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.
TRANSVAAL, an inland province of the Union of South Africa between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers.
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 Vaal drains the greater part of the plateau, flowing westward towards the Atlantic. The waters of the northern escarpments of the plateau and of all the region farther north are carried to the Indian Ocean by the Limpopo (q.v.) and its tributaries the Olifants, Great Marico, Great Letaba, &c. Both the Vaal and the Limpopo in their main course have high steep banks.
For a considerable distance the Vaal forms the frontier between the province and the Orange Free State and in similar manner the Limpopo separates the Transvaal from Bechuanaland and Rhodesia.
Nearly all the country below that elevation is unsuitable for colonization by whites, while the Limpopo flats and other low tracts, including the district between the Drakensberg and the Lebombo hills are extremely unhealthy, blackwater fever being endemic. In the low veld the shade temperature in summer rises to 113° F., but the nights are generally cool, and down to 2000 ft.
The indiscriminate destruction of these animals has greatly reduced their numbers and except in the Pongola district, at one or two other places on the Portuguese frontier, and along the Limpopo the hippopotamus, rhinoceros and crocodile are now extinct in the province.
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.
In November of the same year Mosilikatze suffered further heavy losses at the hands of the Boers, and early in 1838 he fled north beyond the Limpopo, never to return.
Pretoria is situated on the banken veld or northern slopes of the high veld, on both banks of the Aapies tributary of the Limpopo, and is 4470 ft.
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.
It was about 1820 that Mosilikatze (properly Umsilikazi), a general in the Zulu army, having incurred Chaka's wrath by keeping back part of the booty taken in an expedition, fled with a large following across the Drakensberg and began to lay waste a great part of the country between the Vaal and Limpopo rivers.
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.
It occupies a central position on the tableland between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers, is 4469 ft.
It is highly mineralized, next to gold, copper, found near the Limpopo (where is the Messina mine) being the chief metal worked.
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.
Several of the headstreams of the Limpopo rise within the district on the N.