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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:59 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Last December 2 of us were alone at Vhembe camp for 6 nights , there was a leopard calling for close on 2 hours as it moved around the camp . The lady accompanying me would not budge from the lapa till it was no longer audible .
Very few elephant around even though it was bone dry , but again the river had water .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:32 am 
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The elephants in the Eastern Section are currently still fenced in on all sides, so no ventures to Botswana for these ones. I think the section has about 50-80 ellies. During the dry season Poachers Corner and the stretch of road between the Tree Top Walk and the Confluence are relatively reliable for elephant sightings, but after the rains you just have to be lucky.

The real 'elephant section' is the Western part of the park. The animals are indeed moving in from the Tuli area during the dry season and untill three years ago all of them would return to Botswana after the rains. Now the elephants have truly 'discovered' Mapungubwe not all of them are moving back anymore though. Last summer up to a 100 individuals stayed in the Western section during the whole wet season - numbers increasing up to 300 in the dry season.

Unfortunately the influx of elephants is detrimental to the unique riverine 'gallery' forest, which is one of the three main assets of the park according to the park management plan. (The Kalope/Maloutswa wetland and off course the historical/heritage sites being the other two.) It is on the cards to protect the big trees with hard-to-see fencing (as in use at the campsite and tented camp), but I'm pretty sure there's no money for this currently.

On the bright side: most farms (except for Den Staat) between the two sections have been bought and the two parts could be linked. Not sure when it's on the cards, but the adjacent Venetia reserve (owned by De Beers, as is much of Mapungubwe's land...) is planning to drop its fences with Mapungubwe in the coming months. The tar road to Musina will then be in the park and will hopefully get a lot of speed bumps. Only problem is that Venetia already has 80 elephants of its own...


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:00 pm 
Thanks, again, for sharing all these info JoelR. 8)
We sat at Maloutswa hide for 2 hrs hoping to see ellies coming for a drink….think it must be quite awesome to see them from that hide….oh well, this time we were not lucky, that is why I already booked a return trip. :lol:

We actually saw quiet a number of trees with wire at the bottom of the trunks….including at the Tree Top walk. Does this actually help?

Great news about the extra land bought! :clap:
While in the park we heard rumours of a proposed Charcoal mine planned for an area in/near the park? :?


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:16 pm 
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Anyone have a reservation at LFTC for 25 - 27 Dec , 3 nights that they may not take up / or do not want to cancell as they will forfeit their deposit ?
I will buy it from you , I have only been able to get 26th Dec (no cancellations for 2 weeks allready) and want at least the 27th as well .

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KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.


Last edited by ndloti on Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:21 pm 
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I've heard of charcoal prospecting at the Weipe farm, adjacent to Mapungubwe on the east. This falls in the proposed transfrontier park and is obviously an important part of the ecosystem. I am also quite concerned. Let's just hope the company who will be mining is as reasonable as De Beers and does something sizable back for conservation.

The wire around the trees usually helps, but I have also seen wired trees completely pushed over to reach the top leaves and/or fruits.

Yeah, it's incredible how close you can see the ellies drink and bath at Maloutswa during the dry season. Sometimes you can almost touch them and whoever's sitting in the hide usually forgets to breathe for a while...


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Location: Centurion
Thanx for all the interesting information, JoelR! :thumbs_up:

When we were in Mapungubwe Dec 07/Jan 08, we saw quite a number of elephants both in the eastern and western sections, especially on the eco-trail in the western section. Not once at Maloutswa though and we visit the hide often during the ten days we were there.

@Ndloti - seems Mapungubwe is very popular this Christmas! Even Mashou is fully booked.


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:24 pm 
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[quote="Jumbo"
We sat at Maloutswa hide for 2 hrs hoping to see ellies coming for a drink….think it must be quite awesome to see them from that hide….oh well, this time we were not lucky, that is why I already booked a return trip. :lol:

[/quote]
We saw lots in Nov 2006, Jumbo, it is a lovely hide, can quite understand why you have booked another trip :D
Image
Some visited us a little close for comfort :lol:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:54 pm 
Oh, wow Freda, those are amazing photos! 8) ….@yes, I can imagine the later was a tad to close for comfort :shock: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:40 pm 
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Freda, I know it has nothing to do with this topic but--with those photos you've convinced me to book two nights in Mapungubwe in September. What a thrill to have elephants so close in camp.

Sorry to step on your lines Jumbo. I know it's not wise to have elephants that close but that was quite a photo.


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Pietermaritzburg
There are lots of elephants around Mapungubwe at the moment. We had a lovely time there over the last week but it is very dry. We had temps up to 40 degrees and luckily a bit of cooler weather over the last two days. The park needs rain soon as all the water holes except Maloutswa are dry. The Limpopo is hardly running as well. Saw lots of game and good birding. Naomi c it`s completely different to last year especially on the eco trail section. Hardly any grass at all. Vhembe is really nice. Saw a leopard take a baby Wildebeest and then drop it when the adults ran at it. All this from my balcony last Saturday afternoon. Sat and watched the cat try to restore its pride for about two hours after the drama. Then last night it came back and had another go at them. This time it was successful I think but unfortunately it all happened behind some bush. Saw it chasing them and then lots of noise and dust. Finished off the week with a night drive with two honorary rangers which was great. Saw Giant eagle owl, Pearl spotted owl and about 5 spotted genets! Don`t want to say too much as we want to do a decent report on our trip.


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:10 am 
RayK wrote:
Freda, I know it has nothing to do with this topic but--with those photos you've convinced me to book two nights in Mapungubwe in September.


Great stuff, RayK 8) …I know you will not regret the booking :wink:

@Dave…wow, sounds like you had an amazing trip…looking forward to the pix and report! :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Did you guys know? Mapungubwe was realized in the 1930s when valuable artefect were found on the sacred hill further aerchaeological work revealed the extensive historical importnace of the wider region.

Visitors can experince Mapungubwe hill, where a far developed African civilisation prospered between 1200 and 1270 AD. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:16 pm
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Location: Pretoria
DID YOU KNOW?

Mapungubwe National Park was realized in the 1930s when valuable artefect were found on the sacred hill Further archaeological work revealed the extensive historical importance of the wider region.

Visitors can experince Mapungubwe hill, where a far developed African civilisation prospered between 1200 and 1270 AD.

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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Location: Centurion
Does anybody know if Mapungubwe had any rain lately. From the trip reports it seems that in the northern parts of Kruger it only started raining around Christmas time. Hope the same happended in Mapungubwe!

@ Dave Moore - only saw your post today, seems like you had an awesome time! Looking forward to your trip report - cannot wait actually!!


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 Post subject: Re: RAIN IN MAPUNGUBWE
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Pietermaritzburg
I phoned the park at the end of December and they said that it had rained, but not very much. The weather service site shows that Pont Drift has had about 70mm up to the end of December. Weather forecasts for Musina have been quite positive, but that doesn`t mean that it has actually rained! I will try and find out more info about this today and will post the findings. As soon as I get my feet on the ground at work, I will do the trip report !


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