Once known as Potgietersrus, or Potties as the locals still often call it, the town is the ideal destination for travellers en route to the Kruger National Park, Botswana or Zimbabwe. The stunning bushveld environment, with influences from the Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Afrikaans and Engish cultures, has a unique character. It offers visitors the “Big Five”, San drawings, ancient caves, curios, traditional dancing and an opportunity to experience real bushveld food and drink!
There is a serious amount of history here! The Arend Dieperink Museum, named after Arend Dieperink its founder and first director, is a charming old stone building and portrays the history of the town, from the ape-man at Makapan to recent times. The Museum has a significant cultural-historical collection of Voortrekker and Sotho artefacts. You can see the grave of Voortrekker leader Piet Potgieter, and don’t miss the ‘Caves through the Ages’ exhibition.
The Doorndraaidam Nature Reserve offers fishing, water sports, hiking, camping and birdwatching. But for superb birdwatching, in fact one of the prime birding spots in the country, is the Nylsvley Conservancy. It forms part of a very large flood plain – the largest in South Africa and more birds migrate here than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere!
Accommodation options in Mokopane include Guest Houses, B&B’s, self-catering units and Game Lodges.
Things to do and see
- Arend Dieperink Museum
- Makapansgat Caves
- Doorndraaidam Nature Reserve
- Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre
- Nylsvley Conservancy
- Thabaphaswa Hiking Trails
- The Waterberg Meander
- Kameeldoring Golf Course
Mokopane receives approximately 495 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 17˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 24˚C.
There are daily flights into Polokwane International Airport approximately 65 Km’s away along the N1 and R101 and into O R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, approximately 250 Km’s away via the N1. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
The town of Potgietersrus was established by the Voortrekkers during the 1800’s and named it after their leader Piet Potgieter. The name was changed to Mokopane during 2003, named after the leader of the Ndebele people that lived in the area.
Despite the droughts of the 1970’s which placed the area under huge strain, the Mokopane area remains one of South Africa's richest agricultural areas producing wheat, tobacco, cotton, beef, maize, peanuts and citrus. The Zebediela Citrus estate, 55 km to the south east, is one of the biggest citrus farms in the southern hemisphere. Farming however did become less profitable and many of the farms here have become game farms.
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