A Colourful Experience

Discover the rich culture, history and nature of the Soutpansberg,
Northern Limpopo, South Africa.
Ancient civilisations

To Mapungubwe National Park

At the confluence of the Sashe and Limpopo river, three countries unite: Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Within the northern part of South Africa, lies the remains of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe. An ancient society of Southern African splendour and wealth, yet forgotten for more than seven centuries. Between 900 AD to 1300 AD Mapungubwe was home to an advanced culture of people who thrived through a  trading centre of gold, ivory, pottery and beads with China, Egypt and India. Mapungubwe represents the most complex society in Southern Africa. 

Today Mapungubwe is protected and celebrated as both a National Park (declared in 2004) and a World heritage Site (declared by UNESCO in 2003).

 

The Mapungubwe Collection

The collection includes numerous glass and gold beads, delicate gold leaf sculptures of animals, a bowl and sceptre and the world-renowned gold rhino. You can find the Mapungubwe treasures in the Interpretation centre within the park. The Interpretation centre puts into perspective the history of the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape. 

 

To Mapungubwe National Park 

From Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge follow the R 522 to Vivo, the southern road along the Soutpansberg Mountains with magnificent mountains and rock formations. Further on this road lies Buysdorp, a small coloured community from the Cape who settled there in the early nineteenth century. Vivo is a small farmers village, not more than a crossing of roads, where you find a petrol station and a good butchery that also sells jams, chutneys, dried fruit and nuts. From Vivo you drive to Alldays, another small farmers village, where you can stop at one of the small eating places that are run by the farmers. In Alldays you take the R 572 in the direction of Pontdrif, the Botswana border. Just before the border post you turn to the right and after a few kilometres you see  mapuingubwe National park on your left side.

 

Special places of interest

Schoemansdal Environmental centre: old Voortrekkers settlement, walking routes
Buysdorp, a small coloured community from the Cape

 

Distance: 195 kilometres
Tourguide: not needed
Level of adventure: low
Car: normal car