It may confidently be dated to a period not earlier than the 14th or 15th century A.D., and attributed to the same Bantu people the remains of whose stone-fenced kraals are found at so many places between the Limpopo and the Zambezi.
They are the Waterberg, and, more to the east, separated from the Waterberg by the valley of the Magalakwane tributary of the Limpopo, the Zoutpansberg.
North of the Zoutpansberg the ground falls rapidly, however, to the Limpopo flats which are little over 1200 ft.
The ostrich is found in the Marico and Limpopo districts, and more rarely elsewhere; the great kori bustard and the koorhaan are common.
In the tropical district of the Limpopo valley there is some cultivation of the coffee-tree, and this region is also adapted for the growing of tea, sugar, cotton and rice.
At that time the region between the Vaal and Limpopo was scarcely known to Europeans.
Hence the impression that the true Zulu are far more numerous north of the Limpopo than has ever been the case.
But they still hold their ground as the ruling element in the region between the Limpopo and the middle Zambezi, which from them takes the name of Matabeleland.
His influence, however, extended from the Limpopo to the borders of Cape Colony, and through the ravages of Swangendaba and Mosilikatze the terror of the Zulu arms was carried far and wide into the interior of the continent.
Other streams are tributaries of the Limpopo, which for some distance is the frontier between Bechuanaland and the Transvaal.
In the south the drainage is to the Atlantic, chiefly through the Orange River, in the north to the Indian Ocean through the Zambezi, Limpopo and other streams. A large number of smaller rivers rise on the outer slopes of the mountain ramparts and flow direct to the sea.
Here, and also in the upper Limpopo valley, cotton, tobacco, and rubber vines are found.
It is highly mineralized, next to gold, copper, found near the Limpopo (where is the Messina mine) being the chief metal worked.