Skip to Content

Interpretation Centre

As you enter the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, one of the things that first captures the eye is the architecture of the Museum and Interpretation Centre.

mapungubwe restaurant
mapungubwe interpretive centre guide
mapungubwe interpretive centre baobab
Visit the Interpretation Centre and Tour the Museum

The extraordinary curvature and lines of the building will mesmerise all visitors but the true treasures are located inside.

The centre was constructed with the intention of merging the natural location with the park’s cultural heritage, by using modern environmentally sensitive techniques. The building won the World Architectural Building of the Year Award in 2009, out-performing buildings from New York, Singapore and China. The stone-walling technique used in the building of the centre was adopted from a native method prevalent in the Mapungubwe area.

The motivation behind the construction of such a centre was created when native communities requested the return of the remains and artefacts removed from Mapungubwe in the 1930s. The human remains were reburied. It was decided that the artefacts needed to be displayed in a museum in order to educate and inform visitors of the area’s rich heritage. The centre provides both day and overnight visitors the opportunity of a tour, showcasing the amazing landscape that the National Park has to offer.

A short boardwalk ramp leads you to the entrance of the facility, where you will be met by a knowledgeable guide who is eager to share the mysteries of Mapungubwe and one of southern Africa’s first trading kingdoms with you.

Self-Guided Museum Tour

The museum houses historical artefacts, images and information that tell the story of Mapungubwe’s incredible history. The holy grail of the museum is the Golden Rhino which was discovered in a grave in 1932, more than seven centuries after the civilization inhabited the area. The museum tour ends with a short walk to a lookout point where you will be able to see the hill that was, according to legend, the inspiration behind architect Gerard Moerdijk’s Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.

Guide available upon request.

Guided Heritage Site Tours

As part of this tour, you will be given the opportunity to visit the elite graveyard at the top of Mapungubwe Hill, view a natural amphitheatre and the entire spectrum of the region, and traverse the territory once walked upon by the ancestral Mapungubwe People – now roamed by four of the Big 5.

NB: The age requirement for participating in this activity is from 12 to 65 years. Older people above 65 years who are physically fit can only be allowed to participate if they provide a medical certificate confirming their fitness.


Golden Rhino Auditorium

The auditorium caters for meetings or educational groups and can seat up to 52 guests.

Operating Times

Mondays to Sundays (including Public Holidays): 08:00 – 16:00