Rich in biodiversity, the scenically stunning Makapansgat Valley and Caves play a significant role in the Cradle of Humankind.
The numerous cave system draw palaeontologists from around the globe to view fossils that date back over three million years, revealing the stories of this once tropical paradise.
Our early ancestor, the ‘ape-man’ Austalopithecus africanus, is one of the fascinating finds.
See the oldest site at Makapansgat Limeworks. The Cave of Hearths has evidence of human occupation from the Early Stone Age and the Hyena Cave has remains of early hyenas.
Today vervet monkeys, baboons and bush babies clamber in the treetops, searching for the same edible fruits and plants that early man gathered.
Contact the Arend Dieperink Museum in Mokopane for guided tours of the Makapansgat Caves starting at the museum. +27 015 491 9735
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Mookgopong (Naboomspruit) (31.3 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Popular for weekend getaways, Doorndraai Nature Reserve’s offers decent fishing, birding, hiking, game drives, boating and picnicking.
The Doorndraai Dam is part of this 7 000-hectare nature reserve situated on the Sterk River and in the foothills of the Waterberg. The dam is a popular largemouth bass angling site with a camping site, chalets and a conference centre.
It’s also home to a wide variety of wildlife and 300 species of birds. Twenty-three species of raptor have been recorded in the reserve.
Look out for Osprey, resident African Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle, Verreauxs' Eagle and Tawny Eagle. Many waders, herons, ducks and Common Whimbrel can be seen on the open shoreline.
Naboomspruit (41.1 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Legend Golf and Safari Resort promises an exceptional golf and safari experience featuring a high vantage point upon which visitors may tee off!
This golf and safari resort offers a 19-hole course amidst wildlife, malaria-free bushveld surroundings, and stunning panoramic views particularly of the Hangklip Mountain.
Eighteen of the world’s top golfers were selected to add their design expertise to the signature course, contributing to the allure and spirit of golf in Limpopo.
Situated in the Waterberg region of the Limpopo Province of South Africa, Legend Golf sets new standards for golfing and wildlife viewing.
The championship golf course includes a golf academy with driving range, recreational facilities, wellness centre, sports complex and conference centre.
Entabeni Private Game Reserve (44.1 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Lying in the heart of the Waterberg UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the privately owned Entabeni Game Reserve promises an exciting wilderness experience for discerning travellers.
Here you can take a scenic helicopter flip, gaze at the stars in the observatory, go on guided horse trails, visit the local Pedi village, enjoy sunset lake cruises and a variety of wildlife viewing activities.
Known as ‘The Place of the Mountain’, this malaria-free safari conservancy has an astonishing five ecosystems. Knowledgeable and friendly guides take visitors on fascinating excursions identifying a diverse array of interesting birds and animals – so much more than the usual Big Five sightings!
Explore the grasslands and stunning craggy escarpment, drive down between the cliffs past bubbling streams and down to the balmy sand wetlands – you definitely won’t get bored.
And at less than a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, the reserve’s proximity and lack of the nasty anopheles mosquito makes it an alluring destination.
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (49.8 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Luminous butterflies, crooning songbirds, preening parrots and parading peacocks greet you as you enter Wild Thingz.
The jungle-like park at Meropa Casino and Entertainment World is home to numerous species including birds of prey, cranes, and parrots.
Eagles cast imperious stares and wide-eyed owls peer down as you venture into their domain. You could spend hours here watching the spectacle.
Creepy crawly aficionados and kids will love the reptile house where you can see anacondas, pythons, mambas and other deadly critters.
Wild Thingz is open Tuesday to Sunday and offers bird shows at 10:00, 11:00 and 15:00 daily and a snake demonstration at 16:00. Entrance is R10 for adults, R5 for children.
+27 (0)15 290 5400
Naboomspruit (50.1 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Palala Rhino Sanctuary offers you an experience of a life time to interact with rhinos on foot, or in game viewing vehicles.
Our rangers and guides will make it a memorable experience with their wealth of knowledge about the bush. Bookings essential.
Naboomspruit (50.2 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Naboomspruit Golf Club offers golfers a 9-hole course to test their skills. Visitors are welcome.
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (56.7 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Not only does Polokwane Nature Reserve have a healthy rhino population, it also features a number of fabulous walks and hikes. With over 21 species of mammals, this small reserve outside Polokwane is well worth a stop.
Enthusiastic birders come here to check out the isolated eastern population of the Short-clawed Lark. The reserve is known as an excellent place for bushveld, thornveld and grassveld birding with over 300 bird species recorded.
Keep your eyes and ears open for the Tinkling Cisticola, Northern Black Korhaan, Shelley´s Francolin, Double-banded Courser, Burchell´s Sandgrouse, Bushveld Pipit, Great Sparrow, African Wren-Warbler and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler – all found here.
You have a good chance of spotting breeding raptors including the African Hawk-Eagle, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, Secretary Bird, Wahlberg´s Eagle, Greater Kestrel and Gabar Goshawk.
The reserve offers a neat camping and caravan site as well as chalet accommodation.
Opening hours are 07:00 – 16:30
+27 (0)15 290 2331
Galleries and Museums
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (57.4 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Conveniently situated across the road from the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum and Civic Centre, Polokwane Museum is an excellent spot to while away a few hours.
Occupying a lovely late Victorian shop built in 1906; the building was beautifully restored in 1986 and is now a National Monument.
Here you can discover the secrets of this city and surrounding region as well as Stone Age and Iron Age artefacts. A highlight of the museum is a display depicting the colourful traditional cultures of Limpopo people.
Complete your trip back in time and stroll across the street to the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum for an insight into the gold rush days of Polokwane's beginnings.
Galleries and Museums
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (57.4 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Take a trip back in time and catch glimpses of yesteryear at the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum.
Boasting a 23 000-strong cultural and historical photo collection taken between 1892 and 1945, the museum is well worth a visit.
Valuable original glass negatives capture the fascinating first few years of the town’s history on celluloid taken by photographer, Hugh Exton. The collection unlocks the mysteries of Polokwane’s bygone era with of images of architecture, industry, clothing, trade and famous town residents.
The museum is housed in the beautiful 1890s Dutch Reformed church. Bookings are essential. +27 (0)15 290 2186
Galleries and Museums
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (57.5 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
The stylish Bakone Malapa Museum is a wonderful place to experience the rich culture of the BaSotho people.
The Bakone, a highly sophisticated subgroup of the Northern Sotho tribe, will give you a warm welcome and enthusiastically share their contemporary and traditional customs.
The guides are superb story tellers and the village becomes alive as they take you on a journey through their traditional way of life.
Considered a living museum, the Bakone tribesmen practise long-standing traditions to explain the traditions of Africa’s people. Another reconstructed village like it is the open-air Tsonga Museum near Tzaneen.
Bakone Malapa is built in the style used by the northern Sotho 250 years ago and demonstrates the daily life of the Bakone clan.
Two homesteads exhibit and explain fire making, maize grinding and beer brewing in the traditional manner. Handcraft demonstrations include pottery, basketry and bead work. Most of these locally-made creations are sold from the onsite craft shop.
And that’s not all – the museum and cultural village has a bird sanctuary, wildlife reserve, hiking trails and outdoor recreation areas.
Sports Stadiums Clubs
Polokwane (Pietersburg) (58.2 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
The Peter Mokaba Stadium in the Limpopo Province is another excellent spin-off from South Africa’s successful 2010 FIFA World Cup bid, hosting four first-round matches.
The newly-built structure comfortably seats 46 000 people and is equipped with stylish international standard facilities.
Polokwani (Pietersburg) is the largest city in the Limpopo Province, an area of untamed wilderness possessing the quintessential spirit of Africa. The Big Five, Kruger National Park, the magical Modjadji Forest and countless exciting outdoor activities attract people from all over the globe.
Mookgopong (Naboomspruit) (58.5 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
A winning combination of golf and the unsurpassed beauty of the Waterberg landscape make playing on Euphoria Golf Course a unique golfing experience.
The soothing surroundings in no way diminish the challenging aspects of the Annika Sorenstam-signature 18-hole championship course.
Designed to preserve the indigenous fauna and flora, the estate also features wide golf corridors to ensure privacy to golfers and residents alike.
Clubhouse facilities are in keeping with the overall world-class experience, offering the elegant Sundowner Deck Restaurant and terrace, perfect for enjoying the stunning views. A nifty cableway links the club house to the mountain estate and restaurant.
Modimolle (Nylstroom) (62.2 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
For the birds!
Twitchers take note – get ready for a birding bonanza when the Nyl River floods the Limpopo wetlands. The birding watching is awesome, particularly in the Nysvley Nature Reserve.
Now an internationally renowned RAMSAR site, the 4,000-hectare Nylsvley Conservancy is part of South Africa's largest flood-plain that stretches 70 km from Modimolle to Mokopane.
The reserve is home to 72 mammal species, including rare Roan Antelope. High rainfall years bring a mind-boggling 80 000 migratory water birds to the floodplains, with up to 420 recorded species.
Nysvley Nature Reserve is a haven for 37 Red-Data species, hence its significance as a RAMSAR site. You can easily spot as many as 365 species in the reserve itself which has five bird hides. The prolific bird life and plant species makes it a great attraction for bird-lovers, researchers and tourists at any time of year.
And it’s not all about birding, it’s a great place for a weekend getaway or day outing. There are a few dirt roads for game-viewing, extensive walking, hiking, and mountain biking trails as well as campsites and picnic spots.
+27 (0)14 743 1074
Four By Four Trails
Naboomspruit (66.7 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Serendipity 4x4 Eco Trail is found just off the R101 between Naboomspruit and Modimolle. There are three trails to choose from. The three-hour family-orientated trail offers challenges such as river crossings and rocky up- and down hills. The one-hour trail tests one’s vehicle and the half-hour trail has many obstacles for the adrenaline junky.
The trails are graded 2 to 3 and mostly only 4x4 vehicles are admitted – please enquire. These are self-drive trails and can be attempted all year round. High clearance is required.
Serendipity also offers hiking, quad biking, two-wheeler and mountain biking trails.
Marken (81.1 km from Mokopane (Potgietersrus))
Spectacularly scenic rock formations, excellent birding and game viewing make for a wonderful bush escape in this Waterberg reserve.
Home to rich birdlife, a weekend at Masebe Nature Reserve is a must for birders and those who love the wilderness. Besides game viewing and bird watching, other attractive activities on offer include hiking, cycling, and kloofing.
Only 360 km from Johannesburg, Masebe lies near the town of Marken close to Clive Walker's Lapalala Game Reserve and Touchstone Game Ranch.
Set in picturesque surroundings, the 4 500-hectare provincial park features a variety of interesting geological formations, plants and rivers. Exciting wildlife you might encounter include sable, tsessebe, nyala, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu and leopard.
The recently renovated camp has chalets for four to seven people, each with a private kitchen and braai area. Ideally suited for group reservations, the camp also offers a large kitchen with bar, conference centre, swimming pool and lapa with communal braai area.
Masebe Nature Reserve is a dual venture between the Limpopo government and the Bakenberg community to support tourism-generated economic development.