Mapungubwe: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

Moderators: ritad, RosemaryH, lion queen, Crested Val

User avatar
saraf
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 7811
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Portsmouth, England

Re: Mapungubwe: ADVICE

Unread post by saraf »

Thanks for the information Squirrel, much appreciated.
User avatar
Snoobab
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 368
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:28 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Mapungubwe: ADVICE

Unread post by Snoobab »

Hi Everyone

Does anyone here have or know where I can get a map of Mazhou Camp Layout (Kind of like you get for the Kruger Camps)

Thanks
Valeria
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:12 am

Road from Mapungubwe to Kruger

Unread post by Valeria »

I have to drive from Musina to Punda Maria or to Pafuri. Does anyone know the conditions of the roads (potholes)?
Is it better R524 to Punda or R525 to Pafuri?
‪Some days ago I drived the R572 and it was a nightmare!‬
Thank‪ you!‬
User avatar
RichardJ
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5589
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:06 pm
Location: Riebeek West
Contact:

Re: Road from Mapungubwe to Kruger

Unread post by RichardJ »

@Valeria I am also interested in those road conditions.

Which portion of the R572 was a nightmare?
Starlings, Shrikes and Rollers. KNP Jan to March 21

Faces of the Kgalagadi - December 2020

The Circle of Life - retirement tour 2019
Valeria
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:12 am

Re: Road from Mapungubwe to Kruger

Unread post by Valeria »

Hi Richard
From swartwater to gregory
The road is more potholes than road

This morning i drove the r525 to pafuri and it is ok
User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2208
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Pjw »

Hi all the Mapungube experts
Some advice please :gflower:
We are planning out 1st trip to Mapungubwe.
Which is your favourite camp and why?
NB We Do have 4x4 so can access all camps
Trip planned for mid July

Thank you :D
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)
Hippotragus
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6448
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:15 pm
Location: Kyalami, South Africa.

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Hippotragus »

Hi Pjw.

I'm sure there will be many Mapungubwe regulars who can give you very good advice.

We have only been once quite a few years ago(note to self - try to organise another trip!). We spent a couple of nights at the Limpopo Tented Camp in a permanent safari tent. It was very pleasant but we were raided by monkeys, even though we had secured the tent flap and hidden everything. The only thing they got hold of was a box of wine, but they did not puncture the bag - only chewed the cardboard! We then spent another few nights (can't remember how many now) at Leokwe Camp, which we much preferred to the tented camp.

Mapungubwe is a lovely park and we enjoyed all the lookout points along the Limpopo River. We did not go to the Interpretation Centre or Mapungubwe Hill - which I will include next time.

I hope you get more answers and that you have a wonderful trip.
Afriphile
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 350
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:39 pm
Location: Hagley,UK

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Afriphile »

Both camps have their own characteristics so I would suggest doing what we did....2 nights in each,4 in total.
I think this is an ideal time to spend there,as it has limited game drive loops,compared to other larger parks.
Have a good time,
Afriphile.
User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 32873
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Hi Pjw, Afriphile has given some good advice. I would try to do 2 nights at Leokwe and a night at Limpopo.

The Park is actually 2 Parks at the moment. It is separated by privately owned land. Each has a completely different eco-zone.

Leokwe camp is difficult to describe. It is most certainly baobab country and the rock formations make it one the most unique places that I have ever visited. I can understand why this would be considered to be sacred ground. The camp itself has been designed to become a part of the landscape. I really loved it.

Limpopo camp is situated close to the waterhole and offers great opportunities to sit and watch the game coming to drink. The drive to the camp is very corrugated and some of the loops would be too dangerous for a sedan.

You will be supplied with a map on arrival showing which roads are 4X4 only.

If your stay is going to be quite shot, I would opt for Leokwe. It is close to the major sights plus the outlay and uniqueness make this a must.

Mapungubwe hill can only be accessed on a guided drive and tour. I think it should be incorporated into a visit if at all possible. A sunset drive would also give you access to the 4X4 routes that are otherwise unavailable.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
User avatar
isinkwe
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4578
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:27 am
Location: Between here and there

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by isinkwe »

Pjw wrote:Hi all the Mapungube experts
We are planning out 1st trip to Mapungubwe.


The same thought entered my brain cell yesterday Pjw :D
So I will be watching this topic with great interest. :thumbs_up:
From what I was reading yesterday on the SANParks page , sounds and feels like a place I definitely need to visit. :D
Isn't it just amazing how potatoes give us fries and vodka? :D The rest of the vegetables should get their act together :rtm:
User avatar
arks
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4777
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by arks »

Mapungubwe is one of my two favourites of all the SANParks that I have visited (the other is Mountain Zebra). I have only stayed in the Limpopo tented camp (in the western side of the park) and Leokwe (in the eastern side) and I FAR prefer Leokwe. It is easy to make a day visit to the western side, where the main attraction is the brilliant Maloutswe hide, where I've had lovely sightings of very relaxed and up close ellies and lots of birds as well.

The drives that you can do are limited, moreso if you're in a sedan as I was, and game can be sparse. I've visited three times and each visit was very different from the others in terms of what I saw where. My favourite place is the treetops walkway along the Limpopo, which I would visit at least twice a day. There is always plenty of birdlife there and sometimes animals beneath the walkway and along and crossing the river. There are places along the walkway where you can sit and just wait and see what happens. For me a very special place.

I've not visited Mapungubwe Hill, but recommend the Interpretive Centre, particularly for the opportunity to see the exquisite ancient golden ***. On my first two visits I had had excellent sightings along the river roadway in the western section, despite that 'track' being somewhat challenging for a sedan. On my most recent visit (2016), I found that 'track' almost impassable and also saw absolutely nothing, which was quite disappointing.

For a first visit, two nights each at Limpopo tented and Leokwe sounds good, or else stay 3-4 nights at Leokwe and make a day trip to explore the western section. At Leokwe, spending time in camp can be most rewarding as it's an unfenced camp. In addition to birds there are often bishbuck or kudu and I once had an eland family only a very few metres away -- magic!

Enjoy your trip!
RSA 2022-2023
16 November-9 February Cape Town & Darling
chirinda
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 6514
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by chirinda »

I disagree with MM, three nights in the park is not enough. Last time I went we stayed 3 at Leokwe and 2 at LFTC, and I would have liked an additional night in the tented camp.

As Arks says, you can go from Leokwe and enjoy the whole day at Maloutswa hide, but you do need to leave early enough to get back to Leokwe. If you stay at LFTC you are 10 minutes from the hide and can stay much later and arrive earlier. Early morning and dusk were good times to be there.

I was there in 2016 and the river road on the western side was not great, although do-able with a sedan. As conditions change with each rainy season you would do best to have more up-to-date information.

Leokwe is stunning, the chalets are comfortable, the setting is lovely, in a valley with cliffs surrounding the camp, and it's wall to wall sky at night. If you want to star-watch, try and pick a time to visit when the moon is not going to interfere. There are not many trees, so nothing hinders your views. Leokwe is not fenced and ellies and everything else stroll through the camp at will.

The river view lookout points and treetop walk are lovely places to sit, and the roads on the eastern side were good in 2016. The hill visit is very interesting, as is the interpretive centre, and if you are booked on a drive or walk early morning or evening, you drive yourself from Leokwe to the main gate outside camp closing hours (In the dark).

Limpopo Forest Tented camp is set amongst big, shady trees, but there are monkeys and baboons to contend with. The tents are roomy and comfortable, with your own little boma outside to braai. You also hear the night sounds better through canvas than walls. There is not much else to do on the western side except Maloutswa hide.

I love it there.
User avatar
Meandering Mouse
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 32873
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
Location: meandering between senility and menopause

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

Quite right, Chirinda is spot on and welcome to disagree. :wink:

I think, if you can, spend most of your time at Leokwa camp. I was not quite sure of your itinerary and most folk spend only a few nights in Mapungubwe.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
User avatar
Pjw
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2208
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Africa's Largest City

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by Pjw »

Thanks everyone.
Some useful advice Much appreciated :dance:
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)
tetrol88
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:42 am

Re: Mapungubwe: Which camp?

Unread post by tetrol88 »

I made some comments in another thread viewtopic.php?f=42&t=182 including comments about camps.

The two halves of the park are both worth visiting. We spent about 6 days and felt that was short.

Limpopo Forest Tented - West side. Loved it.
Remember you have to check in at the main gate, so depending on your route to the park, that may mean backtracking.
Great access to Maloutswa hide (worth doing repeatedly)
Good access to the Eco trail 4WD tracks - if you have a 4WD, worth spending a day doing that. These are true 4WD tracks that require clearance and adjusting tyre pressures.
Camp only fenced by a single wire chest height electric wire - so anything shorter (or anything that comes in via the always open gate lol) might be outside your tent.
The camp site had numerous Bushbuck, Impala and Vervet monkeys (who fortunately behaved well for us) inside the camp, with elephant, warthog and kudu seen just outside and lion heard but not seen.

Tshugulu Lodge - West side - theoretically the luxury accom, but I preferred LFTC due to access to Maloutswa, more game etc.
Is very close to the Eco route 4WD tracks, but it's only 20 minutes more from LFTC to get to other sections of them (past lots of game and birds)
Less chance of game spotting etc close to the camp itself, and the camp is set into a small area between tall rock formations so can't easily watch dawn/dusk.

Leokwe - east side - Loved it.
Spectacular setting, Klipspringers, Dassies, Baboons all around (and birds), had a herd of elephant only 40m from our door on arrival. Saw elephant, gemsbok and zebra on the ridgeline just above our unit. Leopard tracks on the dirt paths between units.
Spectacular sunsets and dawns from the camp itself.
Close to the elevated walkway, river confluence etc.
The units are excellent - even the "outdoor" showers in mid winter.
Can eat at the restaurant at the interpretation centre and drive home after dark if you don't feel like a braai.

Vhembe - East side
Unfortunately our nights there were cancelled due to a failure of the camp generator.

Mapungubwe Hill is only accessible on a guided trip. Well worth doing imo.

Hope that helps.
22/10/19 Mopani 3 nights
25/10 Satara 3 nights
28/10 Lower Sabie 3 nights
31/10 Biyamiti 2 nights
2/11 Skukuza 2 nights
Out of park 4-8/11
9/11 Skukuza 3 nights

and Kgalagadi booked June-July 2020 :)
Post Reply