Close to the ground.

GPS: S 23 54.701 E 029 27.099 | pop. 150,000 | elevation 1,262 m/4,140 ft

Polokwane (meaning Place of Safety) is the capital of and largest city in Limpopo. The town was founded in 1886 by a group of Voortrekkers and named Pietersburg after the Voortrekker leader Petrus Jacobus Joubert. Today, Polokwane is a fast-growing bustling city with the country’s main north-south highway – the N1 – running right through the center of town.

The Irish House Museum

The Irish House Museum is also known as the Polokwane Cultural History Museum and has displays on the history of Limpopo area cultural groups and some archaeological finds from nearby sites. It also has a number of exhibitions on the Revised National Curriculum Statement, an outcomes-based education initiative. The building was initially built by a German in 1886, burnt down in 1906, rebuilt in 1910 and then sold to an Irishman in 1920, who traveled overseas to import clothes for "fashion-conscious ladies and gentlemen" of Polokwane.

Hugh Exton Photographic Museum

Hugh Exton Photographic Museum is located in the 1890 Dutch Reformed Church and houses over 23,000 negatives and original photos by photographer Hugh Exton. The majority of the photos are of the Polokwane area from between 1890 and 1945 and depict architecture, industry, clothing and the rich and famous of Polokwane.

Art Museum

Art Museum displays sculptures, paintings, industrial art and mixed media from well-known South African and Limpopo artists.

Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum

Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum provides insight into the culture of the Northern Sotho and Ndebele groups that once lived on this exact site, 8 km from town. Aside from some of the archaeological finds, you can also view demonstrations on traditional ways of making fire, find out why women smear cow dung on the floor of their homes and see how traditional clay pots are made.

Polokwane Game Reserve

Polokwane Game Reserve is one of the largest municipal nature reserves in the country at 32.5 square kilometers. It has more than 100 species of mammals, reptiles and frogs, including white rhinos, giraffes, zebras, nyala and springbok. There is an extensive network of roads for self-guided game drives. Alternatively, you can contact Lisa Grossel (083-380-2322) who offers guided game drives in open vehicles during the day or night as well as day and overnight hiking safaris.

Limpopo Mall

Limpopo Mall is the main shopping area within the city and has a Pick 'n Pay, clothing stores, fast food restaurants, and an FNB bank with ATM.

Savannah Mall

Savannah Mall is located a few kilometers outside of town and is larger and more modern than the Limpopo Mall. It has a Pick 'n Pay, Woolworths, clothing stores, a few restaurants and a movie theater.

Polokwane Game Reserve

Polokwane Game Reserve has campsites, rondovals and six-person chalets near the entrance to the park. The campsites have lighting, electric outlets, water taps and braai facilities surrounding a central building with bathrooms and piping hot high-pressure showers. The rondovals and chalets are self-catering with a TV and small kitchenette.

African Roots

African Roots is a historic 1928 farmhouse with 21 clean and well-outfitted rooms. Each has a deck and sitting area outside, surrounding a tree and plant filled courtyard. All rooms have a TV, heater, fan, hardwood floors and minibar. The luxury rooms are larger with a four-post king size bed, a sofa, cow skin rugs and a sitting area inside.

Mansana Lodge

Mansana Lodge has standard rooms with TV and AC. The rooms' patio doors open up onto a garden and sitting area next to a small swimming pool. There is a small restaurant and bar upstairs.

Plum Tree Lodge

Plum Tree Lodge is an established B&B with a few small villas, a restaurant, and a relaxing lapa bar next to the swimming pool.

Fusion Boutique Hotel

Fusion Boutique Hotel is a newly opened first class 5-star hotel with impeccable design, including original paintings throughout the hotel and in each room by Maria Deplusi (the owner's mother). The hotel stands out as one of the nicest accommodations in town, and features 30 suites neatly furnished with Indonesian imports and nice extras like heated bathroom floors. The hotel has a chic restaurant with three private dining rooms and a bar with an open glass ceiling that guests can spy through from above.

Pebbles Restaurant

Pebbles Restaurant is the former residence of South African parliamentarian Tom Naude, who built the large house and expansive verandas for outdoor entertaining in the 1920s. Today it is a national monument and an upscale restaurant just outside the city center with a large menu offering breakfast, lunch, light snacks and dinner.

Café Pavilion

Café Pavilion is a great place for a semiformal dinner. They have a large menu of Italian pasta, Indian curries, fondue for two and more beef dishes than could fit on this page as well as a healthy selection of cocktails, wine and desserts. They also have a good breakfast menu (served until noon) and a huge breakfast buffet on Sundays (11am-2pm).

Brazilian Coffee Shop

Brazilian Coffee Shop is centrally located with a balcony overlooking the street. The café attracts a business crowd for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon beer and cocktails.


Saskia is a chic new restaurant attached to the Fusion Boutique Hotel. It has three private dining rooms and a bar with an open glass ceiling. Executive Chef War ren Forster serves up an impressive selection of contemporary fusion dishes.

Brazilian Coffee Shop

Brazilian Coffee Shop is an upscale café that overlooks the busy street below. It's a popular downtown place to stop for an afternoon drink.

Gamblers Saloon

Gamblers Saloon is a quieter blacklight-drenched bar during the day with a couple of snooker and foosball tables and a few sports TVs. In the evening they clear everything out to make room for a DJ and dance floor.