The entrance sign to Phalaborwa
|• Total||193.33 km2 (74.65 sq mi)|
|• Density||68/km2 (180/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||39.8%|
|First languages (2011)|
|• Northern Sotho||10.8%|
|Postal code (street)||1389|
|Website||Phalaborwa trade and tourism|
Phalaborwa is a town situated in the Mopani District Municipality, Limpopo province, South Africa. It is located near the confluence of the Ga-Selati River and the Olifants, halfway up along the eastern border of the Kruger National Park in the Lowveld. This area, also known as the Valley of the Olifants, has the highest winter temperatures in South Africa. The rainfall is low and the average winter temperatures range from 11°C to 25°C. During summer the average temperatures vary from 20°C to 47 °C with occasional heavy rainfall.
Tourism and wildlife play a dominant role in the life of this town. It is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger National Park, the Mozambiquan border is only two hours drive away. Lately, with the incorporation of various private game reserves into the conservancy area, Phalaborwa is all but enclaved by nature conservancies. The Hans Merensky Golf Estate is situated on the skirts of the town.
The name "Ba-Phalaborwa", given to the area by the Sotho tribes who moved here from the south, means better than the south. The Sotho mined and smelted copper and iron ore here as far back as 400 AD. Masorini, near Phalaborwa gate, is a reconstructed Ba-Phalaborwa hill village, with huts, grain storage areas, and an iron, smelting site.
There are two townships, Namakgale and Lulekani where the Pedi and Tsonga reside, and rural areas such as Mashishimale, Makushane and Ga-Maseke. It also the birthplace of the babirwa baga malema who presently reside in the eastern part of Botswana.