Closest Town: Musina
Grading: Intermediate | Duration: 2-3 Hours
Location (Area/Province): Limpopo and Soutpansberg
Configuration: Circular Route
Start Point: Mopane Bush Lodge
Access: Private property. Guests only.
Beware of: Mopane bush thorns
Facilities: Luxury, 4-star, fully-catered accommodation. Bar and lapa. Swimming pool. Picnic packs made up for active guests. Riding, walking and birding.
Cell Reception: Good cellphone reception
Mopane Bush Lodge is a tranquil bush retreat languishing within stands of mopane bush veldt on Mapesu Private Nature Reserve. Come unwind on this 6 000ha property to recharge your soul in a truly tranquil bush getaway. The riding here is mainly on farm dual tracks and gravel roads, with loads of wildlife to be viewed in their natural habitat.
On your bike
Crank among the otherworldly baobab trees, cruising along the dirt roads and footpaths dipping amidst the sand and rock outcrops. There are a few steep climbs, but the views make up for it as you can gaze from South Africa across the Limpopo River to Botswana and Zimbabwe. There are sections of technical single-track that will challenge even the most proficient riders, but they are short and sweet, so inexperienced or less fit riders can easily walk them.
Off the bike
When not riding, take the walking trails to a bird hide and river. The area is a birding hotspot with about 400 species. Visit the Messina Baobab Nature Reserve or Mapungubwe National Park where game-viewing opportunities include elephants and tracking wild dog. Alternatively, for a dose of culture, visit the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site and Mapungubwe Hill or view San rock art and dinosaur fossils. Visit a crocodile farm or walk the Baobabwe Peace Trail. The “great grey-green, greasy” Limpopo River is also nearby.
Game drive on the western side of Mapungubwe National Park, where you are surrounded by magnificent sandstone koppies and solitary baobabs. A visit to Maloutsa Bird Hide is highly recommended. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Mapungubwe National Park and see why it is a World Heritage Site and enjoy a Cultural Heritage Tour. Mapungubwe Hill, a far developed African civilisation prospered between 1200 and 1270 AD. The area was already inhabited by a growing Iron Age community from 900 AD and became rich through trade with faraway places like Egypt, India and China. This is the place where archeologists excavated the famous golden rhino and other evidence of a wealthy African kingdom.
Telephone: +27 (0) 15 534 7906 or 083 6330795
GPS: 22°14.001’ South / 29°27.856’ East