With an immersive Moroccan theme, the Meropa reminds us a little of being in Fantasyland at Disney World. Approaching this splendid venue, on foot or by car, really does take your breath away. But enough about the exterior; let's take a look at what you'll find inside!
The Meropa Casino is open 24 hours a day, which is always a good start, and boasts 414 slot machines and 17 games tables. Table games on offer include Blackjack, Texas Hold 'Em and American Roulette and are spread across a smoking area, non-smoking casino and the ultra-exclusive Kiba Privé for Platinum MVG cardholders.
This is pretty much par for the course in South African casinos, but we're always just a little disappointed when venues have 15+ tables and only offer 3 games. It would be great to see some Baccarat, Craps or even European Roulette on offer, but it's not to be in the Meropa unfortunately.
There's no shortage of slots to choose from, and the Smart Card tech used by the Meropa Casino means that you don't need to scrabble around in your pockets to find coins to keep playing. Just load up your card with credit, and you're ready to go. Denominations range from 1c to R25, which is a pretty decent range.
The sheer volume of slot machines available means that you're sure to find one you like and the number of tables means that, even during peak hours, you should be able to find one at which to play.
The Meropa Casino has four places to eat and drink, which will come as welcome news to players who can't bear to eat at the same place for their entire trip. For a steak or something else flame-kissed, try the Harvest Charcoal Grill or visit the Jembe Tavern for authentic African cuisine.
For something a bit lighter, and in a spectacular setting, head for the WildThingz Cafe in the heart of the Meropa Casino's very own wildlife park (more on that below!). If you've got a mighty thirst that needs quenching, you can wet your whistle at the 24 hour Ngoma Bar on the main casino floor.
This is a great selection for players who may be all too used to picking at the same old buffet every night of their gambling trip, and there are some seriously tempting dishes on the menu during your stay at Meropa!
Meropa's website recommends the Town Lodge Polokwane, which is on the casino complex and continues the Moroccan theme of the casino itself. The hotel generally receives very good reviews and is close by to the casino – for patrons who love the idea of only ever being a short walk from the Merpa, this is the hotel for you!
There are a few other hotels in the area, like the Protea Hotel Landmark, that are just a short drive away but the Town Lodge Polokwane is very affordable and the only reason we can imagine gamblers looking elsewhere is if they can't get a room there.
The Town Lodge boasts a pool, daily breakfast, free parking and beautifully manicured grounds that make for a lovely evening stroll after a day in the casino.
Here's where the Meropa really shines. As well as some top casino action, Meropa boasts all sorts of activities for visitors of all ages. If you're planning to bring your family you might like to try your hand at mini golf, rev up your go kart or hit the arcade.
The WildThingz bird and reptile park, which is right in the casino complex, is another fantastic activity that's suitable for all ages. Once the kids have gone to bed, you can head back to the Ngoma Bar for a late night tipple and a few more spins on the slot machines.
There are various other events to take in like comedy performances, live music and cabaret shows, but you may be disappointed if you come to Meropa expecting all night dancing or clubbing as there isn't really anything like that here.
In addition to everything we've mentioned above, there's also a crèche, cultural village and a tour company that can put together a bespoke itinerary for you during your visit.
If you'd rather take it easy, and the hotel pool isn't relaxing you quite as much as you'd like, try a treatment at the Mangwanani African Day Spa. Whether you win or lose in the casino, you're sure to come out of here feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Meropa plays host to all sorts of conferences and business events too; maybe it's time to start trying to convince your boss to plan your next work event here? Whatever the purpose of your visit, Meropa truly is a gem in Limpopo and visitors will never be short of something to do.
Land Casino Review by: Casino.co.za