I made a trip back to South Africa in October 2016 and this time I had Maria with me. The plan was to do a recon trip to check out a couple of new places with the potential for photo workshops, but also to make sure we went to places that we could discover together.
Limpopo is the northernmost province of South Africa and it is named after the Limpopo River. The river is the boundary separating South Africa from Botswana and Zimbabwe. The Limpopo River is actually the second largest river in Africa that drains to the Indian Ocean, after the Zambezi River.
Blouberg is situated in the Lowveld of northern Limpopo with a beautiful mountain as a background and the biggest population of Cape Vultures in the world of the place. You find a rich diversity of plant and animals life and great selection of large trees there. It was a really nice place to start our exploration of Limpopo.
We then travel another 70km and ended up in Mapungubwe National Park. The park has a UNESCO World Heritage, which is understandable when you see the landscape and understand the historical value. Sadly we didn’t get the time here that I would have liked due to problem with a car tire. I would love to go back to conduct game walks to get a better feeling for the place.
If we thought the contrast was big between Blouberg and Mapungubwe, then it was nothing compared to Magoebaskloof. Magoebaskloof is a beautiful mountainous area often shrouded in a soft mist. This area felt like a treasure after the harsh places we had visited before. It was lush, green and we had several tracks we could walk just outside our cabin. We lived at an eco-lodge an hour from Polokwane, the capital of Limpopo.
In the province of Mpumalanga we went touristic and stay in towns. The aim here was to see the Panorama Route and maybe do a canopy tour. Graskop and Hazyview where the places chosen for the four nights in this province.
I do like Mpumalanga with Drakensberg and Kruger National Park as the magnets, but I surely didn’t like Graskop. It is a province with many different habitats and I think of it as really scenic. Next time I’ll probably stay longer than four nights and just focus on parts of the province.
The Panorama route was of course visited and we made three different stops along the route. We went to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to meet Stuffels and also did a day-trip into Kruger National Park to cheer us up. On the last day we visited the Lowveld National Botanical Garden in Nelspruit and the same night we lost electricity due to a huge thunderstorm.
I will certainly go back to South Africa in the near future and I know Maria liked most parts of our trip. If you like to explore South Africa like this then I think it is essential that you either get a trusted company to help you out or do extensive digging yourself.
Please enjoy this gallery from our trip to South Africa in October 2016.