Mapungubwe South Africa, one of the last remaining pieces of wilderness in Africa
Mapungubwe South Africa “Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area” as it is officially called.
Known for incredible vistas, untouched nature, overwhelming wildlife and rich in culture, the area developed as today’s Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area brings together three countries (South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe) and offers a very wide variety of attractions for the true wildlife enthusiast. The Ancient African Kingdom of Mapungubwe
Limpopo RiverOn the border of Zimbabwe and Botswana
Mapungubwe South Africa
In 1922, 1st Minister Jan Smuts saw the great potential of this area and was very committed to protecting it. In the beginning it was a protected area as in a botanical reserve. Back than in the early 1940’s it was declared The Dongola National Park.
It was then that General Smuts wanted to connect the area to the wilderness areas across the border, Botswana (then Bechuanaland) and Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia). Unfortunately, this did not really take off at the time and the wildlife area to be set up went under politics in 1948.
However, over time academics and researchers continued to research the lost Kingdom of Mapungubwe as they have done since 1930. And still do.
Mapungubwe HillHome of secret leaders of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe
Today, the circle is complete for the Mapungubwe Transfrontier Park. The rare vegetation, Acacia Salvadora forests that inspired Jan Smuts to protect this area is now an official conservency and animals that were on the red list such as Wild Dogs and Sable Antelopes have been re-introduced. Cross-border protection in a cross-border concervency is in full swing to be realized.
South African history goes back further than you think. During the time of the Dark Ages in Europe, the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in Limpopo already welcomed merchants and men of influence from Arab countries and the Far East. But it is only quite recently that this fascinating fact about this ancient Kingdom has been discovered.
Mapungubwe South Africa
This Unesco World Heritage Site, Mapungubwe was the capital of a country about the size of Swaziland and surrounded by more than 200 villages.
You may come to Mapungubwe for its ancient history, but you will be deeply touched by the scenery. The magical limpopo river that flows along and the sandstone hills. Here you are at the pinnacle of South Africa in more than one way.
Did you know that the largest Baobab in Mapungubwe has a circumference of more than 31 meters? The low sandstone hills of Mapungubwe glisten in the sun, accompanied by gigantic Baobaps that make them seem to dance together. Perhaps that’s why people talk about the feel of Mapungubwe which is different from any other park. It has a kind of spirituality in it.
The area has a very romantic place where you complete the picture of the park today. The viewpoint where the Limpopo River and the Shashe River merge, where you can see Botswana and Zimbabwe on the other side of the water border.
Mapungubwe South Africa. The golden Rhino
The wildlife in the park, including lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards and wild dogs, are already migrating back and forth within the protected areas between the three countries and they are ignoring the human boundaries.
The Golden Rhino of Mapungubwe
The sandstone hills have more than 1 secret for you. The apex of one of them called Mapungubwe was the center of a special African gold trade that dates back more than 1,000 years.
Archaeological studies have shown that 1,000 years ago, ancient Mapungubwe traded gold and ivory with Arabia, India and China. Much of this you can find in the national museum in Pretoria.
Like to visit Mapungubwe. We can take you on a tour and show and tell you all about it. Learn more
We also can do this tour in Dutch. Learn more
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