This conversation could take a while, as I am not able to use the forum during the daytime when I am at work.
The trails camp was designed to be used for normal accommodation (albeit largely unadvertised) for part of the week. Only 1 trail a week was ever (to my knowledge and from what I have read on the website) planned.
Now. All the camps in Mapungubwe are unfenced and game density is nothing like in the KNP - even in the north. Most of the people visiting ARE going for the smaller things. My fave sightings whilst I was there were porcupine, parabuthus scorpion and the tiniest little jumping spider, which I just happened to notice hopping across the path outside our tent at Limpopo Forest (which only sleeps 14 in total, BTW). I can't see Mapungubwe ever becoming like the KNP popularity-wise. It's too remote and the lack of facilities will put people off as well, so (and I hope I don't have to eat my words later) I don't think you'll ever have a problem there with party animals. Also, the profit thing doesn't wash with me as there is no way they can be making a profit right now.
Bearing in mind that the park is not full of loud people with stereos pumping, wheel-spinning away from everything that doesn't match a big-5 sighting (we've all met them in the KNP, eh?
), why shouldn't perfectly good vacant accommodation be used if people request it? I'm sure that if there ever is a demand for 2 trails a week, the camp will only be used for this purpose. But until then, what is the problem?
Incidentally, I am the type of person who would love to do a trail (the beginning of this thread was my enquiry about the trail at Mapungubwe prior to my visit) but not everyone is able to - perhaps through age or infirmity. Should these people be denied a wilderness experience?
WTM - I urge you to visit (Mapungubwe, not me
. Your passion for the KNP is evident in your posts and I also get the impression that your love for the trails is partly based on a desire to experience something truly wild and different from most peoples experiences. The main camps in Mapungubwe will never seem as remote as the trails camps in KNP (people have to drive their own vehicles there, for a start), but they are small, beautifully blended in with their environment, quiet and give you the opportunity to observe the smaller things with or without doing a trail. Much as I love Kruger, Mapungubwe offers a completely different experience, and (I know I keep banging on and on about it) I can't believe more Saffa's haven't visited it yet. I can't wait to go back (April/May next year).
Oh yeah....and the birding is pretty damn good too!