Mapungubwe National Park (tented camp)


Apr 17th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 38
Mapungubwe National Park (tented camp)

We stayed over at the relatively Limpopo Forest Tented camp in the Mapungubwe National Park for three nights recently. Accommodation, consisting of rather elegantly designed, self-catering 'safari' tent complete with kitchen and bathroom was completely satisfactory and up to the normal standard of SANPARKS, the national parks operator. Our tent, number six, faced into the riverine forest of amost emerald green shrubbery and towering indigenous trees. While not overly luxurious the facility was competely adequate and clean.

It was a joy to hear, for three days, nothing but the chorus of bird songs during the day and those of crickets and beatles at night. If you have a watchful eye you will see buck grazing neaby the tent's porch.

While the Park does offer game drives and a guided tour of the Mapungubwe archeological sites (a UN Heritage Site) the forested camp is fairly isolated; it's about a twenty minute drive to the main camp from where tours depart. However if your thing (like ours) is seeing minimal people, enjoying bird life, and doing little else than reading and sleeping we can highly recommend this camp. Just take the normal precautions regarding mosquitos and bugs!
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Apr 17th, 2006, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Interesting. Are the archeological sites extensive? Is there an information center with artifacts on display or do the guides provide information? Do you remember your bird-count and what mammals did you spot? If you have been to Great-Zimbabwe, how do the ruins compare?
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Apr 17th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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Since the Mapungubwe civilisation didnt' (like in the case of the Zim ruins) build with stone so there are very few remains of settlement left. What is however interesting is that it was the first archeological site that indicated social stratification and extensive trade with India and China, since thousands of artifacts have been found in the area, including the famous golden rhino. There are some information displays but the best is to attend a guided tour. I didn't keep a count of the number of birds spotted since we were very casual about it. The ten or so we marked off in our book almost literally flew into our faces. A serious bird watcher could easily notch up 50 or more I'd say. The diversity is absolutely amazing, and I found it sad that they were not selling the park as a birding place.

Something I forgot was that Mapungubwe lies on the bordering point of SA, Botswana and Zim and has the most breathtaking view of the Limpopo and Shashe river confluence. Truly a 'view of Africa'.
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