Mapungubwe National Park  









The creation of this new national park was based on the cultural importance of the archaeological treasures of Mapungubwe, the rich biodiversity of the area and its great. The park comprises the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and is located at the confluence of the Limpopo and shashe Rivers. It contains karoo fossils and ancient rocks nearly three billion years old. Declared a National Heritage Site in December 2001, the park was listed as a World Heritage Site in July 2003.

The name Mapungubwe means a place of the stone of wisdom. Until its demise at the end of the 13th century AD, Mapungubwe was the most important inland settlement in the sub-continent and extended over an area of about 30 000 sq kilometres on either side of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. International contacts with Islamic traders on the east coast, who were part of a larger Indian Ocean network. led to African gold and elephant ivory, as well as animal hides and hippo ivory, being worked and exchanged for glass beads and ceramics that derived from as far a field as the Indo-Pacific region, including India, Indonesia and China.

The park has a range of vegetation types associated with cave sandstone. It provides a sanctuary to endangered large mammals, such as the black and white rhinoceros, wild dog, cheetah, brown hyena and elephant. It also is one of the last protected areas of the Limpopo riverine forest.


How to get there

It is situated 60 km west of Musina and about 230 km from Polokwane, the capital town of Limpopo Province.

Air: Closest airport is Polokwane, 200 km from the park.
Car hire: There is an Avis office in Musina.
Coaches: Daily coach service to Musina from Gauteng.


Gate hours

From 06:00 - 18:00



Guests at any of the park's camps must check in at the main gate reception area.
Check-in is from 12:00 to 18:00 and check-out is before 10:00.

Leokwe Camp

This is Mapungubwe's main camp, located in the eastern section of the Park 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. Accessible by sedan vehicles.

  • Cottages - 1 bedroom, 2 single beds, double sleeper couch, airconditioner, ceiling fan, open plan kitchen, bathroom (shower). One unit is adapted for disables people.
  • Family cottages - 2 bedrooms (each with 2 single beds), double sleeper couch, airconditioner, ceiling fan, open plan kitchen and bathroom (shower).

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. The camp is close to the Maloutswa Pan hide. Accessible by sedan vehicles.

  • Forest tents - 2 single beds, ceiling fan, kitchen, bathroom (shower). One unit is adapted to accommodate disabled persons.

Thugulu Lodge

This luxury lodge is accessible by sedan vehicles. There is a swimming pool and an exclusive eco-trail for 4x4 or high clearance vehicles.

  • 6 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds and en-suite bathrooms, equipped kitchen, airconditioner.

Vhembe Wilderness Camp

In the eastern section of Mapungubwe National Park, Vhembe Wilderness Camp has been built on a small ridge within a valley, within walking distance of the Limpopo River and Mapungubwe Hill.



  • Visits to Mapungubwe Hill can only be done with a guide. Enquire at reception.
  • Treetop Hide - always good for birds and sometimes game.
  • Visit the Confluence of the Sashe and Limpopo rivers where the three countries, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana meet. Also see the concentration of 85 ancient fossilised termite mounds to the south of the picnic area.
  • The Tshugulu Eco Route. A 4x4 is strongly recommended. This route covers 45 km (4-6 hours) through some spectacular terrain and habitat. There is also a state-of-art game hide on this route. Enquire at reception.
  • Visit Maloutswa Pan. Very good for game in the dry season, and for birds in the wet season.
  • Day walks. A qualified guide will take you for a walk in the bush. Enquire at reception. Walks depend op availability of guide.
  • Approximately 35 km of roads are suitable for normal sedan vehicles. A further 100 km is accessible to all terrain (4x4) vehicles.
  • The Route of the Lost Kingdoms stretches from inside the gates of the Kruger National Park at the ancient stonewall of Thulamela, follows a trial of myths and legends through Mapungubwe National Park to the small town of Alldays.
  • Vhembe Trails Camp:
    • Guests stay in a base camp in a remote area of the park, from where daily guided walks and other activities are conducted. The duration of the trail is three nights. All meals are provided, but guests must bring their own alcoholic beverages.
    • The camp consists of 4x2 bed wooden units with en suite toilet and shower. Each unit has a deck overlooking a valley. There is a central lapa and kitchen from where meals are served and guests can relax around a fire. Guests leave their vehicles at the reception and are transported to the camp.



The climate is semi-arid with mean annual rainfall ranging from 350 - 400 mm. Rainfall is highly variable and usually falls during the summer months. Extended periods of below average rainfall occur. In summer temperatures sometimes rise to 45°C. The winters are mid.




Addo Elephant
Golden Gate
Knysna & Wilderness
Kruger National
Mountain Zebra
Table Mountain
West Coast


Mapungubwe National PARK

How to get there
Gate Hours

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