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Mapungubwe: ADVICE

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Krokodile
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Mapungubwe: ADVICE

Unread post by Krokodile » Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:25 pm

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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Krokodile
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Unread post by Krokodile » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:14 pm

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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Unread post by j-ms » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:31 pm

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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Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:25 pm

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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Unread post by j-ms » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:27 pm

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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Unread post by lam » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:24 pm

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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Unread post by j-ms » Fri Oct 21, 2005 4:35 pm

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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Unread post by Krokodile » Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:27 pm

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? :roll: ), 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 8) . 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! :wink:

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Unread post by arks » Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:25 pm

wildtuinman wrote:Well news for all, is that Mapungubwe will eventually become part of the GLTP, thus becoming part of Kruger.


I'm assuming you mean "becoming part of Kruger" administratively, not physically? Or are there plans for there to be enough parkland between the areas as they exist now for them to be somehow physically connected? Hard to imagine :shock:
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Krokodile
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Unread post by Krokodile » Tue Oct 25, 2005 9:57 pm

wildtuinman wrote:Well news for all, is that Mapungubwe will eventually become part of the GLTP, thus becoming part of Kruger.


Can you divulge your sources on this, WTM? I just can't picture this at all considering the number of farms and communities which are between the KNP and Mapungubwe on the SA side alone. It would make financial sense to incorporate the park into Kruger if the land was available, but I think it would be a shame to lose Mapungubwe's individuality.

I'm feeling guilty now, WTM - hope you didn't think I was lecturing you :redface:

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Unread post by gwendolen » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:05 pm

I think WTM might refer to the new Limpopo Shashe Transfrontier Park.
[edit] And I just found this: the Golden Horseshoe
Interesting.

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Unread post by Krokodile » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:24 pm

Oh, I knew about that :lol:

I can't wait, actually. The only bit I disliked about Mapungubwe was the border fence!

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Unread post by Loams » Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:14 am

wildtuinman wrote:Imagine this Mega Park extending all the way to the Kgalaghadi? Wouldn't that be awesome?! :D


Imagine this mega park taking up all of Sub Saharan Africa. A wild dream, I know, but it's cool to dream. I call it, my heaven dream :wink:
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Unread post by CurtisDillon » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:38 am

I found THIS map. Hope this helps papop and some info on Mapungubwe. :lol:
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Unread post by lam » Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:26 pm

Papop - There were hardly any other people staying at Mapungubwe when we were there, so hopefully you will be lucky and have a nice quiet time.

We never went to the Lekwe camp. We stayed at the trails camp, which had been designed so that each balcony was completely private.
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