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Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:37 pm

WoW, Johann! He's impressive!!
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Unread postby JoelR » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:02 am

Johann wrote:At least we got to see him. :lol:

Thanx for posting Johann! The dude looks very healthy; I hope to see him when we have a stopover in Maps on our way to Zim on Thursday!

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Unread postby Bluedragon » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:48 am

Hi All,

First timer in here.

I've never been to Marakele only to the Kruger and I would like to get more info on the animals, I've been to the website.

I read somewhere on the forum that you need a 4x4 in order to see most animals including the big cats, is this true as I don't want to drive all the way there to see "Nog n bok" (Impala).

I have a sedan, and would love to see the big cats, would I be able to see lion in a sedan or not.

If anyone could please help me...

Thanks.....

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Unread postby JoelR » Mon Oct 29, 2007 9:29 pm

In this article Michele Hofmeyr of SANParks scientific service explains why in the future ellies will be prevented from entering the magnificent riverine forest in Mapungubwe.

It's a tough call. I have seen many magnificent breeding herds making the gallery forest their home - especially in the dry season when it's often a guaranteed spot for a nice sighting. However, Mapungubwe wants to focus on heritage and wants to give visitors a 'sense of place' in combination with Mapungubwe Hill and the rock art that is to be found in the area. Just as the sandstone ridges, the riverine forest is part of that 'sense of place'. To preserve the big nyala trees and especially the undergrowth, SANParks might have to keep the ellies out - at least for a while.

Image
Ellies in the riverine forest

Where it comes to the research by Theo Scholtz as mentioned in the article, I have to add that all the actual work on the ground was done by fieldranger Bianca Engelbrecht and her team of people from Musina, working in a poverty relief project. They are still doing great work managing a nursery and a tree rehabilitation project in the Western Section!

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Unread postby JoelR » Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:27 am

According to (western) Section Ranger Stefan Cilliers they have recently counted 220 elephants in his section only! I don't have totals for last year but in 2006 there were 114 ellies counted in the whole park, in 2005 a mere 65 and before that even less.

Virtually all elephants have moved in from the Tuli Block in Botswana, which is crowded with tuskers. So far the elephants migrated back over the Limpopo river in the rainy season, but Stefan noticed that most elephants have stayed during this summer.

This is off course great for ellie viewing, but it appears that Mapungubwe will soon face the same problems as Kruger. The Park Management Plan actually speaks off excluding elephants from the riverine forest, since this is a unique feature (see post above). However, Stefan said SANParks currently isn't allocating any money for him to put up more unobtrusive anti-ellie fencing, as some might know from the Limpopo Forest Camp and the Camp Site. He will try to close a few waterholes to prevent more influx of tuskers. In this cool trip report by TexasBoer you can read about the damage they are causing on the 4x4 Ecotrail...

For future visitors: most elephants will currently be wandering through the southern part of the western section, munching away on mopanes. When it gets dryer they move to the riverine forest and people stying in the tented camp or campsite can't miss them. A few years ago the Mapungubwe ellies were quite aggresive because of hunting memories, but the Botswana herds have taken over and they are baie chilled. The usual precaution, respect and carefulness should always be there though! :wink:

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Unread postby JoelR » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:17 pm

Not only elephant number are on the rise, scientists also counted 10 lions in the Western Section of the park - a new record. Even before the area is an official Transfrontier Park, lots of animals are already coming in from Botswana. Very handy for SANParks, no introductions needed. :wink:

The beautiful sandstone ridges in the park provide a good base for numerous leopards. Although the density of these cats is very high, they are much more elusive than in most areas in Kruger. I actually only know of sightings on night drives!

Here, you can read all about COUNTING CATS in Mapungubwe! 8)
Last edited by JoelR on Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby JenB » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:11 pm

That is great news, JoelR! We will be making Mapungubwe our next port 'o call! :dance:
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Unread postby JCM » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:56 am

Hi JenB!
Was really impressed with mapungubwe on my first visit.
rocky outcrops, riverine forests nice view points etc. But was quite amazed to spot A leopard on my way back to Leokwe camp.
Lots of other game species. I did visit the botswana side previously, but can reccommend Mapungubwe any time!
Thanx Joel for updates..i don,t miss them.

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Unread postby JenB » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:07 am

Hi JCM! :D
Yikes! Is this mental telepathy or what? :shock:
I'm actually checking accommodation for September! :lol:

Great guns, you spotted the lazy horse! :clap: Wonderful, I would love to give it a try, thanx! :wink:
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Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:09 am

Must say we were very lucky to see 2 leopards (probably mating pair :? ) on the Den Staat road in February and also a rhino not too far from the walkway :dance: 8)

During a trip there in August last year just heard the lions, but did not manage to see them :(
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Re: Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Unread postby john n poppy » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:37 pm

We didnt see lion or leopard but we saw their tracks on a moring drive.
Saw jackal on the way to the bird hide and heard lion and hyena during the time we were camping. We also saw eland on our moring drive and a great view of eles in the long grass in the eastern section.
(2 nights in August 08)

If your going camping is great and close to the super bird hide but i also wished we had stayed a night in the eastern section.

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Re: Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Unread postby JoelR » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:15 pm

A pack of more than 20 Wild Dogs from Botswana visited Mapungubwe recently by crossing the dry Limpopo river! As far as I know these are the Wild Dogs that used to live in Marakele NP but had to be moved to Mashatu GR in Botswana, because they kept breaking out and killing lifestock around Marakele.

There is another small Wild Dog population in Venetia GR, which will be linked up with Mapungubwe in the following year. Besides this there are occasional reports of (big!) packs that roam the area between Musina and Alldays. After linking up Botswana's Tuli Block (including Mashatu) with Mapungubwe, Venetia and adjacent area the dogs can hopefully establish a stable (real) population!

(Besides the population in Kruger, none of the South African reserves with wild dogs are currently big enough and the animals have to be moved around for genetic reasons. The existence of this so-called meta-population is obviously unnatural and far from ideal.)

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Re: Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Unread postby Dave Moore » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:23 pm

What fantastic news. Guess where we are going in just over a week !

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Re: Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Unread postby granjan » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:58 pm

We visited Mapungubwe at the beginning of November.My SO saw a leopard drinking on the far side of the river from the sunrise viewing platform.There was an eland bull close to the path as we walked up who charged to within about a metre! wealso saw giraffe and hyena as well as various buck and lots of eles but the main reason for visiting is surely the wonderful location. The cottages at Leokwe are fantastic.

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Re: Mapungubwe: ANIMALS

Unread postby Jakkalsbessie » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:02 am

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