Day 1 : Johannesburg, South Africa
After your arrival at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport in the morning (not later than 09H30) pick-up the car rental from the car rental station. Distance Johannesburg – Louis Trichardt ca. 462 km (ca. 5 hours drive) drive to Mashovela Lodge, which is situated in the beautiful Soutpansberg area in Limpopo.
The Soutpansberg stretches 130 km from Vivo in the west to near Thohoyandou in the east. Dominating the scenery above Louis Trichardt is the 1 719-m-high Hanglip (‘hanging lip’), a name that is probably a corruption of Hangklip (‘hanging rock’). The mountains feature a fertile, well-watered plateau that receives a high summer rainfall and supports wide range of crops and cultivated lands. Rainfall can be as high as 2,000 mm a year in certain places. The Soutpansberg is a unique wilderness area that accommodates over 500 tree species, 50 of which are endemic to either the Soutpansberg Range or the Limpopo River Valley. Close on 467 species of birds, numerous mammal, reptile and amphibian species and the beautiful Swanepoel's Widow Butterfly - endemic to the region - are found here.
Mashovela Lodge has some great walking and hiking trails with direct access from the Lodge. There is a waterfall near the lodge and you can take a route direct on the top of the plateau. The view is fantastic… and you have many opportunities to spot the black eagle. You can even watch them from the terrace of the lodge restaurant, while you have lunch.
On your bed you will find also a little welcome touch at the start of your trip… and listen to the drumbeats by night from across the valley.
Day 2 : Mashovela Lodge, Soutpansberg, Limpopo
Enjoy your breakfast this morning and take the chance to visit the Mashovela Pools it is a mix of a 4x4 drive and a nature walk to the pools. Have a lunch on the terrace and relax, before you take the chance and hike on the plateau, if you continue your walk to the over side, you will become a great view in the valley and the lodge, the trail goes close the black eagle nest
I could be also that you get the chance later for a sundowner trip on 4x4 with a fantastic view. If you get the chance to visit the Venda Village, which is situated on the Mashovela property you should use the chance, do not forget to take some sweets with for the children and also adults, they like it. The people are very friendly and shy. ...and you get a little view in their life and culture.
From the lush highlands of the central mountains where streams and waterfalls tumble down forested valleys, to the arid but totally fascinating world of the baobab and mopani, traditional arts and crafts, singing and dancing, legends and superstitions dominate the simple lifestyle of the people. They language known as Luvenda, Venda or Tshivenda, originated from the Bantu language and is also related to Niger and Congo languages. Those that speak Venda are part of South Africa’s population, and it is one of the 11 official South African languages.
Also the area has a lot of interesting places for a visit. The splendor of the Zoutpansberg mountains, the exquisite culture and artistic skills of the Venda people such items included pottery, wood sculptures, beadwork and soapstone skulpture and additional the wilderness areas of the Mapungubwe National Park, also a world heritage site. Mashovela Lodge offers to you half day and also full day trips .
The Mapungubwe National Park can be accessed Musina or on the R521 up to the north. In the south of Louis Trichard (= Makhado) you can visit the Tsonga Cultural Village and the ukondeni Mashamba Pottery centre.
Day 3 : Shingwedzi Rest Camp, Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the largest conservancy in South Africa, which conserves 147 mammal, 507 birds, fishes and 300 trees species. Come prepared with binocular and camera to record your visit. You will enter the northern most sector of the park which is spectacular for birding, Elephants and buffalo herds, also you will see the baobab trees which are very popular in the Limpopo Province. If you have time enough you can drive to Punta Maria Gate for a break. From the Gate it takes ca. 2o min drive to the rest camp.
After your breakfast check-out the lodge, you should not leave later than 10h00. Drive via Louis Trichard and Thohoyandou, Enter Kruger Park via Punta Maria Gate. From Punta Maria Rest Camp drive to Shingwedzi Rest Camp. Shingwedzi is a rustic camp that lies in the northern part of the Kruger National Park in the heart of mopane country.
Shingwedzi Rest Camp Facilities:
Information at Reception, Public Telephone & Post Box, Restaurant /Cafeteria / Shop, Laundromat , Filling Station (cash and garage cards only), Communal Kitchens / Cutlery and Plates Hampers (from Reception), Communal Ablutions, Swimming Pool, Basic First Aid Assistance, DSTV (limited channels) only available in Guest House, Cell Phone Reception
Shingwedzi Rest Camp Activities
- Guided Bush Walks & Game Drives (in the company of trained field guides)
- Bush Breakfast and Bush Braai (Barbecue). Includes game drive to venue. Confirm availability when booking.
- Kanniedood Bird Hide (located about 7 km east of the camp) / Ntishivana Bird Hide (located about 30 km east of the camp)
- Northern Plains 4 x 4 Adventure Trail (weather sensitive activity)
- Wildlife films on the big screen (every evening except Sundays)
These activities will ensure an exciting bush experience. All bookings, as well as further details for these activities are available from reception.