The past week on safari was so special and the days flew by. Up before sunrise every day and in bed by 9pm and dreaming of yet another wonderful day. We saw so many animals, large and small and numerous birds from honey eaters to birds of prey together with some brightly coloured lizards. Today we had our last safari but this time in Mapungubwe, the home of the golden Rhino.
This time we visited the interpretive centre and walked around very informative displays about the powerful and sophisticated kingdom that once existed in Africa hundreds of years before white settlement. It was interesting to read that when the settlement was first discovered in 1934 there was wide publicity given to the site, but this was ultimately supressed by the Government. The discovery was a complete contradiction of the colonial and apartheid narrative that South Africa was not populated when Europeans began to settle in the 16thcentury and that black South Africans only arrived around the same time and occupied only small areas of the country. When you see the golden objects on display including animal figurines, sceptres, bowls, beads and bracelets and the golden rhino, a rich picture of life at Mapungubwe in the 11thcentury emerges.
Of course we also did a game drive after visiting the centre and we were not disappointed, especially when we were driving down the road only to have a breeding herd of elephants come around the corner walking towards us. I bit of reversing was in order and fortunately the elephants decided to walk back into the bush before we had to reverse a bit more. It was fun.
There is a wide variety of animals in the park, including domestic cows that cross the dry river bed from Zimbabwe and these are known locally as Zimbabwe buffalos. Efforts are being made to stop these animals from coming over to the park as they bring with them bovine diseases that can affect the wild animals.
Next stop Cape Town.