Mountains, which provide good hiking, riding and nature watching. There are also a number of private game ranches in the area. To the south, close to the border with Gauteng, lies the town of Warmbaths, which, as the name suggests, is home to warm mineral springs.