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Mapungubwe National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.

The park is home to a rich history dating back to the Iron Age and has a unique landscape that offers visitors the opportunity to see a range of African wildlife. The park was named after the ancient Kingdom of Mapungubwe, which existed in the area from the 11th to 13th centuries.

History And Geography

Mapungubwe was once the largest kingdom in Southern Africa, known for its wealth and advanced society. The kingdom's location at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers made it an important trading center for ivory and gold. The area was abandoned in the 14th century and the kingdom was eventually forgotten until it was rediscovered in the 1930s.

The park covers an area of 280 square kilometers (108 square miles) and is located in the northern part of South Africa, close to the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe.

The landscape of the park is characterized by rocky hills, open savannah, and the Limpopo River, which forms the park's northern boundary. The park is also home to a number of important archaeological sites, including the remains of the ancient Kingdom of Mapungubwe.

Things To Do There

Mapungubwe National Park offers a range of activities for visitors, including game drives, guided walks, and bird watching.

The park is home to a variety of African wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, and many species of antelope.

Visitors can also explore the park's archaeological sites, which offer a fascinating glimpse into the history of the area.

One of the most popular activities in the park is the Mapungubwe Hill trail, which takes visitors to the top of the hill where the remains of the ancient city are located. The trail is a steep climb, but the views from the top are well worth the effort.

Visitors can also explore the Interpretive Centre, which offers displays and exhibits about the park's history and wildlife.

Getting There

Mapungubwe National Park is located approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of Johannesburg. Visitors can reach the park by car, with the journey taking around 6 hours.

There are also a number of domestic flights that fly to Polokwane Airport, which is located approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the park. From the airport, visitors can hire a car or arrange for a transfer to the park.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Mapungubwe National Park is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is mild and dry, making it easier to explore the park and see wildlife. The park is also less crowded during this time, as it is outside of the peak tourist season.

The rainy season runs from October to April, with the heaviest rainfall occurring between November and February.

Here's the climate table showing the average rain and temperature for Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa:

 January  29oC / 84o  125  Wet
 February  28oC / 82oF  96  Wet
 March  28oC / 82oF  76  Wet
 April  26oC / 79oF  27  Dry
 May  24oC / 75oF  7  Dry
 June  21oC / 70oF  3  Dry
 July  21oC / 70oF  2  Dry
 August  24oC / 75oF  4  Dry
 September   27oC / 81oF  13  Dry
 October  30oC / 86oF  27  Dry
 November  31oC / 88oF  69  Wet
 December  29oC / 84oF  103  Wet

Note that the "season" column refers to the two seasons that are typically observed in the region: the dry season (May to October) and the wet season (November to April).

Where To Stay

Mapungubwe National Park offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. The park has a number of campsites, including the Limpopo Forest Tented Camp and the Mazhou Camping Site, which offer basic facilities and a rustic camping experience.

There are also a number of self-catering cottages and chalets available for rent, including the Vhembe Wilderness Camp and the Leokwe Camp. For visitors looking for a more luxurious experience, the Mapungubwe Lodge offers private game drives, a spa, and gourmet dining.