Polokwane is the capital of Limpopo province, located up in the top right-hand corner of South Africa. © South African Tourism

Polokwane, Limpopo

Place of peace

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Polokwane is the urban heartbeat of Limpopo province. From great African jazz clubs to the biggest shopping centre in Limpopo, Polokwane has an entertaining mix of city adventures, and plenty of game reserves and natural attractions right on its doorstep.

Polokwane has a lively and bustling downtown area, set around the pleasantly green and artistic civic centre. Here you can visit the Polokwane Art Museum which has an excellent collection of South African art, check out the early history of the city in the fascinating photographs on display at the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum, and take a rewarding stroll through Irish House, a bright green building with a comprehensive collection of exhibits from pre-history to Victorian and modern times. North of the city is Bakone Malapa Museum, an open air ‘living' museum that showcases traditional northern Sotho culture.

Meropa Casino & Entertainment World is on the southern outskirts of Polokwane, and rises up like an ancient African palace under modern skies. With its choice of clubs, conference venues, coffee shops and restaurants, Meropa has long beenthe place to see and be seen amongst Polokwane's hip and happening people. Meropa's Jembe Tavern is a cosmopolitan Afro-chic jazz club and the capital city's grooviest place to meet, greet and get on down all night long.

From fine dining and gourmet cuisine, to organic delis and traditional fare, Polokwane has plenty of good eating spots. It also has the biggest shopping centre in Limpopo and many places to get good arts, crafts and curios. And it's easy to escape the urban hustle and bustle when you want to. On the city's doorstep, you'll find lots of natural attractions including game reserves, mountains and wilderness areas. You can walk with lions at The Ranch Hotel, south of the city, or take a quiet game drive at the Polokwane Game Reserve, ten minutes from the city centre.

How to get here

There are daily flights from Johannesburg to Polokwane International Airport, and a daily bus service from Johannesburg. It's a three-hour drive from Johannesburg. Take the N1 to Polokwane.

How to get around

Downtown Polokwane is easy to explore on foot. The city also has plenty of buses, taxis and car rental companies.

Around the area

Walk with the lions at The Ranch Hotel; visit the quaint village of Haenertsburg, famed for its surrounding mountains, rivers and waterfalls; go on a tour of Makapan's Valley Heritage Site, sister site to the Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein.

What's happening

Sunday jazz at Jembe Tavern at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World, the Polokwane Wine Show in July.

Tours to do

Go on a guided game drive at the Polokwane Game Reserve. Take a tour of the local shebeens and taverns.

Who to contact

Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board
Tel: +27 (0)15 290 7300
Email: info@golimpopo.com

Meropa Casino & Entertainment World
Tel:+27(0)15 290 5468

Irish House Museum
Tel: +27(0)15 290 2180

The Ranch Hotel
Tel: +27(0)15 290 5000

African Roots Guesthouse
Tel: +27(0)15 297 0113

Fusion Boutique Hotel
Tel: +27(0)15 291 4042


Polokwane has a wide range of places to stay, from five-star hotels to budget B&Bs. Fusion Boutique Hotel is the city's hippest five-star spot, offering stylish accommodation and excellent cuisine. African Roots is a quiet and artistic guesthouse in a beautifully restored Victorian home. The Ranch Hotel is a pleasant overnight spot on the outskirts of Polokwane, with good restaurants, rambling gardens, conference and wedding facilities.

Best buys

Arts, crafts and curios from all over Africa.

Best time to Visit

Polokwane is a year-round destination, but try to avoid Easter as millions of members of the ZCC (Zion Christian Church) come to Polokwane on pilgrimage.

Lenght of Stay

Take a weekend to explore the city and surrounds.

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