Pietersburg Tourist Attractions
Pietersburg, capital of the province of Limpopo and its largest town, lies 319km/198mi northeast of Johannesburg on N 1. It is a favorite stopover on the way to the Kruger National Park and the beautiful Tzaneen region. Founded in 1884, the town rapidly developed into the commercial and administrative center of an intensively cultivated agricultural area. Round Pietersburg are some of the largest cattle farms in South Africa.This busy modern town has no sights of outstanding interest, but there are a number of attractive features in the surrounding area. Pietersburg has an excellent tourist infrastructure.
Hugh Exton Photographic Museum
The Dutch Reformed church, recently restored, now houses the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum, with a collection of photographs by the photographer of that name, who lived in Pietersburg. Many of his photographs are of historical as well as artistic interest.
Irish House Museum
Pietersburg has two interesting museums. In Vorster Street is the Irish House Museum, with collections of material illustrating the cultural history of the region.
Near Pietersburg, and the globe's Tropic of Capricorn, are open-air museums and nature reserves.
Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum
9km/5.5mi south of Pietersburg on R 37 is the Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum which is centered on a traditional North Sotho village still occupied by members of the tribe, who sell various craft products to tourists. Background information can be obtained in the visitor center. Within the museum complex are archaeological sites with remains of iron- and copper-smelting installations, as well as rock paintings of around 1000 B.C.
Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve
Half way between Pietersburg and Potgietersrus, on the north side of N 1, is the Percy Fyfe Nature Reserve (area 3,462ha/8,551ac), famed as a breeding center for rare and endangered species of antelope, such as the sassaby, the roan antelope and the sable antelope. The animals bred here are then released in other areas. Visitors can look round the reserve only when accompanied by members of the staff.
Potgietersrus, 43km/27mi southwest of Pietersburg, is the center of an agricultural and mining region in which chromium, platinum, tin and asbestos are worked on a large scale. This attractive little town is named after Pieter Potgieter, a Boer commander who was killed in a battle with supporters of Chief Tlou Makapan in 1854. The town was abandoned for some years but was reoccupied in 1890.
Potgietersrus Nature Reserve & Game-Breeding Centre
On the northern outskirts of the Potgietersrus is the Potgietersrus Nature Reserve and Game-Breeding Centre) with antelopes, gazelles, blue wildebeests, steppe zebras, Hartmann's mountain zebras, impalas and white rhinos, as well as the relatively rare pygmy hippopotamus. Visitors can drive through the reserve in their own car.
Pietersburg Municipal Game Reserve
Tropic of Capricorn
60km/37mi from Pietersburg N 1 comes to a column marking the position of the Tropic of Capricorn (lat. 23°27` south), where the sun is vertically overhead at the summer solstice.
Adjoining the Pietersburg Municipal Game Reserve is Union Park, with a lake (fishing permitted), picnic spots, a camping site and a number of holiday cottages.