Day 1 – 2: Jhb to Mapungubwe National Park

450 km – Malelane to Johannesburg
566 km – Johannesburg to Mapungubwe main gate
92 km – Main gate to Mazhou campsite & back including game drive
1 098 km – Total distance (trip to date)

Tuesday in Johannesburg we finalised our last preparations:

  • got the ‘Stolen Vehicle Status Slip’ for the Cruizer stating that it is not stolen – Zambia Interpol has been persistent about this document according to 4x4community reports.The place to get this document is at the SAPS vehicle unit at 41 Guy Gibbons Road, Aeroton, Jhb.
  • got our Zambian Kwachas and Tanzanian Shillings for the trip
  • finalised logistics with Cobus and Henriette for the combined trip

Then we left the rat race behind…

Mapungubwe NP has been on our list of national parks that we have not yet visited, and we decided to include it as an overnight camp. It is conveniently near to the Pont Drift border post, where one can only pass through during the dry season as there is no bridge accross the Limpopo river and one has to cross via the dry river bed sand road.

We camped in the Mazhou campsite on the far west side in riverine forest under the most beautiful huge fig trees. Elephants, lots of impala around the camp, bushbuck resting in the campsites, baboons (very aggressive, and they will ransack your camp if given the opportunity)

Campsites have power points and water and a rustic, neat shared ablution with hot water showers and a small communal kitchen.


Mazhou campsite
Mazhou ablutions


Thursday morning before leaving for the Botswana border, we explored the park. The park was VERY dry, with puddles from Wednesday’s rain everywhere. The rocky outcrops and huge baobab trees, fig trees growing from between rock formations are truly beautiful.

Mapungubwe NP entrance


Rock formations with baobab trees
Limpopo river near Mazhou campsites

“Poachers corner” lies at the confluence of the Limpopo river and the Shashe river, where the borders of the three countries connect – RSA, Botswana and Zimbabwe.


View from picnic site at confluence
Confluence – corner where 3 countries meet – also known as ‘Poachers Corner’
Heritage museum building
Heritage museum building

We did not take the time to visit the heritage museum, but will do that next time, as this is a World Heritage site with signs of early civilization. It is a nice park to visit and definitely worth the detour.

Wildlife we saw during our drive in the park:
Elephant, eland, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, bushbuck, impala, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey.

Our next challenge on Thursday and Friday will be to be able to hold on to the freezer full of meat through the red areas of Botswana and the Caprivi in Namibia. Due to the foot and mouth disease infected areas there are several veterinary control points on our route towards Katima Mulilo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s