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Best 5 Reasons to Visit Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa

The best 5 Reasons to Visit Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa include; Diverse Wildlife, Guided Game Safaris, Cultural excursions, Nature Walks and Baobab Trees, birdwatching, Hiking,

Have you known it before how interesting it would be visiting Mapungubwe National park in South Africa?. The National park is located Limpopo Province, south of the confluence Limpopo and Shashe rivers about 16km to the North East of Venetia Diamond Mine, the park borders Mapesu Private Game Reserve to the South.

The Park was established in 1995 and covers an area of over 28000 hectares and is one of the places in Africa that has meerkats and Nile crocodiles.

The park also protects the historical sites like the Mapungubwe hill which was the kingdom of Mapungubwe, as well as Wildlife, Riverine forests, savanna vegetation and the rivers. The park has 4 of the big five animals, bird species to mention but a few.


1. Cultural Excursions

The primary motivations for visiting Mapungubwe National Park are cultural excursions. Mapungubwe contains everything you need to understand or explore South African history. I believe it is crucial to helping Africans develop a strong sense of African identity. Here, the Shona and Kalanga cultures as well as more than 2000 years of human history can be found.

The way the history was told by a man of African/Shona descent, whose ancestors are the Mapungubwe people, is what made this experience unique. And the sensation you have when you stand next to San Rock art that dates back 2000 years.

You might still be curious in the circumstances under which these straightforward works were made and about their way of life because It was very incredible. It is hardly surprising that Mapungubwe National Park is a World Heritage Site given that it has 150 magnificent rock art sites that can be seen during a three and a half-hour guided walk.


2. Diverse Wildlife Sight Seeing

Diverse Wildlife is one of the best 5 reasons to visit Mapungubwe National Park. In all honesty, you are largely welcomed by a sizable herd of elephants circling an even  sights, sounds and smells of the bush and learn about medicinal plants and track with bigger baobab tree as soon as you reach the park. Baobab trees are among the significant reasons that attract tourists to the park.


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These trees are gigantic with 31m in circumference and are characterized with the overall appearance and nature of the site with the striking feature that differentiates the park .At Mapungubwe, you will have the opportunity to come up close and personal with several impressive baobabs.

To add to their glory, baobabs are also home to several bird and bat species which pollinate the  flowers with in the forest, while the giants’ seedpods are eaten by animals such as baboons, elephants, rhinos and warthogs.

Don’t miss out taking pics while at Mapungubwe with one of the park’s baobabs. The ‘upside-down tree’ is a living monument to the majesty of nature. thus having a great experience.

The elephants are constantly engaged in leaf-scavenging and bark-stripping activities in search of food and hydration.

Watching this is truly awesome. Based on this single moment and if this were the only thing the park has to offer, the majority of visitors pause for a little minute and see nature in action. Observing wild creatures in their natural surroundings is truly something unique.

Elephants, black and white rhinoceros, and other species are among those found at Mapungubwe National Park.

3. Guided Game Safaris

Guided Game Safaris is one of the best 5 reasons to visit Mapungubwe National Park. Did you know that it is one of a great experience to have a game drive in Mapungubwe National Park. Going on a game drive is often time the best way to spot the wildlife and some bird species in the park.

The activity is carried out by armed and experienced guides who know all the spots where certain types of animals like lion, elephant, leopard, are likely to be seen during different times of the day, Mapungubwe offers a morning and evening game drives, daily thus having the best experience in African wilderness.

Mostly the recommended vehicle to use is a 4WD this is because it is strong and the roads are rough and poor especially during the rainy season.

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4. Birdwatching

Birdwatching is one of the best reasons to visit Mapungubwe National Park. Mapungubwe is a birder’s heaven with over 400 different bird species documented in the park. Although the park opened in 2007, it is still largely undiscovered and there isn’t a complete bird list yet. By allowing visitors to see into the canopy of a section of riverine forest, the Limpopo treetop boardwalk provides an excellent chance for birding. Birds in Mapungubwe National Park  includes;

  1. The endangered Thick-billed Cuckoo
  2. Three-banded Courser
  3. Yellow- and Red-billed Ox-Peckers
  4. Meve’s Starling
  5. Meyer’s Parrot
  6. Tropical Boubou
  7. Boulder chat

5. Nature Walks

Visits to Mapungubwe National Park are among the best for the Nature Walk. The Park offers a variety of walking safaris that are highly interesting and enjoyable to participate in, such as the Treetop Walk, a raised boardwalk that will awaken all the senses and take you through the park’s riverine forest. Experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the park’s safe and risky areas and who are prepared to assist in the event that a client is injured conduct this activity.


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Sit down on one of the many benches and look out to the point to get the most out of the sights and noises around you. Because of this, the Treetop Bird Hide on the banks of the Limpopo River is a part of the peaceful stroll.

The arrival of binoculars to enjoy and play among the tree branches while viewing little and distant species from the canopy. Walk among the fever trees, take in the clean, wild air, and let the sounds of Burchell’s coucal, African fish eagles, and bee-eaters fill your ears.

While admiring the stunning surroundings of the park, such as the unspoiled savanna vegetation and the running rivers within the park, from your seat up in the canopy, you might be able to spot one of Mapungubwe’s many mammal species, including elephant and waterbuck among others.

Best 5 Reasons to Visit Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa


Best time to visit Mapungubwe National Park

A good time to visit Mapungubwe is from March to May after the rains when the air is free of dust, and the heat is less oppressive than in the middle of summer. Rainfall is scarce most of the year, but when it does occur, it’s during the summer.
In period, it is easier to view most of the wildlife like herds of elephants, pride of lions, zebras and also the bird species during the migratory period
During this period between may to September, the landscape is dry and dusty with sunny and blue skies, honestly the days are beautiful with stunning sceneries including the pleasant temperatures within the park view.

How to Access the Park

Mapungubwe National Park is located about 520km north of Johannesburg near the border with Botswana.

This Park is a self drive destination and approximately 35km off road network and the park is accessible to normal 2WD vehicles, and a further 100km is accessible to all-terrain 4WD vehicles. This is because it is strong and the the roads are not good conditions most especially during the rainy season so the strong vehicle is needed.

You can also be able use O.R Tambo International in Johannesburg and drive from there. O.R. Tambo is where most visitors enter South Africa, and drive directly to destination or wait to be picked up by a tour operator.

The nearest airport is in Polokwane and is 200km from the park. It is possible to take a connecting domestic flight from Johannesburg to Polokwane to reach the destination.

Accommodation in Mapungubwe National Park

There are a number of South African National Parks camps in the Mapungubwe area ranging from luxury, midrange, budget all offering a range of self-catering lodges, wilderness camps and tented camps. Some of the Mapungubwe camp include; Limpopo Forest Tented Camp, Mazhou Camping Site, leokwe camp among others.

Guests staying in National Parks accommodation should check in at the Mapungubwe Main Gate when arriving. Most of the accommodation facilities in the Park is made up of self-catering, fully equipped cottages or tents.

There are no shops in the Mapungubwe National Park and visitors will need to take all of their own supplies including food, sunscreen, hats, binoculars, drinks and firewood. to cater for their stay at the destination and the fee includes activities like sightseeing, nature walks game viewing and entertainment like silent Disco.


The park offers various activities like bird watching, game drives, safari walks and many others this is because it is strategically located with un touched wilderness.

For more information you can make your bookings with KUBWA FIVE SAFARIS because the members of the team are passionate about their work and ready at your service.

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