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 Post subject: Impressions of Mapungubwe - Aug 2007
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:01 pm 
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Location: Krugersdorp
Part 1

Yesterday we returned from a long weekend at Mapungubwe -Mazhou camp site. I had been looking forward for some time to this trip as I had hear many good things about this park.

We set out from JHB at 4:30 am and took the N1 north to Polokwane. In Polokwane we took the road to Alldays. This route was pretty quiet and the road was generally in very good condition with very few potholes. Drivers must beware of baboons and monkeys crossing the road - the grass is quite long and grows right up against the road's edge.

We arrived at the main gate at about 11 am, checked in and were told to drive back 5 km to follow the Den Staat road for about 20 km. We did just that. The Den Staat road is a public gravel road and is fairly corrugated. For an easier and qucker drive to Mazhou or Limpopo forest camp drive toward Pontdrift border post and a few km before the border you find the Den Staat turnoff to the right. This section is much less corrugated and is half the distance.

Arriving at the campsite, my first thought was that the area looks very much like the Pafuri area in KNP. The camp site is situated in the Limpopo's riverine forest. The camp attendant told us to choose any site - we chose number 7. We set up camp and then had a look at the ablutions. The ablution building is quite small with only 2 toilets, 2 showers, and 2 open basins. A bathroom for disabled perosns is also supplied. There is no designated ladies/gents. A small communal kitchen has 2 basins and a single 2 plate stove. I must say that even with all 10 camp sites occupied the ablution facilities were not much of a problem. The ladies did complain about the open basins though. Quite often I found myself brushing teeth alongside a woman. Some couples seemed to very much enjoy this setup. Twice I heard the voices of a man and a woman from inside the shower. The toilet is situated right next to the shower so you can pretty much hear everything. I don't think there was any funny business going on though - it didn't sound like it :wink: .

The camp site itself is lovely. Each campsite is numbered, clearly demarcated and has its own tap, powerpoint, dustbin and light. The camp sites are all very well shaded.

We decided to do a small drive in the afternoon. We followed the river road that passes a really "mean" fence with barbed wire and all. We did not spot much on this road. We took a turnoff and ended up at the waterhole (I forget the name). This waterhole proved to be an excellent place to watch game. This part of the park (the western section) has several areas that are old farmlands in the process of rehabilitation. In several places old pipes, fences and wires are strewn around. I had to keep reminding myself that I was in a national
park and not on a private game farm near Brits somewhere. I realise that this is a park under development but I feel this part should rather have been opened once rehabiitation had taken place and all evidence of prevoius farming activities had been removed. I really did not get that national park feeling on this side of the park if you know what I mean.

We returned back to camp, lit the coals and had our braai. That night we heard hyaena and jackal calling from far off.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 9:41 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Part 2

We awoke at about 6 am to the francolins. After settling down with my cup of coffee I noticed that a large bird party (a group of birds of various species moving together) was above my tent. I reached for my binos and spent the next 2 hours just watching the prolofic bird life. I would definitely want to visit this camp in the summer!

After breakfast we headed off to visit the eastern section of the park. On the Den Staat road we came across a herd of tsessebe.

The eastern section of the park is just awesome. The trees are amazing, I saw the zebra bark kanniedood (Commiphera merkeri) and varoius other Commiphera species. The landscape in this part is really awesome. We stopped at the Limpopo valley view point where you can get out your vehicle. The view of the Limpopo River is just awesome. From here you can also see the confluence of the Shahse and Limpopo.

We did not see much game as it was after 9 am and becoming quite hot. We stopped off at the treetop hide and enjoyed the sight of a baboon troop moving below. At the hide on the Limpopo we watched an Egyptian goose harassing a pair of Egyptian geese with a single small chick (gosling?).

Next we moved onto the confluence viewpoints. The views of the Shashe an Limpopo are just stunning!

After lunch at the picnic site we headed back to the camp site.

That afternoon we drove back to the hide. The road from the Limpopo tented camp to the hide was filled wit many impala, bushbuck and common duiker At the hide we watched a small elephant breeding herd drinking at the waterhole. This hide and waterhole proved to be very popular with both tourists and animals. We spent about an hour and watched herds of impala, wildebeest, waterbuck, a single eland, kudu, and a troop of baboons drinking. On the way back to the campsite we come across a herd of elephant but they are deep in the trees.

Back at the camp site we hear that there is no water. Some people get out there torches and walk to the Limpopo Forest camp to notify the staff. A very stupid thing to do since lion and elephant had recently been seen nearby. The people return (after having scared a baboon troop out of their trees) reporting no sucsess. Another guest got in his vehicle and somehow sorted it out.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:07 am 
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Location: Krugersdorp
@ Johann - we took a look at the tented camp, looks really lovely.

Some pics as promised

Campsite (each site has the wood fence thingy with light, power, tap and dustbin):
Image

Very shady campsite:
Image

(Very small) ablution on right, kitchen and bathroom for disabled on left:
Image

Piggies along the river road (western section):
Image

Impies (eastern section)
Image

Limpopo valley viewpoint - sandy bit in distance is teh Shashe River (eastern section):
Image

Baboons below treetop walk (eastern section):
Image

Limpopo river seen from treetop hide (eastern section):
Image

More photos to come...

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:10 pm 
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@Senyetse: Maybe you saw us. I was driving a silver Clio. We even paid a visit to the campsite late on Saturday afternoon.

pardus wrote:
@ Johann: Latest lifers from Mapungubwe trip: Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Three-banded Courser, Senegal Coucal & Tinkling Cisticola

:mrgreen: ...


Sorry to hijack your thread a little Senyetse.

Oops, I forgot to list Meyer's Parrot.
@Pardus: Yes, the Senegal sighting was nice, could study it for quite some time out in the open BUT I was even happier with the Tinkling Cisticola and then even more so with the Three-banded Courser!

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

Latest lifers from Kruger NP:
Black Coucal Centropus grillii Swartvleiloerie
Flappet Lark Mirafra rufocinnamomea Laeveldklappertjie


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:55 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Quote:
@Senyetse: Maybe you saw us. I was driving a silver Clio. We even paid a visit to the campsite late on Saturday afternoon.


Yes I did. I remember because we were glad to see another sedan in the camp - we were feeling a bit out amongst all the 4x4's and offroad trailers :lol:. We were in the metallic green Yaris Sedan.

Quote:
Sorry to hijack your thread a little Senyetse.


Not at all, feel free :D.

Quote:
Oops, I forgot to list Meyer's Parrot.


I heard them but did not see them. I have seen them in SE Zim though.

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:21 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
treetop walk
Image

treetop walk
Image

treetop walk
Image

campsite
Image

confluence viewpoint (Limpopo in foreground with Shashe flowing in from the north - this is where RSA, Zim and Botswana come together
Image

confluence viewpoint
Image

Viewpoint at confluence picnic site
Image

Eskom tree :lol: (a power pole in the tree rehabilitation area )
Image

Giraffe at waterhole
Image

Waterhole
Image

Waterhole
Image

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Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:21 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Krugersdorp
Thanks everyone :D.

We did not do the tour to Mapungubwe hill as our daughter is too young by a year and would be bored out of her mind :roll: (kids!). We'll leave that for a next time. I'd also like to stay in the eastern side the next time. A campsite there would be nice...

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June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:04 am 
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In a short article on Transfrontier Parks in the latest WEG magazine (#35, September 2005) it is mentioned that 10 additional camping spots will be added to the campsite in Mapungubwe next year.

From what Senyetse said about the size of the current ablution facilities I wonder if SANParks will also upgrade the ablutions to accommodate the extra people?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:16 am 
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The camp attendant did mention that an additional ablution block is to be built.

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June '12 - Berg-en-Dal


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