Back into S Africa

August 24, 2016 - Thohoyandou, South Africa




August 24


We decided to leave Botswana at the Pontdrift Border post.


This meant a long dusty drive today along some good road but some of the roads were very degraded and also there were a couple of very soft sandy dry river beds to cross.  The scenery was lovely, however, especially towards the end when large sandstone outcrops started appearing and numbers of huge baobab trees could be seen.  There was also a lot of game around and when crossing one river bed we met a couple of kudu right next to the road and could see a waterhole with impala and warthog and monkeys just down the way.


The Pontdrift border post which crosses from Botswana into South Africa is at the end of a dusty little road in some riverine forest.  Clearly, there isn’t much traffic there and we were met with smiles and courtesy on both sides of the border.  Unfortunately, the one thing that we weren’t allowed to take into S Africa from Botswana was wood.  Apparently there is a possibility of some kind of aggressive fruit fly crossing the border from Botswana.  So all vehicles have to offload all the lovely leadwood firewood they have bought in Botswana and Zimbabwe.  And we have collected a lot.  So goodbye firewood!  We’ll have to braai with charcoal tonight.


We signed in at reception at Mapungubwe National Park which is on the northern border of S Africa, running along the Limpopo River.  We found that our campsite was about 35 km from Reception, so decided to stop there and visit the very interesting Interpretive Centre and have a quick lunch at the restaurant before heading off to set up camp.


Mapungupwe is a very interesting archaeological site and is related to Great Zimbabwe as it is thought that the inhabitants of Mapungupwe moved to Great Zimbabwe after they left here.  There is lots to learn and the exhibition is most interesting.


Then we took the long drive to our beautiful campsite under a huge Nyala tree. We were met by a group of very tame bushbuck who keep popping in to the camp site.  They are beautiful little buck with soft spotted red coats and spots down the side. Only problem is pesky monkeys again!!  You turn your back and they rush up and snatch the food off the table.  We really have to keep an eye out for them every minute.


An early night tonight as Liz, Sue and I are going on the heritage walk tomorrow up to the top of Mapungupwe Hill which is the site of an extensive archaeological dig.

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