Polokwane is a city found 60 kilometers south of the Tropic of Capricon. Read on to know more on this impressive South African city.
Polokwane literally translates to a ‘Place of Saftey’ and is situated at the heart of the Limpopo province of South Africa. The city is blessed with views that are both awe-inspiring and pleasing to the eye. Plush grasslands, intimidating granite hills and impressive mountains complement the beauty of this city. Polokwane is situated at the ‘outskirts’ of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ and has Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as its neighbors. The friendly and colorful city is the economic nerve center and the cultural nucleus of the Limpopo Province. Also, the upside down and biggest tree in Africa, the Baobab, is found in this city; it is a huge tourist attraction. The city is situated at a height of 1310m and experiences a tropical climate with cold winters and warm summers.
The city that lives off the success of its agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries, in the past has played host to early Stone Age nomads, Iron Age settlers and migrating Europeans. Polokwane also boasts of having the Mapungubwe World Heritage site within its geographical limits. The Mapungubwe people almost 2000 years ago called Polokwane home and the site they lived on is located near the meeting point of the Limpopo and Sashe rivers. Polokwane was previously known as Pietersburg and was named so after General Petrus Jacobus Joubert, who was the leader of the Voortrekkers, a group of Dutch settlers.
The Mapungubwe people during the Iron Age were also prosperous in the area around the Polokwane, it’s a great place to visit if you desire to dive deeper into the history of the Mapungubwe people. The city even boasts of the Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum which helps give interested individuals an insight into the productive northern Sotho tribe, the Bakone people. The city houses another equally famous museum, the Polokwane Museum. The Polokwane Museum is located in Polokwane’s remarkable Irish House and is loaded with captivating artifacts.
Football In Polokwane
The ‘Real Rovers’ were Polokwane’s first professional side and were put together in the year 1995. Other than the Real Rovers, the Limpopo Province has produced the Black Leopards and the Dynamos, two outfits who in the past competed at the highest of professional levels in South Africa. Both these sides have unfortunately now been demoted to lower competitive levels. The Real Rovers on the other hand when formed in 1995 propelled themselves to compete in South Africa’s top Premier Soccer League. Another popular club that fights it out in the First Division goes by the name Winners Park. Both the Real Rovers and Winners Park have a huge fan following in Polokwane.
As far as football’s concerned, Polokwane has had the privilege of laying claim to an interesting fact - Côte d'Ivoire’s star footballer Didier Drogba actually made his debut at Polokwane’s Mokaba stadium. The match he played in was a crucial CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualification match; sadly for Drogba, South Africa went on to win the decisive clash. South Africa, after leaving Côte d'Ivoire behind, managed to book a berth for themselves for Bafana Bafana in the 2004 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Everything said and done, Polokwane has what it takes to host a FIFA World Cup 2010 match and is guaranteed to be a great place for both tourists and the players to visit.