The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to explore the pathways followed by school principals in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The aim was to explore the pathways principals followed in order to determine knowledge, procedures and processes that lead to the appointment of quality principals in schools. Formal and informal pathways that teachers aspiring to be principals take were identified in addition to exploring what motivated the principals to apply for their posts. Little research has been done on the topic of career paths of school principals in the South African context and therefore,this study makes acontribution to the knowledge-base of career pathways of South African school principals. A qualitative study approach, using semi-structured interviews, was employed. A total of ten participants were selected using purposeful and convenience sampling. The researcher obtained consent from the participants and assured them of anonymity, confidentiality and their right to withdraw from the study at any time they felt uncomfortable in continuing to participate in the study. The main questions participants were asked wereconcerned with their experiences as principals in terms of their career pathways; the routes that they followed to principalship; and what motivated them to apply for the post. The collected data wastranscribed categorized and presented as themes with direct quotations from the participants to support the themes. The findings of this study were compared with the available literature on similar studies to determine similarities and differences. Conclusions were reached, recommendations were made and suggestions for future research on the topic were made from the findings of the study.