As one of the early melting pots of southern Africa, Limpopo has a number of important archeological sites where excavations have helped piece together a picture of the different people who inhabited the land for thousands of years. Some of the most interesting sites are at places where iron was smelted, as the development from what was essentially a Stone-Age culture to an Iron-Age culture, with its associated improvement in tools for cultivation and war, was a vital part of the migration of African tribes into South Africa around 1500 years ago. The presence of slag and other wastes provides the strongest clues – the iron itself seldom survives the processes of erosion. Some of the most revealing excavations have taken place at Thulamela, inside Kruger National Park not far from the Punda Maria Gate, Bakone Malapa cultural village outside Polokwane, Makapan’s Cave near Mokopane, Masorini, also in the Kruger park, not far from Phalaborwa, and the single most important site in Limpopo Province, Mapungubwe (Hill of the Jackals), west of Musina.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

South Africa features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations

Why the Northern Cape is one of South Africa’s must-see destinations

The Northern Cape, home to diamond mining capital Kimberley and wilderness of the Kalahari Desert, remains South Africa’s least visited province. But it just …

06 Jan 2016 • Meera Dattani insert_drive_file Article
Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Many visitors to Cape Town leave with a fairly limited view of the Mother City. They see the whitewashed beachfront restaurants and hotels, take the cable car u…

24 Dec 2015 • Chris Clark insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month