South Africa’s northernmost province, Limpopo, borders onto Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana, making it the ideal entrance to Africa. Named after the great Limpopo River that flows along its northern border, this province is rich in wildlife, spectacular scenery and a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. The Great North Road from Pretoria was first carved by the creaking wheels of ox
wagons. Ruins and relics abound in ancient forests, sparkling waters, hot mineral springs and waterfalls.
Much of it has remained unchanged for centuries, offering unlimited opportunities in Limpopo for the enjoyment of untamed Africa. This is home to Modjadji, the fabled Rain Queen, the Stone Age and Iron age relics of Makapansgat Valley and the treasures of Mapungubwe that date back to 1000AD.
Beyond the spectacular Soutpansberg mountains where you will be living and working is a land where mopane trees and giant, ancient baobab trees dominate the plains sweeping northward to Zimbabwe. There are 340 indigenous tree species here, an abundance of animal life and the world’s highest concentration of leopard.
Where the Limpopo and Shashe rivers meet and unite South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe lies
Mapungubwe National Park. This park is just north of Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve and you will get the opportunity to visit during your stay.
Mapungubwe is Southern Africa’s first kingdom, a highly complex society that marked the heart of a pre-shona kingdom between 1050 AD and 1270 AD
only to be abandoned in the 14th century. It remained lost until New Years Eve 1932, when a local farmer and his son, discovered the wealth of artefacts on top of Mapungubwe Hill, including trade glass beads, Chinese celadon ware, gold ornaments, crafted ivory and bone and refined copper and iron.
Mapunguwbwe Hill is a sandstone hill, with vertical cliffs about 30m high and a plateau top of approximately 300m’s long. At the height of this kingdom it is thought that some 5000 people lived around Mapungubwe hill, which means ‘place where Jackals eat’, derived from the Tsonga word, ‘phungubye’, for Black Backed Jackal. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and was opened to the public in September 2004. Not only does it provide the public with an awesome window on the rich and varied animal life in this part of South Africa, but it is a chance to explore Mapungubwe Hill and gain a picture of the social and political structures of a society that traded with China and India.
One finding of significance was that of the Golden Rhino; the rhino is thought to symbolise power because of its ferocious temperament and is still a leadership symbol among the Shona of Zimbabwe today.
The little golden rhino is evidence of these peoples’ metalworking skills and trade with the East and it also symbolises to the world that Southern Africa’s cultural heritage is far richer and goes back further than realised.
You are viewing the text version of this site.
Need help? check the requirements page.