Close to South Africa’s border with both Botswana and Zimbabwe, near the small town of Musina in the far northern Limpopo province, is Mopane Bush Lodge.
The traditionally designed ‘kraal’ is situated on the 6000 hectare Mapesu Private Nature Reserve, which borders the world heritage site of Mapungubwe National Park. Here, at the confluence of the mighty Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, is the meeting point of the three countries.
This owner run property has just 8 comfortable, thatched rondavels. Established over 16 years ago by the warm and gracious Paul and Rosemary Hatty, Mopane is one of the original safari lodge pioneers in the area. The well spaced chalets offer a private veranda, large comfy bed with good quality linen, ensuite facilities with large walk in shower. When not enjoying the tasty home cooked meals, a quiet drink around the fireplace, the shady lapa and pool to enjoy sundowners from, guests are invite to explore the reserve on foot, by bike or on guided game drives.
The history and heritage of Mapungubwe is close to Paul’s heart and a visit with him to the award winning Interpretation Centre and the impressive San rock art sites brings this extraordinary cultural landscape alive. Home to the Zhiro people, the “lost Kingdom of Mapungubwe’ was rediscovered by accident in the 1930’s. Significant finds include graves with bodies of a King and Queen, identified by gold artefacts buried with them, in particular the golden rhino which is now the symbol for Mapungubwe.
Another favourite site of Paul’s along this verdant stretch of the thousand mile long Limpopo River, is the Gallery Forest where the birdlife is so abundant it’s virtually an open air aviary. Don’t miss the additional activities on offer: guided walking trails, opportunities to encounter elephant, rhino and lion on game drives in Mapungubwe,, phenomenal birding in the wetlands at Den Staat or predator tracking with a researcher from the neighbouring De Beers research station.