Mapungubwe National Park – South Africa
The Mapungubwe National Park is one of the many animal reserved parks in South Africa, located in the province of Limpopo, close to the Kolope River and about 16 km from the famous Venetia Diamond Mine.
Established in 1995, the iconic animal reserved park covers an area of 70 hectares and is among the most visited and documented attractions in Limpopo boasting of a rich and complex history that dates back to as far as the 15th century.
The park forms part of the bigger area known as the Greater Manpungubwe Transfontier Conservation Area; a cultural geographic area well known for its ancestral history with evidence of human settlement in the area dating back to some 1500 years ago.
Close to the park is another historical attraction, the Mapungubwe Hill which according to historians and archaeologists was the capital of the ancient Mapungubwe kingdom and home to the King of the tribe.
Unlike reserve parks where attractions are solely based on wildlife, the Mapungubwe National Park offers a different and unique experience to visitors as they can also make their way to the historical Hill town and see for themselves what ancient civilization was like.
The animal population within the park itself is also very impressive, with over 380 bird species taking residence in the dense forest section of the park where tall trees of different species abound. Animals like Lions, Leopards, baboon, zebra, hyena, cheetah, giraffe, hippopotamus, rhinos and elephants can also be found in the park in large numbers while reptiles like agama, rock monitor lizard, gecko, cobra, crocodiles and python are also found in their numbers.
Most of the mammals roam from the park to neighbouring Botswana and Zimbabwe along the popular Limpopo River which lies close to the park. This is especially common when the river isn’t flooded and crossing is easy for the mammals.
The park and the entire area comprising of the river and Mapungubwe Hill have been listed by the United Nations (UN) as a UNESCO Heritage Site.