Northern Province, Limpopo Attractions
Limpopo, formerly the Northern Province and Northern Transvaal, is a diverse landscape of plains, semi-desert and sub-tropical vegetation. Limpopo is mainly an agricultural area and the location of the northern part of Kruger National Park. The "Big Five are found here; namely the elephant, black rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo.The province borders three African countries; Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Historically this was Boer frontier and conservative values remain strong. Its capital is Pietersburg. Linguistically the population is very mixed, speaking North Sotho, Shangaan/Tsonga, Venda and Afrikaans.
South Africa's most famous park, Kruger National Park is the country's oldest and largest reserve. The area is full of big game, with lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, and more..
Phalaborwa, South Africa
For many travelers Phalaborwa, which has an airport, is no more than a stopover for a visit to the central part of the Kruger National Park (the entrance gate to which is only 3km/2mi east). Summer temperatures of around 38°C/100°F and an average annual rainfall of around 457mm/18in. make Phalaborwa a garden city.Phalaborwa is the commercial, administrative and recreational center of a mining area which has massive deposits of phosphates, copper and iron. Zirconium, vermiculite, mica and gold are also worked in the area. Some 2000 million years ago tectonic movements in the earth's crust forced a great mass of magma to the surface, creating a treasure house of minerals which has brought prosperity to the region. The rich mineral deposits were already being worked in prehistoric times, as is evidenced by a nearby excavation site in the Kruger National Park.Phalaborwa's wide streets are lined by trees and gardens; but this is only one side of the picture. The mining areas on the outskirts of the town are like a lunar landscape. A man-made crater with a greater diameter than Kimberley's Big Hole reaches down to well below sea level. The sulfur which is a by-product of the copper-mining process gives the earth a yellowish tinge.
Warm Baths, South Africa
The spa of Warm Baths (founded in 1921), 100km/62mi north of Pretoria, is famed for the healing powers of its thermal springs. The area was known to the Tswana as Biele Bela (the "Boiling Place"). The water, containing sodium chlorate, calcium carbonate and other salts, gushes out at a temperature of 62°C/144°F, at the rate of 23,000 liters (5060 gallons) an hour. It is used in the treatment of rheumatic conditions. Every year some 260,000 people come here to seek relief from their ailments.Round the springs has grown up a holiday complex with accommodation of various categories, treatment facilities, a restaurant, a café and tennis, squash and badminton courts. People also come here in winter not for medical treatment but to enjoy the pleasure of bathing in thermal water at a temperature of 32°C/90°F.
Warm Baths Nature Reserve
Adjoining the spa is the Warm Baths Nature Reserve (area 50 ha/125ac), with red hartebeests, steppe zebras and impalas among other game.