Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is the ideal location for anyone interested in wildlife and birds, to those in search of serenity, identity and the extraordinary history of this Park.
Around the time of the Dark Ages of Europe, the royal court at Mapungubwe in Limpopo, was welcoming traders and men of influence from Arabia and the Far East. But it’s only in recent decades that the fascinating details of this ancient city have been uncovered.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe was once the capital of a country as large as Swaziland surrounded by over 200 small villages.
Today the stones, bones and Baobab trees of Mapungubwe are all that are left of this ancient civilisation in the Limpopo valleys. Archaeologists have been carefully picking over the ruins for decades that tell us the rule of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe extended from about 1050 AD to 1270 AD, just as Europe was struggling through the Dark Ages and dealing with a rampant Genghis Khan.
There is evidence that indicates that a mini Ice Age stripped the area of its resources, effectively bringing the kingdom down. Not long after the demise of Mapungubwe, the fortified city of Zimbabwe (capital of the Monomotapa Empire) rose in the East.
Activities in Mapungubwe National Park
The Centre which is built near the main gate of the Mapungubwe National Park won the building of the year competition in 2009 and is home to the famous Golden Rhino. The Centre provides both day and over-night visitors the opportunity of a tour, showcasing the amazing landscape that the National Park has to offer.
Visit the Confluence
Enjoy a view over the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers where three countries meet.
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, traverse the territory once walked upon by the ancestral Mapungubwe People – now roamed by four of the Big 5.
Our sunset drives and night drives gives you the opportunity to search for game outside normal gate opening times.
Morning Guided Walks
Morning guided walks, which allows for up to eight people, offers guests the chance to immerse themselves in the bush and experience the vast natural and cultural heritage of the Park.
Experience an unforgettable game drive ends in a dinner in the bush overlooking a dam, surrounded by burning lanterns whilst listening to the sounds of the bushveld and distant animals calling. A minimum of four and maximum of 20 persons can be accommodated, with an age limit of six years. Bush braais must be booked and confirmed a week in advance.
Small Weddings and Special Events
An opportunity to turn your wedding or special event into a memorable bush experience.
Do the Tree Top Walk or a Game Drive
Take a walk among the riverine forest on a raised canopy walk that takes you to a hide over looking the Limpopo River.
Accommodation at Mapungubwe National Park
- Mapungubwe National Park is divided into an Eastern and Western section, separated by private lands in between which does not form part of the Park. Bookings at Tshugulu Lodge, Limpopo Forest Tented Camp, Mazhou Camping Site and Maloutswa Bird Hide requires one to drive outside the park in order to rejoin the Western section of the Park where the camps are located.
- The Restaurant and Curio Shop selling basic necessities are located at the main gate.
- The is no filling station or ATM available in the Park.
- There is no cellphone reception in all the camps, only at the main gate.
- Guests at any of the Park’s camps must check in at the Main Gate Reception area.
- Guests must allow an hour prior to the gate closing time to check in to allow for travelling time to the camps.
This is Mapungubwe’s main camp, located in the eastern section of the Park, 11km from the Main Gate, in the spectacular sandstone hills. Close to the camp guests can enjoy the Treetop Hide and the Confluence View Site & Picnic Area. The camp itself has a swimming pool and sundeck, as well as a central braai area.
Limpopo Forest Tented Camp
This camp, situated in the Limpopo riverine forest which offers excellent birding, is located in the western section of the Park, approximately 40km from the Main Gate. The camp is close to the Maloutswa Pan hide.
This luxury lodge sleeps 1 x 12 in the guest lodge with 6 x bedrooms, a bath, en-suite swimming pool and an exclusive eco-trail. The lodge is located in the Western section of the Park approximately 23km from the Main Gate along the R572 Pondrift Road.
Vhembe Wilderness Camp
In the eastern section of Mapungubwe National Park, 13 km from the Main Gate, Vhembe Wilderness Camp has been built on a small ridge within a valley, within walking distance of the Limpopo River and Mapungubwe Hill. Bookings can be made online.
- This camp is not recommended for families with children.
- The camp operates on solar power hence there is no electricical plug points available.
- The camp is not fenced.
- The road to this camp requires a 4×4 or high clearance vehicle.
- There is no swimming pool available at this camp.
How to get to Mapungubwe National Park
- Take N1 North to Polokwane; in Polokwane CBD take R521 to Dendron, about 40km to Vivo to join Alldays, another 23km to the Mapungubwe Entrance and Reception.
- Air: Closest airport is Polokwane, 200 km from the park.
- Coaches: Daily coach service to Musina from Gauteng.