Mapungubwe is an area in northern South Africa at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, and the historical site of what may have been the most complex society in southern Africa. Between 1000 and 1300 AD, Mapungubwe was a kingdom that covered parts of present-day Botswana and Zimbabwe.
After Mapungubwe’s fall it was almost entirely forgotten, until 1932, when the University of Pretoria was informed of its existence. Excavations revealed a multitude of gold artefacts, including the famous gold foil rhinoceros, and many beads, burial grounds and other remains.
These discoveries and the San rock art sites that dot the area indicate that Mapungubwe (meaning ‘place of the stone of wisdom’) was a cultural centre for the ancient African kingdom. The gold sculptures recovered may suggest why the place was concealed for so long.
Mapungubwe National Park is one of South Africa’s youngest national parks, having been opened to the public on 24th September 2004. It forms part of the Limpopo Transfrontier Park that spans South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Mapungubwe National Park is a reserve of huge biodiversity, rich scenic beauty and great cultural importance .There are many areas of special interest, like the Mapungubwe Hill, the river confluence, the treetop hide, and the Tshugulu eco-route that runs for 45 km through incredible terrain and habitat.