Things to do near
Mapungubwe National Park
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Musina(Messina) (8 km from Mapungubwe National Park)
Home to the elusive wild dog and four of the Big Five, Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve is an exciting addition to Mapungubwe National Park, the site of southern Africa’s first kingdom.
Here you can experience quintessential Africa in this World Heritage Site, just 80km from Musina in the Limpopo Valley.
Best loved for its wildlife, Venetia is known for amazing wildlife encounters including lion, elephant, black and white rhino and of course rare wild dogs. Radio tracking trips for wild dogs and lion are on offer and greatly increase the likelihood of seeing these favourite animals.
Characterised by ancient baobabs and rugged sandstone cliffs, the reserve harbours over 400 bird species. Trained guides point out the specials which include the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Meyer’s Parrot, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Three-banded courser, Meves’s Starling, Tropical Boubou and Senegal Coucal.
Besides radio tracking of wild dog or lion and bird watching trips with experts, the reserve offers a 4x4 eco route and guided walks to view Bushman paintings and fascinating archaeological sites. And a visit to Mapungubwe wouldn’t be complete without sundowners overlooking the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers!
Musina(Messina) (77.1 km from Mapungubwe National Park)
Messina Golf Club is a well kept and interesting golf course at very reasonable tariffs. There is a nice club house and pub were you can mingle with the friendly local members.
Musina(Messina) (81.3 km from Mapungubwe National Park)
Spot rare antelope and marvel at bizarre trees
Previously named Messina Baobab Forest Reserve for the highest density of baobab trees in South Africa, Musina Nature Reserve is also home to the rare sable antelope.
Other wildlife you are likely to see is giraffe, zebra, kudu, eland and other antelope. Drive the two-hour circular route or get on your mountain bike and check out the best baobab trees south of the Limpopo.
So can you unravel the mystery of the curious upside down tree? Much folklore about their secret power flourishes in the region. This amazing ‘tree of life’ provides for many creatures that eat the leaves and fruit, make homes in the bark, rest in the branches, and sip the nectar from the flowers.
Vivo (95.5 km from Mapungubwe National Park)
Home to 500 breeding pairs of endangered Cape Vultures, the far flung Blouberg Nature Reserve is a dream destination for twitchers and nature lovers.
Catch all the action from a hide at the ‘Vulture Restaurant’. Best visited during winter months, you will be able to see Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-headed Vulture and White-backed Vulture. An exciting rare visitor to southern Africa, Ruppell’s Vulture, is breeding in the Blouberg Colony.
Other raptors you might spot are the melanistic Gabar Goshawk, Eagle-Owl, brown snake-eagle, tawny eagle and a variety of owls. With a bird list of well over 225 recorded species it’s easy to tick off over 100 birds in a day.
Best loved are the resident flock of comical Crested Guineafowl. Other birds to look out for are Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, Greater Painted Snipe, Grey Tit-Flycacther, Red-backed Shrike, Crimson-Breasted Shrike and Kalahari Scrub-Robin.
The scenic landscape of Blouberg Nature Reserve covers a variety of habitats. Dry bushveld savannah interspersed with giant baobabs and mashatu trees, wetland and a small Sycamore fig forest. There are some wonderful hiking trails and opportunities to sight giraffe, zebra and various antelope on the plains.
Opening hours are 06:00 – 19:00
+27 (0)15 563 0702 or 083 251 9071