Spec­tac­u­lar Mopani Val­ley

Vast ex­panses un­touched by the pas­sage of time and which are un­mis­tak­ably African

African Times - - African Destinations -

THE Mopani re­gion in the Lowveld is one of the last un­spoilt cor­ners of Africa – vast, un­hur­ried, time­less. The Mopani re­gion has a river in a val­ley called the Great Oli­fants River, which me­an­ders through the Kruger Na­tional Park, form­ing the south­ern border of the province.

This re­gion of­fers vast ex­panses that seem un­touched by the pas­sage of time and re­main un­mis­tak­ably African. To con­serve and ex­tend this legacy, the Kruger Na­tional Park has been in­cor­po­rated into the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Park, a trans­fron­tier con­ser­va­tion area stretch­ing over 35.000 square kilo­me­ters cov­er­ing Mozam­bique, Zim­babwe and South Africa.

This area is to be­come part of the pro­posed Great Lim­popo Trans­fron­tier Park.

Al­ready, many of the con­ser­va­tion ar­eas bor­der­ing on the Kruger Na­tional Park have re­moved their fences and now from part of the Greater Kruger Na­tional Park, re­sult­ing in huge travers­ing ar­eas of un-spoilt wilder­ness.

Within these ar­eas and the many other game and na­ture re­serves in the re­gion, the full splen­dor of Africa’s wildlife can be en­joyed.

The Mopani Val­ley is not only rich in wildlife, but ad­di­tion­ally of­fers spec­tac­u­lar scenery of moun­tains, rivers and dams, a rich his­tory and many cul­tural at­trac­tions. The con­trasts in cli­mate, scenery and land­scape are both strik­ing and dra­matic. – www.golimpopo.com

Wildlife Ex­pe­ri­ences WALKING SAFARIS

Walking safaris are one of the most re­ward­ing ways to dis­cover and ex­pe­ri­ence the se­crets of the bush, true wilder­ness and wildlife. Guided walks in “Big Five” ar­eas are of­fered at se­lected lodges through­out Lim­popo.

Guests are briefed prior to their ex­cur­sions into the wild, the rangers pro­vid­ing in­for­mal tuition re­gard­ing the pro­ce­dures to be fol­lowed on the walks.

GAME DRIVES

We of­fer game drives for the peo­ple who have thirst to view our nat­u­ral beauty. A game drive is a life­time ex­pe­ri­ence. The ex­cel­lent game view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is com­pli­mented by other ac­tiv­i­ties such as stargaz­ing, bird watch­ing, an­i­mal watch­ing and moon­lit bush din­ners or sun­down­ers etc.

GAME WALKS

Game walks are about see­ing the smaller things that you can­not see from a ve­hi­cle. You will also ex­pe­ri­ence the smells of the bush, and see a va­ri­ety of foot­prints.

Ex­pe­ri­enced, and in the case where large preda­tors, rhino or ele­phant are about, armed rangers take you on ex­cur­sions into the bush for a unique game view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

It is a chance to see the an­i­mals’ habi­tat up close and you can learn bush track­ing tech­niques and gain in depth knowl­edge of the sur­round­ing plant life. Smaller an­i­mals eas­ily missed from a car can also be viewed.

BIRDING

Lim­popo of­fers some of the best birding ex­pe­ri­ence in South­ern Africa. Over 600 bird species have been recorded in the province of which 420 birds are res­i­dent.

Habi­tats range from vast tracts of mon­tane grass­land to afro-tem­per­ate forests, bushveld and wet­lands.

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photo Safaris is in high de­mand and nor­mally one can en­joy group tours to fixed des­ti­na­tions spe­cials when you visit the des­ti­na­tion of hope.

WILDLIFE CON­SER­VA­TION

South African Na­tional Parks (SANParks) is the body re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing South Africa’s na­tional parks. SANParks was formed in 1926, and cur­rently man­ages 20 parks con­sist­ing of 3,700,000 hectares (37,000 km2), about 3% of the to­tal area of South Africa.

The best-known park is Kruger Na­tional Park, which is also the old­est (pro­claimed in 1898), and the largest, at nearly 2,000,000 hectares (20,000 km2).

HORSE­BACK SAFARIS

A horse­back sa­fari of­fers an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover mag­nif­i­cent moun­tains on horse­back or ex­pe­ri­ence gameview­ing.

Pictures: Lu­cas Led­waba / Muku­rukuru Me­dia

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