The South African province of Limpopo is as diverse in its wildlife as it is in its unique archaeological and natural attractions. Its vast expanses of bushveld wilderness are the natural habitat of scores of species that include mammals, reptiles, insects, birds and plants. This makes Limpopo the perfect destination for nature-lovers and wildlife enthusiasts that want to experience the wilder side of South Africa.
Because Limpopo remains predominantly rural, there are vast expanses that are still untouched by human development. They are aesthetically breath-taking and are generous in their abundance of fauna and flora. This means that there is even more space available for spectacular nature reserves, game reserves, and national parks.
The Mapungubwe National Park is famous for its sandstone formations, mopane trees, and incredible wildlife (including elephants and rhinos). The Kruger National Park is a world-renowned safari hotspot and is home to the Big Five. With an area of just less than 20 000 square kilometres, it is one of the largest reserves on the African continent, and is its oldest. It has over 2 000 plant species and 500 bird species within its borders. This means that it is a very special oasis of all things wild and wonderful. In addition to lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo; Kruger is home to the side-striped jackal, hippo, honey badger, African wild cat, sable, and many more exciting species. At the Marakele National Park, visitors can look forward to seeing elephant, rhino, big cats, and more than 800 breeding pairs of the elegant Cape vulture. The Entabeni Game Reserve offers a natural beauty of a different kind. It is part of the Waterberg biosphere (which enjoys a world heritage status) and boasts a mosaic of sandy wetlands, picturesque streams, and imposing mountain ranges; in addition to impressive plants and animals.
Guided game drives through the parks and reserves are rewarding, as the experienced rangers know this land and its rhythms. Many of the parks are also accessible to visitors driving their own vehicles. Stop at the various lookout points, photograph the animals at the watering holes, or watch in silent awe as a predator stalks its prey. Game drives in the early morning or evening reveal an entirely different variety of animals to those at night, when nocturnal species emerge to find food and water. Some of the reserves also offer walking safaris so that visitors can be part of the raw bushveld in a very personal way. Feel the crunch of the grasses underfoot, smell the heat of the earth as it rises, and hear the calls of the birds soaring overhead.
The game and nature reserves in Limpopo are only about four hours’ drive from Johannesburg and its international airport, making them particularly accessible. There is a huge array of accommodation options in the area; ranging from very affordable spots for the family to more luxurious game lodges.