GREATE MAPUNGUBWE HERITAGE ROUTE
The Greater Mapungubwe Heritage Route celebrates the incredibly rich history of the northern part of the Limpopo Province of South Africa over the last 1 000 years. Short description The Route links numerous cultural (and natural) heritage sites via a circular route centred around key sites such as: the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, the Thulamela Archaeological Site and the cluster of heritage sites around the sacred Lake Fundudzi and royal Dzata Museum. In the short term the Greater Mapungubwe Heritage Route starts at the town of Makhado and historically about 1 000 years ago. From Makhado it follows a circular route to the west along the Soutpansberg until you reach the little village of Vivo & end amongst the largest colony of Cape vultures in South Africa at the Blouberg Nature Reserve. From Blouberg the route goes north to Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Park and World Heritage Site. From Mapungubwe it goes east via Musina to the beauty of the Greater Nwanedi Wildlife Reserve with its two beautiful dams and the Sagole Big Tree – the biggest boabab in South Africa and one of the biggest trees in the world. The Makuya Nature Reserve is the next stop on our journey and is considered the primary wilderness destination in the Limpopo. It is characterised by stunning views over the Kruger National Park at places such as World View, the Luvhuvhu Gorge and at the Singo Safari Lodge. The Route then takes us into to the world famous Kruger National Park and the Thulamela Archaeological Site – one of the primary heritage sites of South Africa – and the link between Great Zimbabwe and the modern Vha Venda nation. Crooks Corner where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana meet at the confluence of the Pafuri and Limpopo rivers is the centre for the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and has a fascinating history. From Crooks Corner the route turns southwest towards the Punda Maria gate of the KNP to enter the heartland of the Land of Legend in the Nzhelele River Valley. The heart of the Land of Legend is formed by a cluster of heritage sites such as:
- The mysterious and sacred Lake Fundudzi.
- Dzata – the royal history of the Vha Venda.
- The Holy Forest.
- The Sacred Tswime Mountain.
- Tshivhase stone terraces.
From here the Route goes to Valdezia – the first Shangaan settlement in South Africa; then to the historic mission hospital of Elim – start of the Ribollah artist route and lastly to the Skirmishes Route highlighting a number of very significant incidents during the Anglo-Boer War. Attached find a brief description of each of the important heritage sites based on information obtained from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture of the Limpopo. Click here for the Mapungubwe Heritage Route downlaod (pdf)