Mapungubwe, untamed bushveld

A hill kingdom heritage tour, the Tshugulu Eco Route or Kanniedood and Khongoni 4×4 trails, Tree Canopy Boardwalk, River Confluence Lookout … there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy in this national park for a few days.

It’s a place of two great rivers fusing to flow as one; where different cultures have merged, traded and left their imprint. Mapungubwe Hill, where an indigenous king and his aides lived and were buried, forms a triangle with Great Zimbabwe and Botswana’s Mmamagwa Ruins. The cultural links seem indisputable, and it’s believed that when Mapungubwe’s population outgrew its resources, there was a slow migration to Great Zimbabwe.

Mapungubwe has a definite magic about it. This is real bushveld: mopane woodland, fat grey baobabs, rock figs with curling spaghetti roots, crusty sandstone hills rising up wherever you look. The broad sandy sweep of the Limpopo/Shashe rivers also means that there’s a constant migration of wildlife across the floodplain, so your experience is an authentic one — of course there are no guarantees of what you will see. But you feel like you’re in the true wild, non-curated, unmanipulated.

To read the full story on our Mapungubwe experience, click here