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Our Mapungubwe experience

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stephan groen
Posts: 177
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:43 pm
Location: Johannesburg (Exactly 626km from Shingwedzi)

Our Mapungubwe experience

Unread post by stephan groen » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:14 pm

Just returned from an overall wonderful experience. Mapungubwe is a special place. I am setting out our experience in two parts, namely the good and the not so good:

1. Birding (151 species in 3 days)
2. Vhembe Wilderness Camp - the setting and the design is brilliant. The condition of the camp was also miles ahead of the rest of the camps. We will be back.
3. The scenery - cannot be rivaled anywhere in SA
4. Kanniedood 4x4 trail (we had to do a bit of road building)
5. The Confluence viewpoint
6. The new Maloutswa Hide
7. The treetop walk
8. The evening braais under the stars
9. Following the lion spoor after the early morning rain

The not so good (please see this as constructive feedback):
1. The Park manager walking right by us in reception and not returning our greeting
2. The overall clear lack of maintenance on all park infrastructure (most notably the interpretation centre that's still brand new).
3. The disinterested attitude of the staff at the restaurant/shop area (the lady actually complained that I am making her walk all the way to the back to get me firewood. If there was a functioning shop I could have picked the up the wood and ice from the shelf myself, but alas, the transaction was concluded (with no receipt) through the roll down door of the kitchen as that was the only thing that was open). The disinterest was noted everywhere (the gate, the restaurant, the picnic spot). The exception was the friendly guys operating the boom at the gate (the ones checking the permits).
4. No warm water (due to empty gas bottles) the first night at Vhembe and no one in camp to report this to (Foster did sort this out very efficiently the next day, but why was it not checked prior to our check in?)

From our perspective, Mapungubwe is a gem. Everything is there to make the park great, however, after having spent many nights across Kruger, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Marakele, Golden Gate, Garden Route, Table Mountain, Addo, Mountain Zebra and Augrabies, it is clear that Mapungubwe is not managed at the same level than the rest of these Sanparks parks are. Sure, we can probably all be overcritical and find 100s of things wrong (and right), but these are the main points that we feel can be rectified if managed correctly.

We will return, most definitely.
"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars."

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Posts: 14523
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Sheffield Beach KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Our Mapungubwe experience

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:54 pm

Thanks for your feedback Stephan, both good and not so good!
Please would you ensure you fill in the feedback form you should receive by e-mail or either send all those negatives you have listed to so that they can be adequately dealt with.
Thanks. :thumbs_up:

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:11 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Our Mapungubwe experience

Unread post by RayK » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:08 pm

Hi stephan groen,
Glad you had a mostly enjoyable time at Mapungubwe. Especially at my favorite SanParks hide, Maloutswa. :thumbs_up:

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