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 Post subject: Re: A vote for Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Jeroen, I agree :D This is our future and future stakeholders of our wild life.

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 Post subject: Clarification on Roaming Cattle in Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:33 am 
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Dear Everyone. :)

We have noted your concerns on the issue of cattle in the Mapungubwe National Park. Please read here to understand more on the issue.

Kind Reagrds:
Lesego Nko
Web Forum and Online Stakeholder Relations
lesego.nko@sanparks.org

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 Post subject: Re: Clarification on Roaming Cattle in Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Thanks Lesego, was there yesterday and wondering about this exact question. Also the amount of litter (beer bottles etc) below the treetop boardwalk is very disappointing


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 Post subject: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:37 am
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Location: Ronda Spain / Hoedspruit
Hi all.......
I will be in Mapungubwe for 7 nights this coming February.

I was thinking to do
3 nights camping at Mazhou
2 nights at the LFC
2 nights at Leokwe

Can anyone tell me if this sounds ok, and if possible which would be the best place to start and finish my stay.
I will be arriving via the Kruger where i will be camping at Tsendze and Punda.

I'm really looking forward to Mapungubwe as it will be my first time there.

Also can anyone recommend any good 4x4 drives in the area.

Many thanks in advance for any help

Best Regards.

Dave.


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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Hi djhep6,
Welcome to the Forum. :) I thought answering your question was going to be easy since I've been to Mapungubwe twice but everything has to do with your preferences. So the only way I can answer is to tell you what I enjoyed in this National Park...
I stayed in the Leokwe section of the Park (situated within red boulders) and I thoroughly enjoyed the Tree Top Walk (lush forest) then travelled past the Confluence to do the 4x4 trails with enough wildlife to keep it interesting. Visiting the western section, the Maloutswa Pan Hide should not be missed. With the Hide being close to the water you can spend hours there as there is a constant procession of wildlife coming to drink. I was fortunate enough, both times, to witness the Elephants come to drink and play in the water. Personally, three/four nights would be enough for me. And, of course, the historical part of the visit is very interesting. Both sections had a lot to offer. I'll be waiting for your Trip Report. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:54 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Hi Dave and a very warm welcome to you :D

Mazhou and Limpopo forest camp are very close to each other and cover the same ground in terms of sightings and eco systems. I would possibly stay in the tented camp for three nights and spend more time on the other side of the Park.

The eastern and Western sections are completely divided and it is not so easy to just pop from one side to the other.

The confluence, Mapungubwe hill and Canopy walk are all in the Leokwe section. I would advise spending more time there if possible.

Have you tried to get into Vhembe Bush Camp?
I am not sure what the possibilities are, but I have been to look and it is a place of stunning beauty. If you can get into Vhembe bush camp, I would consider spending at least two nights there.

This is a place of magic, I do hope that you have a thoroughly enjoyable stay.

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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:09 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:37 am
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Location: Ronda Spain / Hoedspruit
Thanks so much for the welcome.
Also thankyou for the comments so far. These will definitely help to plan the trip. :D

MM I tried to find out availability at Vhembe, but the web page won't open for that camp.
Does anyone know if the camp is still open?.
With some luck it is just the internet gremlins at work.

Best Regards.

Dave.

ps.
The following 6 weeks are going to pass v e r r rrrry slowly..........


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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:16 am 
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Location: Ronda Spain / Hoedspruit
Oopps.....
Yes Gremlins at work......page now opens


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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:17 am 
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Hi djhep6

As MM pointed out the park is divided into a eastern and western section, and they are an hours drive apart. So do try and stay in both sections.

We camped at Mazhou camp site and totally loved it. It is right on the top of my favourite camping sites in SANParks. But then the tented camp is in much the same setting, so probably just as lovely.

And do book a heritage walk so you can go up the hill. It is so worth it - but book the early one, as the heat of the day makes the climb up the hill tough going :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:37 pm 
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I agree with DinkyBird, the heritage site is a must.

If I were in your shoes:

I would 3 nights in Mazhou, or Limpopo tented camp. There is not much between them in terms of setting. If you are avid campers, staying in Mazhou might free some "pennies" for a few extras. The sunset drive is highly recommended.

2 nights Leokwe
2 nights Vehmbe.

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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:37 am
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Location: Ronda Spain / Hoedspruit
MM.
Thanks for your recommendation.
Actually, i do much prefer camping, so i'm going to book up for

2 nights Tsendze
2 niights Punda
3 nights Mazhou,
2 nights in Leokwe and
2 nights Vehmbe.

Also thanks to the others that have recommeded activities / sight seeing etc.
As i shall be there for the week, i hope to try them all :)

If anyone can recommend a particularly good cottage or camping spot at any of the locations above, that would be great.
Otherwise i'll do as i usually do and take pot luck (I've yet to be dissapointed).

Best Regards.

Dave.


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 Post subject: Re: 7 nights in Mapungubwe - where to stay?....
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Dave, I would really love to get feedback on bookings for Vhembe.

I do know that it was considered to be a "trails camp", but that seems to be flexible.

Image

Good luck with a special place :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:15 pm 
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I’ve been recently travelling to several Sanparks NP, one of them was Mapungubwe National Park. I havent been there before and after a 4 days stay I must say, I was not very happy about the situation in that park at all.

I am a experienced traveller and also a FGASA Field guide, I’ve been in many parks around Africa. Together with my husband I travelled 160.000 km. We’ve been also to the other side of Limpopo river at Tuli Block. What a difference!

When we arrived at Mapungubwe, I was sure that the campsite is on the Eastern Side, as there is no campsite shown on the Maps on the Sanparks Website, I was thinking that the campsite is at Leokwe Main Camp. Ok My fault.

We were booked for 1 night and 3 more nights, the first night was an additional booking. At the Main Gate the comupter system was off and I did get a handwritten permit for – 1 day – what I did realised only the next day. We were told to choose any campsite. Than we had to drive 40 km back and turn left at a road without any signboard. We managed to find the entrance and there was – No Gate – No control – Nobody. Just a cattle grid.

We found the campsite and took the last of 10 campsites. Still nobody to have a check of the permit. OK, it’s the 31.12.

The next morning we were surprised hearing somebody starting at 4:30. But OK its New Year. We left at 6 for a game drive. Soon after entering the river loop we met a herd of Elephants who were kept between some fences and the dense bush, they were obviously thirsty and very angry and could not get to the water, a high voltage fence kept them away from the water, behind that fence we saw another fence, a barbed wire fence who was partially destroyed.

We had to drive back and escaped from the Elephants. Later we saw a location where the elephants can go to the water, at the afternoon we met there another herd of angry Elephants. We had to drive back again. On several places at the river loop we found pieces of barbed wire on the ground.

The next day we drove over to the Eastern Side. Nobody realised that we had only a permit for the day before. OK, it was the 1.1.2012. Useless to say that the kiosk at the Picknick Place and at Leokwe Main Camp were closed, but that’s a minor complaint. Later I learned that they are regularly closed, resp. that at Leokwe Camp the room is used as storage. Again we found a fence along the river. At the turn of to the river, where the road comes down from the hill in direction to the confluence lookout, we met again – angry Elephants. That was a very hairy situation as ther road turns left there and it was very difficult to drive back.

Dissappointed we drove back to the campsite. We could not reach the river. Either on Western nor on Eastern side. That was the reason for coming to this park! That wonderful river view we had on the Botswana Side! We were sitting there for hours and watching the birds….

The next day we spended mostly in the campsite. There was some coming and going at the campsite, but still nobody wanted to see any permit from us. The guys cleaned the ablutions and the campsite absolutly perfect. Never had such a clean braai place at a Sanparks campsite!

But, we were shocked about all the fences. It is not only the fence at the river loop.
Another loop leads from River Loop into Gallery Wood Loop, from River side no electric fence, no barrier or grid, from the other side electric fence and barrier. Theres another fence at the Experimental site. Fences over fences….

Image

Theese are two of three possible roads one can drive on this side of Den Staat Road. The river is completely closed away. No water holes as far as I know. Also at the Eastern Side, no acces to the river. We drove over 1800 km to stand in front of – fences?

There is only one place to go at the Western Side, thats the Bird Hide. So we did go there. Even with only half of the Campsite occupied the Hide was overcrowded.

The next afternoon I came at 3 o’clock to the hide, already 8 persons in, spreading over 2 of 4 benches, 3 cooler boxes, + baby on blanket. After me another 12 persons came in. 2 gave up and left. The other squeezed into the windows. One can imagine the noise?

It is not possible there to look at a normal Elephant behaviour. They are angry, in stress, only one time a family took their time to have a mud bath. Weve been there 6 times and saw about 8 or 9 breeding herds. All others were running away shortly after drinking.

Again, there was no control in the camp or in the park. Some guys again did leave for game drive at 4:30, some came back at 8 at night. One afternoon three parties came in, had a shower, filled up water, did go to the loo, threw away their waste and than left again.

What makes me think, are two points. I know that Mapungubwe has the problem of many owners in the area. I know that theres the problem with cattle in the park. BUT

- The fences at the river are not only useless, they create very dangerous situations. The second one, the barbed wire fence, only provokes injuries. It made me think, why did we find so many pieces of wire on the road, are there people using the wire for anything else? The first one, the electrical one, keeps Elephants on the road, where they can collide with visitors, on both sides of the park.

- The lack of control. We virtually drove three days through the park without a permit. That situation opens poaching all doors. Why is there not at least an electric gate with radio and camera at the Western side like it is at Mokala National Park? Why is there no control in the camps?

As we left the Park, we met a Sanparks car on Den Staat Road. A single Elephant Bull was walking on the road, right side of the fence (outside of the park). We gave him space to pass us, only to see in the mirror the Sanparks car chasing him into the bush. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Oh dear, Southerndream, I am sorry that you were so disappointed.

I do know that Mapungubwe has its challenges. For myself, I will be very pleased when it is one happy family.

I did try to follow the detail of your concern about fences and security. I am afraid to say that I did get a bit lost :redface: but this kind of issue tends to confuse me. I am really not good with detail.

I never felt insecure in Mapengubwe, but I do agree that the two different sides to the reserve are confusing.

My perspective:

typical west:

Image

typical east

Image
den Staat road..

Image

and I agree, leaves much to be desired.

but then...
also

Image

Image

this is a place beyond description.

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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:49 am 
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Hi,

its not about me feeling unsafe, but its about all that poaching.....


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