Limpopo Province situated in the north-eastern part of South Africa. It is bordered by Mozambique to the east and the Limpopo River to the north and west. The southern boundary is formed by North-West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng Provinces. The centrally-situated capital city is Polokwane. The province is most easily accessed via the N1 highway, which bisects the province from Gauteng in the south to Musina in the north.
Birding is good throughout the year. The winter months of May to August are cool and dry, while the summer months are hot and can be wet. Be aware that the mountain regions can be cold in summer and the low lying regions can be hot in winter. Summer is of course the best time for seeing breeding and migrant birds! The best bird-watching months are considered to be November and February.
Approximate travelling times by car:
The region is close enough to Gauteng for a weekend, or even a day, of birding. It is possible to leave on a Friday afternoon, reach your destination that evening, and have a good day and a half of birding before returning.
A long weekend away would allow for more areas to be covered, and an even longer visit should result in an impressive bird list! Make sure that you cover as many different habitats as possible and read the ‘Birding hotspots’ and ‘Recommended routes’ pages for each Birding Route to help make the most of your stay.
Three National Parks and a number of Provincial Parks and Municipal Reserves are found within the region and much of the land is privately owned. The land use is mostly cattle and game farming and ecotourism. English is the most commonly spoken language across all cultural groups, many people also speak Afrikaans. Venda is spoken in the north-east; Pedi is spoken in the central, Waterberg and Blouberg areas; Tsonga is spoken in the east and south.
Please respect all land tenure, whether communal or private. Be aware that when birding along the roadsides, you may not enter the property without the owner’s permission. Speak to the headman if you wish to bird on communal land. Most people are friendly and happy for you to see their area, but it is necessary to observe their protocols.
Roads are generally good and can mostly be travelled in a sedan vehicle. High-clearance vehicles are recommended for access to some of the sites, as indicated in the specific information. Road signage is good throughout the region, except for parts of North-Eastern Venda and the Waterberg. A GPS will be helpful and ask for directions when you are not sure!