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Route - Mapungubwe

DAY 1: MARAMANI & SENTINEL RANCH, ZIMBABWE
Distance: 30km
Vertical gain: 296m
 
Leaving our base camp we start off following the Limpopo downstream before turning northeast and climbing up to Khami Hills. From here we continue inland along game trails through the bush before joining a faint 4x4 track to a spectacular viewpoint. After soaking up the views we descend slightly before traversing over to the Green Fish cave paintings, past the ‘Three Baobabs’, across the lion slopes and down through the potholes to ‘Sizi springs’. Then it’s up to the spectacular slabs with elephant paths etched into stone, past ‘Porcupine Valley’, the ‘Cheese block’, more slab trails, ‘Wave rock’ and an incredible fossil site before dropping towards Baobab Hill. Here we turn west again, running along the shelf above the riparian forest to ‘Pimple hill’, before descending into the riparian forest to run past the old river camp, ‘Black Eagle Pan’, Khami hills and back to base camp. 
 

DAY 2: TULI GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA
Distance: 34km
Vertical gain: 158m

From base camp we follow the Limpopo River west a short way before taking the line of least resistance up a ravine between two basalt ridges, past ‘sunroof cave’ to ‘platkop’ baobab. From here we find our way over to the top end of the ‘hyena maze’. Negotiating the maze we arrive at the confluence of the mighty Shashe & Limpopo Rivers. From here we cross over to Botswana’s ‘Shalimpo’ island. After traversing Shalimpo Island we pass the Shalimpo cottages and the Mashatu tree hide to access the eastern edge of a series of basalt ridges - including ‘Chaila Koppie’ - that eventually gets us to the beautiful Santhata Lodge. After a snack at the aid station and a dip in the pool, we leave the sanctity of Santhata lodge and head north to the big baobab trees. From here we turn northeast through the plains of sesame trees and the edge of the riparian forest that lines the western shores of the Shashe River. We cross the Shashe River back into Zimbabwe, and make our way back to base camp through Maramani Community land. 
 
 
 
DAY 3: MAPUNGUBWE NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
Distance: 28km
Vertical gain: 325m
As we leave base camp we immediately cross the Limpopo River to Poachers' Corner in the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. From here we run west through the riparian forest along the banks of the Limpopo River to the confluence of the mighty Shashe and Limpopo Rivers. At a small baobab nicknamed "Old Stumpy" we head back east on an old track to join the confluence viewpoint track and proceed up to the first of the confluence viewpoints and the first of two aid stations. From here we run down to the base of Leokwe Valley before following elephant trails up into the valley and turning east, down into the Mapungubwe Valley. At the bottom of this valley we'll turn north to make our way to Mapungubwe Hill where a guide will be waiting to take us on a guided tour of this incredible piece of history. This is where the golden rhino was discovered and the site of an ancient, sophisticated civilisation. Imbibed with cultural and anthropological knowledge we now turn east before making the final turn north past Vhembe Wilderness Camp, over the ridge past Jan Smuts' house and across the river back into Zimbabwe and our campsite at Maramani.
 

 

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