Polokwane is the capital city of Limpopo, and has a vibrant mix of people and culture. Polokwane has great restaurants, art galleries,museums, jazz clubs and shopping centres. It's also called the gateway city because it's a stepping stone to a diversity of natural attractions from mountains to wilderness areas.
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 Northern Sotho 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 been the 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
Best time to visit
The summer months of September to March are the best time to visit
Where to stay
Polokwane has a wide range of places to stay, from five-star hotels to budget B&B's. 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.
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
Tours to do
Go on a guided game drive at the Polokwane Game Reserve Take a tour of the local shebeens and taverns
Did You Know
The name Polokwane means 'place of peace' in Sapedi or northern Sotho.