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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:17 am 
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Thanks for clarifying that. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Location: Pretoria South Africa
I agree, Mapungubwe has gone fence mad.

The reason for the elephant fences on the western section is explained on a signboard when you enter. Keeping the riverside safe from elephants & as natural as in the days of the farmers.

That is not natural. Natural is before the farmers arrived.

Understandably the fence around the two camps is necessary to protect, mostly the water pipes. However trees die of old age and drought and whatever without elephants. Not far away the new mine has cleared a HUGE area of riverside forest.

October 2011, two ellie cows were trapped in the agricultural research fenced area (another separate fenced area) on the way to Maloustwa hide. Don’t know when they got out. Their herd kept close by on the outside, I hope they broke the fence. :roll:

Why the old barbed wire fence (outside of the elephant fenced area in the Western section) is repaired all the time is a mystery. Maybe lack of communication. This iffy fence isn’t keeping elephants out or in; it’s a minor irritant that can cause unnecessary injury. By removing it completely, amazing river lookouts, at minor costs, will be possible. It would add a lot to the Western section.

Also I agree with the lack of control at the Western section. The scale of poaching is too horrendous to contemplate. We have on numerous occasions come across people on foot at dusk walking to and from ZZ2 and the citrus farm, also found lots of pieces of wire lying around.
These are huge staff villages at the neighbouring farms and we have seen no control on the coming and going of these workers or vehicles entering via the Den Staat road after gate closing time.

After saying all that, we have a great love, respect and appreciation for Mapungubwe and also the staff. For years we have and will continue to, spend every available cent and moment to visit this extraordinary place of beauty.

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Of all the things I'd been skeptical about, I didn't feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me. ~Cheryl Strayed


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 Post subject: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:21 am
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Location: johannesburg
Having just spent 4 days in Mapungubwe I would like to share some thoughts on the park, first the good.

Accommodation - excellent accommodation at Leokwe camp, large and spacious. A large lounge/diner with a small kitchen. a separate bedroom with an outside shower, and a small patio with a braai. The camp is set in an ampitheatre of red sandstone cliffs. There are no facilities in the camp so take all your food and drink with you. However you do have a widescreen TV with all the DSTV sports channels in all the chalets.

Scenary - the landscapes are spectacular, red sandstone cliffs with figs clinging to the rock faces, the white bark of the figs in sharp contrast to the red rock, particulary at sunset. Lots of very large baobab trees. The two main viewpoints are the boardwalk thru the tree canopy leading to a small hide overlooking the Limpopo river, good for bird spotting to too distant for bird photography. The confluence lookout where the Limpopo and Shahshe rivers meet is fantastic, high on a hill with 4 viewing platforms. The Shashe river was dry so a broad sand river disappered into the distance. The sound of cowbells from the Zim side echoed around the hills. A great place for landscape photography.

The not so good - the roads are very very bad, corrugated, rocky, narrow, twisting, with some short but steep inclines, the roads in the camp were also bad. No place for passing in many places, not the place to meet an aggro elephant. At least the equal of the kgalgadi roads.

The confluence lookouts lacked shade so spending time there on a hot day would be out of the question, well is was for us. The hide at the boardwalk only has seating for two people although there is space for more seating.

We only saw the eastern portion of the park as we were told not to use the internal road linking the western portion as it was in very bad condition.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:39 pm 
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Hello JimS,
I agree about the state of the roads but having spent four days in Mapungubwe you should have journeyed to the eastern portion for a look. You missed Maloutswa Hide which to me is one of the highlights of Mapungubwe. Matter of fact, I'd rate it as being as good as any in Kruger. Check my last two TRs and see if you agree. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
I just returned from Mapungubwe and am happy to report that the roads were great :clap: It was such a pleasure to drive :dance: around

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"I am doomed to be a wanderer, I am not an empire builder, I am not a missionary, I am not truly a scientist, I merely want to return to the bush to continue my wanderings" (Joseph Thompson - The bush for me and Africa for him)


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:55 am 
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Thanks for that Brenda :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:06 pm 
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RayK wrote:
Hello JimS,
I agree about the state of the roads but having spent four days in Mapungubwe you should have journeyed to the eastern portion for a look. You missed Maloutswa Hide which to me is one of the highlights of Mapungubwe. Matter of fact, I'd rate it as being as good as any in Kruger. Check my last two TRs and see if you agree. :D


Hi Everyone,
I just reread my above statement. It should have read "journeyed to the western portion for a look" :redface: I never could get my east and west straight. :lol:
Hi BrendaK,
Good news about the roads. Which roads were actually worked on?


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Also just got back from the Park on Sunday. Road between east and west very badly corrugated but we did encounter a grader at work between the western entrance and the Pontdrif road. An option when going between the two parts of the park is to use the tar road towards Pontdrif and about 1.5km before the border turn right to gain access to the western part of the park.

Unfortuantely the cows and their bells where now inside the park and grazing in the riverine forests. In fact we saw more cows and donkeys in the eastern section than we did wild game :( .


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:59 pm 
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I agree with concerns about fencing. Just come back from our second trip up there and probably saw more cows in the park than wild game (certainly on the eastern side). The fences neither keep domestic animals out nor wild animals in (we only saw 3 elephants in total) and really detract from what should be a fantastic river side drive.

I would certainly support removing the barbwire (should not be hard to find someone to take it away for free) and opening up a number of drives closer to the river.

Lovely park but in need of some rehabilitation to a more natural state.


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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe - the good and not so good
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:10 pm 
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I do think that this Park is the "jewel in the crown", not only of Sanparks, but of South Africa.

I do know the road you talk of, Graham.

Lets just keep talking :hmz: I hope things move.

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 Post subject: Re: Mapungubwe Fences and Security
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:01 am
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Location: Heidelberg
I am a regular visiter to Mpungubwe and mainly the western camp site as I am a caravaner. Fences is only there to keep out the honset crook. You will not stop poachers with any fence. You are talking about angry elephants. I have seen many heards there nad not one was angry or aggressive they came and go over the fence to Botswana as they please.

On many occations I have seen parks personnel fixing the fences and the following day the fence was trampled by the elephants. They are losing a battle with this. Poachers are also in the parks itself amongst the staff. Look at Kruger where over 100 rino ar already killed by poachers.

I still think Mapungubwe is one of the best parks to visit :popcorn:


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 Post subject: First Visit to Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:04 am 
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Hi all

Being a Kruger veteran, my wife suggested we try something different (gasp!). So I thought we might try Mapungubwe.

I need some advice:

Where is the best camp to stay? I need self-catering anyway, so restaurant etc is not an issue. However,a kitchette, shower is essential.
what are the roads like? I don't have a 4x4 (or even a bakkie), only a VW Polo 1.9tdi.
Do I need to take extra fuel etc?
What is the game experience like? I know Kruger well enough to see Big 5 almost every visit, so I don't want to trade down!

Thanks in advance:)


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 Post subject: Re: First Visit to Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:33 am 
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Hi Yatiya :D

I hope that you will become a Mapungubwe convert 8)

Firstly, the eastern and western sides of the park are separated by private land. The main camp, Leokwe is on the eastern side. It has most of the "tourist" areas such as the heritage site, the visitors information section, the broadwalk and the confluence.

I found Leokwe camp breathtakingly atmospheric. The scenery is most unusual, stark and has a terrible beauty. The cottages are semi luxury and very, very comfortable.

Leokwe

Image

Image

pool area

Image

confluence

Image

broadwalk

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Image

Limpopo tented camp, on the other side is close to the waterhole. The tents seemed very comfortable.

Image

The waterhole attracts all kinds of animals and is a wonderful place for animals and birds.

Image

This is not Big 5 country, but one of atmosphere

Image

baobabs

Image

and mystery

Image

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 Post subject: Re: First Visit to Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:38 am 
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There are 4by4 roads, but the main attractions can be accesed by normal vehicles. There is a petrol station about 20kms from the reserve.

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 Post subject: Re: First Visit to Mapungubwe
Unread postPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:37 am 
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Hi yatiya and Welcome!

MM has given you an excellent overview of Mapungubwe. I was there recently, driving a Polo :wink: , and stayed 2 nights at Leokwe and 3 at Limpopo Tented Camp. I enjoyed both camps, whilst they are quite different, and both parts of the park. However, due to ongoing drought in the area, I saw very little game on the eastern (Leokwe camp) side, but particularly enjoyed the treetop boardwalk and the hide at the end of the boardwalk that overlooks the Limpopo. While I didn't always see that many birds, just the atmosphere of walking at treetop level was magic!

I was amazed at the difference in the amount of game (and birds) that I saw when I moved on to the western (Limpopo camp) side of the park, which had been less affected by the drought. While I never saw any predators on either side of the park (altho I heard both lions and hyena at night), I had several lovely up close encounters with breeding herds of ellies on the western side and was amazed at how close some cows with small calves came to me. I should note that I am very comfortable around ellies and always, once I've approached to a comfortable distance from the ellies, switch off my engine, which allows them to approach me if they wish to. The Mapungubwe ellies seemed to me to be particularly relaxed and several times came very close indeed -- on occassion less than 3 metres from my car! :dance:

On my first visit to the hide, I saw very little, but on my second visit, which was mid-afternoon when no one else was there (the hide seems to be busiest early mornings and late afternoon), just as I was about to leave after again seeing very little, a herd of ellies approached and for the next hour I was massively entertained by ellies of all ages and sizes frollicking in the water and intereacting, most of the time right in front of the hide, which meant that I could almost reach out and touch them, they were so close! They most definitely knew that I was there in the hide, often lifting thier trunks to catch my scent as I moved about in the hide with my cameras, but again they were very relaxed.

Mapungubwe is not KNP, but its scenery is dramatic, there is a lot of history there, and the park has a very special atmosphere. I most definitely hope to return there and recommend the park enthusiastically.

Enjoy your visit!

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20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
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