Polokwane is a city in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, in the north of South Africa (Limpopo borders with Zimbabwe). It lies 1300m above sea level on the tropic of Capricorn. Polokwane was known, until fairly recently, as Pietersburg, and its new name "Polokwane" means Place of Safety. The city is in the Polokwane Municipality.
In the 1840s, Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter established Zoutpansbergdorp, a town 100 km to the North West. This settlement had to be abandoned because of clashes with the local tribes and founded a new town in 1886 and named it Pietersburg in honour of Voortrekker leader Petrus Jacobus Joubert. In the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) Pietersburg was at times the capital of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Republiek in Transvaal. In 1901, the town was occupied by the British, government buildings and arms factories and even the newspaper house were destroyed immediately. The city has enjoyed a long history of prosperity and has grown rapidly given its proximity to Gauteng and the rich agricultural district surrounding it.
The town earned city status on 23 April 1992 and is now the major centre and capital city of the province. On June 11, 2003 the government of Limpopo changed its name to Polokwane. It holds an enviable position neighboring Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland and it is a fully equipped destination.
According to the 2001 census conducted by Statistics South Africa, the population of the greater Polokwane municipality, is 302,957, with 91.2% being Africans, 7.2% whites, 0.9% Coloureds and 0.7% Asians.
Polokwane has various educational institutions. It boasts excellent accommodation, fine weather and a busy, friendly population, making it the ideal business or getaway destination in the geographic and economic heart of the Limpopo Province.
Limpopo is a popular eco-tourism destination with lots of game viewing opportunities. The most popular being the Polokwane Game Reserve, which spans 3,200 hectares and is home to more than twenty species of game and birdlife. The reserve offers beautiful scenic walks and is especially popular with birdwatchers. Other attractions at Polokwane include the impressive Hugh Exton photograph museum and the nearby concentration camp cemetery.
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