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.