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.
North of the Zoutpansberg the ground falls rapidly, however, to the Limpopo flats which are little over 1200 ft.
It is highly mineralized, next to gold, copper, found near the Limpopo (where is the Messina mine) being the chief metal worked.
The ostrich is found in the Marico and Limpopo districts, and more rarely elsewhere; the great kori bustard and the koorhaan are common.
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.
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.