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“Best SANPARKS Accommodation - but where's the Main Attraction?” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mapungubwe National Park

Mapungubwe National Park
Attraction details
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Best SANPARKS Accommodation - but where's the Main Attraction?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016

As a lifelong amateur archaeologist, Mapungubwe has always held a fascination for me. When we finally made it to this iconic location, I was charmed by the inspiring architecture, we loved the spacious, modern, comfortable and well-equipped Leokwe Camp; we enjoyed the River Boardwalk and the look-out points where we had our lunch; though an extra fee was levied, we had an interesting time at the museum - but my BIG complaint is that nowhere did we get a viewpoint from where we could actually see the main attraction which is after all the focus of this National Park. Oh yes, we could pay an extra R217 to get a ride along a road which no ordinary mortal is permitted to drive; then one may walk 450 metres and climb 150 steps - irrespective of whether you are in a wheelchair or on crutches, or like myself, you walk with great difficulty - when all you want is to get a look at the hill about which you have read hundreds of pages in learned tomes. I say: SANPARKS get your act together, build a road for the public to use; it is after all Mapungubwe National Park.

Visited September 2016
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Thank batear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beauty tainted by terrible service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2016 via mobile

Mapungubwe is home to an extraordinary archaeological find: the largest kingdom in Southern Africa. It's history is fascinating. Sadly the park is run by tired, unenthusiastic staff who couldn't really be bothered if you were there or not. From reception staff to the restaurant to the manager Conrad Strauss. This place has so much potential but for now it ticks over like a 64 year waiting out his retirement.
HOWEVER there is a redeeming feature; Cedric Sethlako the cultural heritage guide who knows the history inside out. Wonderful to walk with him up the mountain and learn about the people who lived here 1000 years ago.
And don't stay here. Head to Leshiba Wilderness for the night and be treated like royalty.

Visited September 2016
Helpful?
1 Thank LoveRSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Fantastic... ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2016 via mobile

This National Park is 70kms away from the nearest town, and so really is in the middle of nowhere.
It is beautiful with so many things to see. Although they only have 4 out of the Big 5, you won't be disappointed. If you take your time and drive around, you'll find this park has so much more to offer.
The confluence is beautiful. The Limpopo river was all but dry, and we stood watching cattle and their herdsmen walking across the dry riverbed from Zimbabwe/Botswana in search of water.
Standing in one country looking across at another two was amazing. We drove up there for sunrise, but it was a bit cloudy. It didn't detract from the beauty though.
The waterholes were lovely with cattle that had crossed the riverbed, drinking alongside antelope and lots of birds. There were elephants, and zebra drinking there.
There is a 4x4 track that is a real bone shaker, and will rattle your fillings, but such good fun..
If you like geology, then you'll love the rock formations with the strangest trees growing out of them.
You cannot do this park in a day and fully appreciate it.

Visited June 2016
Helpful?
Thank peta_kofi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
73 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2016 via mobile

My visit there was a great one. We drive there coming in through musina. The whole route there is tared if you are coming in from the N1.

In 2013 we paid an entrance fee of about R70 if I remember well. Paid an extra R190pp for the heritage tour.

You can take the self drive and see some wild life along the way, do the tree walk and great of all is the confluence -- were you get to see 3 countries separated by the limpopo river in one place! An absolute site!

The heritage tour is also worth the money, there is a lot of history and information. The tour guides are also well trained.

Visited 2013

Visited October 2015
Helpful?
Thank Nduvho M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Bucket list camping”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2016

This national park is a good mix of history and wildlife.
A tour to the Mapungubwe heritage site is essential. Our guide provided a great insight into the archaeology and history of this atmospheric site.
The game is abundant and there are excellent hides for great game viewing, it is also a bird-lover's joy.
Our accommodation was at the camp site where the ablutions were rather minimal, but there was plentiful hot water, dish-washing facilities, but no laundry facilities. There is no swimming pool at the cam site, but we were told we could swim at the tented camp. I suggest, at least, a three-day stay.
Bring your bird book, binoculars, and camera to take full advantage of what is on offer

Visited August 2016
Helpful?
Thank TriciaAnnW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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