Limpopo cellphone coverage tested – Polokwane to Bela-Bela

MyBroadband recently tested the mobile network quality in Limpopo as part of its countrywide mobile network testing project.

The network testing project is run in partnership with Afristay and Samsung, and provides a comprehensive look at cellular network quality in South Africa.

Coverage and data throughput tests are conducted using the MyBroadband Speed Test App, running on our Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone test bench.

A SIM from Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom is used in the Galaxy S9 phones, and performance tests are conducted at regular intervals while driving.

MyBroadband’s speed test servers are hosted in Teraco’s vendor-neutral data centres to ensure an impartial testing environment.

Polokwane to Bela-Bela

The latest test route was from Polokwane to Bela-Bela. Thousands of speed tests were conducted along the route and in the towns, including Mokopane, Mookgopong, and Modimolle.

We then calculated the Network Quality Score for the region and the towns, which took download speed, upload speed, and latency into account.

The Network Quality Score out of 10 shows how the networks performed in relation to other networks.

Understanding the maps below: Each of the small red dots with a green circle around it indicates a test in that area. Larger red dots indicate multiple tests in the area.

Mobile Network Quality

Vodacom beat MTN by a nose in Limpopo.

Their average download speeds across the routes we tested saw Vodacom achieve 22Mbps, while MTN was at 21Mbps.

Upload throughput was just as close, with Vodacom at 8.9Mbps, while MTN posted 8.7Mbps.

Telkom coverage was good in the areas where it did not rely on its roaming agreement with MTN, securing its victory over Cell C for third.

Cell C recorded average download speeds of 18Mbps, while Telkom had 19Mbps.



MTN achieved a win in Burgersfort, with an average download throughput of 32Mbps and upload speed of 14Mbps.



Vodacom won in Polokwane. It achieved an average download speed of 28Mbps, while its upload throughput was 12Mbps.



A convincing victory for MTN was in Mokopane, with an average download speed of 23Mbps and upload speed of 11Mbps.

Cell C had no coverage in the town, relying on its roaming agreement with Vodacom.



Neither Telkom or Cell C had own-network coverage in Mookgopong.

MTN posted another convincing victory over Vodacom, with an average download speed of 27Mbps.



Telkom beat the big two networks in Modimolle, with an average download speed of 24Mbps.



While Vodacom had the strongest overall data network performance in Bela-Bela, Telkom had the highest average download speeds. Vodacom’s average was 19Mbps, while Telkom’s was 21Mbps.


Where we stayed – Wildthingz and Leeuwenhof

Thanks to our project partner Afristay, we spent the night at the Wildthingz Lodge between Polokwane and Mokopane, and the Leeuwenhof Country Lodge and Spa near Modimolle.

Polokwane – Wildthingz Lodge

Wildthingz balcony

Wildthingz is a little off the beaten track, taking you into the bushveld and a few kilometres from the bustle of the main road.

Driving in, we spotted an owl hunting in the main road, and while we were unpacking we heard a lion in the distance.

We got a kitted-out self-catering lodge with a balcony braai area that looks out over the veld. For those who are on a working trip and still hunting for interesting places to stay, Wildthingz also offers great Wi-Fi connectivity (4Mbps down and up).

Bed and breakfast is an option, with the meal delivered to your lodge at an arranged time. Breakfast on our balcony listening to the rest of the bush waking up was definitely a highlight.

Modimolle – Leeuwenhof Country Lodge and Garden Spa


Leeuwenhof is an exceptional facility, offering tailor-made dinner menus and spa treatments – where you can listen to the region’s variety of birds.

The staff did everything to make our stay as special as possible. From having our names printed on a specially-designed dinner menu, to putting cupcakes and chocolates in our room during the turn-down service.

This was luxury surrounded by wildlife – antelope greeted us on the way in, and an ostrich bade us farewell.

What we saw

Peter Mokaba stadium
Peter Mokaba stadium
Polokwane mosque providing network coverage
Mosque in Polokwane helping to provide the community with cellular coverage.
Wildthingz lions have right of way
Wildthingz reminding tourists that real lions aren’t like Mufasa.
Baboons running across the road
Baboons running across the road.
Leeuwenhof welcome wagon
Leeuwenhof welcome wagon.
Leeuwenhof farewell party
Leeuwenhof farewell party.

Now read: How MTN became the best network in South Africa

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Limpopo cellphone coverage tested – Polokwane to Bela-Bela