This past week-end I once again found myself in Limpopo province in the beautiful diverse Balule Nature reserve part of the Greater Kruger National Park, situated south west of Phalaborwa and north of Hoedspruit. Spending three full unspoilt days on the reserve got me to thinking more about this area that captivates both locals and tourists alike.
The bushveld, a mix of grasslands and trees, provides the perfect respite and encourages long nights and lazy days. One is spoilt for choice as nature’s garden unfolds the varied species that inhabit the area. In the Limpopo region over 600 bird species have been recorded, but in reserves like Balule there are over 220 different kinds of birds and 330 documented tree species, and with over 30 mammal species this really is a flourishing wonderland.
There is something spectacular about sitting around a bushveld fire, and listening to the sounds of the bush on a clear lowveld evening. This week-end we were fortunate to see Hyena coming in for a quick drink at the waterhole, before loping on to find a forgotten kill. Waking up in the morning to see one of the area’s largest tuskers coming to visit, was a sight to behold as this gentle creature of mammoth proportions, gracefully allowed us to stand within meters of him, so close we could hear his gentle rumblings, as he crackled his way through the shrubs and trees. I have a picture in my mind that remains imprinted, as he look at us sideways through his incredibly long lashes and gently shook his ears letting us know that he was in control.
There are few places in the world where one can come this close to nature, and truly experience the privilege it is to spend time in the company of these beautiful animals.
If you are able to have a longer stay and truly discover the entire Limpopo region you will be amazed at the wealth, as the area produces nuts, coffee, tea, maize and tropical fruits like litchis and mangoes in abundance. There is also extensive forestry plantations and local furniture is manufactured. This area is culturally diverse and discovering the heritage of the people unfolds a worthwhile journey of its own.
I encourage you to plan an adventure to the Limpopo – an incredible province that offers superb landscapes, heritage, history and abundance.
Whether you are looking for a two night escape to a luxury destination enjoying sublime food and spa indulgence, dreaming of game drives and balmy evening sundowners, or would like to play golf on a choice course, horse ride, camp and hike, with a bit of abseiling thrown in, this diverse region offers a myriad of choice.