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Mapungubwe: ADVICE

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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:25 pm Unread post
Hello

Can anyone tell me more about the walking trail in Mapungubwe? I believe that this cannot be booked through central reservations and have mailed the camp direct but have not yet received a response.

We have visited the KNP on several occasions, but have never done a walking trail. As this will be the first time we have visited Mapungubwe, we thought it might be a nice introduction to the park.

The sort of information I am looking for is how many km's are covered on each day & what sort of game we are likely to see etc.etc.

Thanks in advance

Krokodile
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walking

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:11 am Unread post
The Kruger one's are great!! In the Kruger you'll do +- 8 km's a day including morning and afternoon, morning being the longest. Might be the same for Mapungubwe?? I don't know.

I only have a contact for the Kruger ones infortunatly. Keep on trying the camps or try park admin.

Enjoy it!



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:14 pm Unread post
Things may have changed now, but we eventually did get a response from the park advising us that walking trails were not being run as they had no guide in place to run them. Someone else has posted (was it lam?) that they stayed at the trails camp on their visit, which can be booked during the part of the week the trails are not running, when they are, if you know what I mean :roll:

Anyway, I'd still like to know the answer, as I will definitely be going back some time - possibly in Aprill/May next year.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:31 pm Unread post
The walking trails are not being run because of the only trained guide has been transferred to Mountain Zebra Park.

The current guides who do the night drives and Mapungubwe tours (to the archeological site) are apparantly being trained to lead the walks (and I think some of the other personnel, such as Ali, the caretaker of the trails camp itself).

lam and I stayed in the trails camp a few weeks ago, which at R300 for a unit sleeping two people per night, is excellent value for money and in a glorious private location.

Even when the trails are up and running again, they will be allowing guests to stay at the trails camp during the midweek period (I'm not sure of ther exact days).



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:39 pm Unread post
Oh well they have to make money from it somehow, but I really don't like this. Imagine people staying in one of Kruger's trails camps when a trail is not running? These camps should be for the purists only. Only those booking a trail should have the priviledge to stay at these camps.

Realy hope that they can get the trails up here sorted out to make the camps profitable.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:54 pm Unread post
Can I just ask "why?" WTM?
Mapungubwe is not like Kruger - the whole structure has been designed for minimum impact on the environment (as the KNP would have been if it had been built today) and does not accommodate in the whole park what can be accommodated in a relatively small camp in the KNP. Facilities are good, but amenities are basic (I mean the accommodation is quite luxurious, but there are no shops/pools/fuel stations etc) and this has resulted in the park being incredibly quiet as only people prepared to do without these things visit. I didn't visit the Vhembe trails camp, so I don't know what the accommodation is like (do you have any photo's J-ms?), but even if the huts are more basic than Limpopo Forest or Leokwe, then fine - that is why they are cheaper. Prices for the standard accommodation at Mapungubwe are not cheap by SA standards (when we went it was R495 for one night in Limpopo forest and R540 for one night in Leokwe - trails camp as J-ms says is only R300) and if they can improve occupancy of the park by using that accommodation, then why on earth not?



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:15 pm Unread post
Knew I should have said that I don't have a clue what Mapungubwe looks like, but its friday and I should have been long gone to home. All I meant is that I hope that it does not get like that in Kruger. It would be a tragedy!!



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:16 pm Unread post
wildtuinman wrote
Oh well they have to make money from it somehow, but I really don't like this. Imagine people staying in one of Kruger's trails camps when a trail is not running? These camps should be for the purists only. Only those booking a trail should have the priviledge to stay at these camps.


I fail to understand your reasoning at all.

Krokodile wrote
I didn't visit the Vhembe trails camp, so I don't know what the accommodation is like (do you have any photo's J-ms?)...


We didn't take any photies of the camp unfortunately, and there don't seem to be any on the site. The camp is fabulous. Of all the design work done, the architects were the most proud of the trails camp and I can understand why. The huts are unusual in that large parts are just shade cloth. The basin is like an old tin bucket. The shower water runs out through holes in the floor. The windows are tent material and shadecloth. Each balcony is completely private. The communal kitchen, dining area and braai area were all lovely.

At R300 a night for 2, it was incredible value for money. Especially as we had the place to ourselves for 3 of the 4 nights.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:25 pm Unread post
lam wrote
wildtuinman wrote
Oh well they have to make money from it somehow, but I really don't like this. Imagine people staying in one of Kruger's trails camps when a trail is not running? These camps should be for the purists only. Only those booking a trail should have the priviledge to stay at these camps.


I fail to understand your reasoning at all.



A trails camp should be for exactly just that, trails! Sorry I am out of here to start my weekend, so cannot argue further. :D



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:27 pm Unread post
I didn't take any photos of the trails camp but I can describe it. There are 4 2-bed A-frame wood/canvas/thatch combination huts with a shower and toilet and a small verandah which overlloks a small valley. There is a shared kitchen and dining area with an braai lapa. All is very tastefully done and built to blend into the hillside. Understated but basic. Of course, it is unfenced and animals do come into the camp, with pushed down and stripped trees being the obvious evidence of 'phump visits.

For lam and I, used to rough camping, even these basic facilities seemed like luxury to us so I am probably not the best person to cast an opinion.

I am slightly concerned that an element of elitism has been hinted at. As krok says, the park is very different from KNP. Visitor levels are incredibly low. Roads are rough. No facilities that the KNP masses seem to need. You will most likely see more SANP officials than other visitors.

I don't believe it would be sensible to try and ape KNP in any of the parks, especially one as unique and characterful as Mapungubwe. KNP and the other parks should only provide experience and reference points for the development of the newr parks, and not be absolute templates.

Different parks and camps with different facilities and characters allow for people with varying approaches to nature and the outdoors, to enjoy them and contribute to them (at least in a financial way by means of fees paid) in different ways.

Every time I complain about someone or groups behaviour in parks, lam reminds me that not everyone enjoys nature in our way.

I am all for Mapungubwe continuing to use the trails camps for general accomodation where it does impact on trails participants.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:28 pm Unread post
I forgive you WTM :lol:

I still fail to see the logic though



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:41 pm Unread post
I need to go visit Mapungubwe. It's on my to do list after Kgalagadi



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:16 pm Unread post
I'm hoping to go to Kgalagadi in May next year (seems like there's quite a few forumites planning a visit around then), but I adored Mapungubwe and am planning another trip there in May also!

Hey, it's not so far away (no further than Punda Maria) and is a totally different experience. I don't understand why (apart from the prices of accommodation, I guess :roll: ) more people haven't visited yet.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:24 pm Unread post
Mapungubwe is obviously going to get bigger and better as time goes on. Especially once the transfrontier bit gets going. The advantage of visiting it now is that hardly anyone knows about it and it is still empy. It seems to have a wildness that isn't there in Kruger.



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Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:35 pm Unread post
lam wrote
It seems to have a wildness that isn't there in Kruger.


I know I shouldn't say this, but my first impression was that it reminded me of Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe.
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