I spent seven days driving 1500 kilometres (about 1000 miles), mostly alone in my very tiny car, through Limpopo.
I drove Limpopo — South Africa’s northernmost province — from top to bottom and around again. I visited towns with lyrical names: Mookgophong, Mokopane, Polokwane, Tzaneen, Giyani, Makhado. I stayed in luxury lodges and self-catering chalets. I gaped up at a full moon from beneath a towering white tree that’s been dead for more than 30 years. I got lost in an orange grove. I drank gin and tonics. I ate a hamburger on a bun so stale I could have used it as a hockey puck. I ate macadamia-crusted trout and rare beef fillet and vegan burgers and beetroot quinoa.
I sat alone and cried in a birdwatching hide. I faced down a warthog. I watched monkeys copulate. I hung out with honking geese at sunrise. I photographed women embroidering elaborate masterpieces. I drove up a mountain on a dry, pockmarked dirt road and gazed down at a sacred lake. I communed with an ancient baobab. I saw the dusty grave of a Canadian First Nations soldier who died in a savage South African war. I visited a macadamia nut factory and a dragon fruit farm and a man who makes beautiful art out of rubbish.
This isn’t even half of what I did last week in Limpopo.
I’ll have more to say about this journey in future blog posts. But for now: An ode to Limpopo.
Ode to the People (and Places) of Limpopo
Thanks Limpopo. This wasn’t my first trip to visit you and it certainly won’t be my last.
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Thanks so much for this
Absolutely beautiful! Makes me want to go back too.
It’s fast becoming my favorite part of SA.
it is my favorite part of South Africa as well! meeting Noria Mabasa is indeed quite an experience, the area is so authentic and full of creative people…thanks for taking me back there….
Only a pleasure 🙂
Sounds amazing. Except for the frisky monkeys, maybe.
Even the monkeys were charming.
It looks wonderful – all of it!! Look forward to your detailed blogs – some great talent up there with crafts.
That’s for sure.
Sounds like an amazing trip. There is a stall at Vic Yards that sells the baobab seeds, powder and ice-cream, so thanks for adding the insert on that.
Yes! That shop is run by the people who own Madi a Thavha. I’m going to blog about it soon.
I can’t wait to read about Madi a Thavha, we have been visiting there since 2008 when they had just opened, it is such an amazing place, and Marcelle and Aart are very committed to the community….
I loved it so much!
I love your portraits!
This is such a great trip Heather thank you. I’m definitely keen to do a road trip like this. Would you mind mapping it out, if i’ts not too much trouble?
I actually thought about making a Google map of my stops but ran out of time. But here it is verbally: I drove from Joburg to the Nylsvley Nature Reserve near Mookgopong (formerly Naboomspruit), spent one night there, then drove north to Tzaneen (stopping briefly in Mokopane and Polokwane to visit a couple of museums), spent two full days exploring Tzaneen and Magoebaskloof (soooo much to do there), then continued north to Louis Trichardt with stops in Letsitele (to visit Kaross) and the Giyani area (to visit artist Johannes Maswanganyi). I spent two days in Louis Trichardt exploring the surrounding area, then returned to Joburg. There is still so much more to do! Next time I need to make it up to Mapungubwe.
Thank you so much. This is awesome.
Love your blog, your writing & great pics! Limpopo has found a wonderful ambassador!
That’s a big compliment coming from you!