Mapungubwe routes

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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Lewisman
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Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Lewisman »

We hope to have three whole days in Mapungubwe in early January, staying at Leokwe. It will be our first time in the Park. I understand there are a limited number of routes compared to eg. Kruger, especially as we will only have 2-wheel drive. What are the recommended drives to get a good feel for the park in that time, and to get to the must-see places? TIA
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arks
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by arks »

IMO Mapungubwe is more about hides and lookout points than game drives. The roads, especially without 4WD, are limited. However, just time in the camp can be rewarding, since Leokwe is unfenced, so you can see game surprisingly close to your chalet at times, as well as plenty of birds. I've awoken to eland only a metre or two away from the stoep and others have been lucky enough to have elephant close by. I would visit both the treetops walk and the confluence lookouts several times a day (my own preference is for the treetops walkway, but others prefer the confluence lookouts). And I would allow one whole day for a visit to the western part of the park. The hide there can be extremely rewarding. You also don't want to miss the interpretive centre; the golden *** is breathtaking!

Mapungubwe is one of my two favourite SANParks (the other is MZNP) and I'm sure that you will enjoy it! :mrgreen: Have a look through some recent trip reports for more ideas of what you can expect.
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Hi Lewisman, Arks is right, it is very much about places rather than driving around looking for game.

I have visited Mapungubwe frequently and the roads have been vastly improved. Many roads that were previously inaccessible are now very much improved. There are roads that are clearly 4X, but these are marked out.

The roads in the west are very corrugated so even 4x4 will feel uncomfortable. It is still worth a trip to the hide for a bit of magic.

If you decide to do the Mapungubwe hill tour, you will be driven to the hill. It is out of bounds for tourists. It is well worth doing unless you have bad knees. I would suggest doing the hill tour and possibly a sundowner drive. This will take you to places that a sedan can't reach.

I have booked a December break staying at Mapungubwe. Other than one Jimny, everyone will be in sedans. I feel confident that we will have enough to do and see.
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Lewisman
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Lewisman »

Thanks both. We are very much looking forward to it.

Given Leokwe is unfenced, can you just go for a walk from the camp?

Is the hide in the western section accessible by sedan? Is the Sanparks map on the Mapungubwe page up to date regarding what is 4x4 only?

Are there any picnic sites? Are there the same rules on staying in your vehicle as Kruger, or not?

I assume Mapungubwe has the same prevalence of mosquitoes and malaria risk as Kruger?

Thanks again.
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Lewisman wrote: Mon Oct 09, 2023 9:05 pm Thanks both. We are very much looking forward to it.

Given Leokwe is unfenced, can you just go for a walk from the camp?

Is the hide in the western section accessible by sedan? Is the Sanparks map on the Mapungubwe page up to date regarding what is 4x4 only?

Are there any picnic sites? Are there the same rules on staying in your vehicle as Kruger, or not?

I assume Mapungubwe has the same prevalence of mosquitoes and malaria risk as Kruger?

Thanks again.
The Sanparks map is a bit out of date in terms of 4x4 routes. The road to the hide is very corrugated but a sedan can manage comfortably. The hide actually has a picnic area and excellent ablutions. It is well decked out for day visitors.

Although Leokwe camp is unfenced, there is a very clear demarcation of the boundary of the camp. There are Leopards in the area, so it is important to keep this in mind.

The camp itself has a lot of space for interesting walks. It is difficult to describe how special this camp is. The swimming pool must have one of the most beautiful settings in the world. That too has braai and picnic facilities.

There is a really lovely picnic area at the confluence. It is only a few kilometers from Leokwe. The Mapungubwe information center also has a visitor area and a place for a small walk.

The Tree Top Canopy Walk is another place where you can get out and walk. Sadly, this was almost completely washed away in floods, but you can still get out and explore the riverine forest area.

There are lions and leopards, so the rules about remaining in the vehicle do apply.

I would take Malaria medication in the summer months.
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Lewisman
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Lewisman »

Thank you so much Meandering mouse and Arks for answering my questions; it is so helpful. Just a few more, if you don't kind.

When you say 'the road to the hide', which hide is that?

Is there anywhere online where I can find a detailed, up to date map of the Park? I've tried google without much success.

What would be a reasonable driving time to the entrance from Mussina - about an hour?

Are there braais, either at the picnic sites, or at the accommodation units in Leokwe?

thanks again
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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by lion queen »

Hi Lewisman,

Here is a link to Mapungubwe Maps on the website

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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by lion queen »

Are there braais, either at the picnic sites, or at the accommodation units in Leokwe?
Please see Accommodation Photos Northern Parks

and photos from the website

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Re: Mapungubwe routes

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Lewisman wrote: Tue Oct 10, 2023 11:24 am Thank you so much Meandering mouse and Arks for answering my questions; it is so helpful. Just a few more, if you don't kind.

When you say 'the road to the hide', which hide is that?

Is there anywhere online where I can find a detailed, up to date map of the Park? I've tried google without much success.

What would be a reasonable driving time to the entrance from Mussina - about an hour?

Are there braais, either at the picnic sites, or at the accommodation units in Leokwe?

thanks again
Lion Queen, :thumbs_up:

There is the canopy, tree top walk with a hide, but the main hide is in the western camp, close to Limpopo tented camp. You have to exit the eastern side to get to Maloustwa hide.

I would give about an hour's driving time from Mussina. The road used to be very potholed. I am not sure of the condition now.

Each unit in Leokwe has a braai and there is braai space at the swimming pool. The confluence braai area gets 10/10 on all points. If you spending time at the hide, I suggest taking a picnic basket.

This is a superb trip report written recently by Karin Mitton. She stayed at Leokwe, Vhembe and the campsite. It is well worth a read.

https://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=129037
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