5 Day - Kruger & Mapungubwe National Park

Ancient Ruins Tour

Red Africa Safaris - Thulamela Site Kruger National Park South Africa

Follow a trail of myths and legends on the spectacular Route of the Lost Kingdoms!

Highlights on this Tour –
  • Visit two popular National Parks of South Africa
  • Visit the spectacular Thulamela Ruins Site inside Kruger National Park and experience how Ancient civilisations lived hundreds of years ago
  • Go on a Heritage tour and visit the elite graveyard at the top of Mapungubwe Hill, view a natural amphitheatre and the entire spectrum of the region
  • Also visit the Interpretation Centre, the centre showcases many of the findings from mapungubwe Hill including the famous Golden Rhino.
  • See the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo Rivers where 3 Countries (Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa) meet
  • Go for a canopy walk on a raised walkway next to the Limpopo River at Mapungubwe
  • Get a chance to see Africa’s Big 5 and many other African wildlife
  • Visit Waterholes, Lookout Points and Historical sites on daily excursions/Game drives
  • Stay in Comfortable En-Suite Chalets, Bungalows or Rondavels
  • Enjoy tasty meals some prepared by your guide under open African skies in the true Safari way
Kruger National Park - Thulamela Ruins site

About Thulamela - Between the 15th and mid-17th century, and offshoot of Great Zimbabwe occupied a citadel in the northern parts of what is now Kruger National Park. It was situated on a hilltop, overlooking the Luvuvhu River.

The dry-stone walls were similar to those of Great Zimbabwe and housed an elite of an estimated 1,000 people within the royal enclosure, while a further 2,000-odd people lived in the surrounding areas.

The inhabitants of Thulamela were avid traders, bartering gold, ivory and even slaves with regional neighbours and Arab traders operating from the sea ports on the east coast. Archaeologists have found remains of glass beads, Chinese porcelain dating from the Ming dynasty, imported woven cloths, gold, bronze, copper and iron artefacts and royal gongs from West Africa.

About Kruger National Park - Kruger Park is South Africa’s most exciting African safari destination. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in north eastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. It became South Africa's first National park in 1926. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique.

All the Big Five game animals(Lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and Rhino) are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of large mammals than any other African Game Reserve (at 147 species). Out of the 517 species of birds found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads.

Mapungubwe National Park - Mapungubwe Hilltop

About Mapungubwe - One thousand years ago, the Kingdom of Mapungubwe was the centre of the largest kingdom in the subcontinent, where highly sophisticated people traded gold and ivory with China, India and Egypt. It thrived as a sophisticated trading centre from around 1220 to 1300 located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo Rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe.

The kingdom was the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century,and with gold trading links to Rhapta and Kilwa Kisiwani on the African east coast. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe lasted about 80 years, and at its height its population was about 5000 people.

 The most spectacular of the gold discoveries at Mapungubwe is a little gold rhinoceros, made of gold foil.

About Mapungubwe National Park - Most of the continent's big game roam here. There is also a tremendous diversity of plant and animal life. Visitors can spot predators like lions, leopards and hyenas, and birders can tick off 400 species, including Kori bustard, tropical Boubou and Pel's fishing owl.

Tour Information

Day 1

   Transfer to Kruger National Park
  • Generally tours start at 06h00, but departure times can be arranged to suit your needs.
  • Red Africa Safari's tours are conducted in English by a qualified and registered (Fgasa) tour/field guide.
  • You will be picked up from your Hotel near or at O.R Tambo Airport or from Pretoria.
  • The scenic drive to Punda Maria Gate takes about 6 and a half hours.
  • There will be stops on the way to enjoy breakfast and to buy some snacks and beverages.
  • As soon as you have entered the Park you will start to see some wildlife such as Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Elephants and many more while enjoying your first Game drive.
  • After arrival at Punda accommodation in the afternoon, there will be time to settle in.
  • Enjoy Dinner around 19h00 prepared by your guide under open African skies.
  • After dinner you can enjoy the African night sounds and just relax or keep an eye on the nearby Waterhole that is lit at night where many Nocturnal animals can be seen while having a drink such as Leopards, Hyena etc.

Day 2

   Explore Kruger National Park's many waterholes & Lookout points
  • At approximately 05h30 you can enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee before you head South towards Shingwedzi.
  • Be on the lookout for Leopard, Elephants, Giraffe to name but a few.
  • On the way you will stop at Babalala Picnic site where you can enjoy breakfast before continuing with your Game drive.
  • Wildlife such as Elephants and Hyena can be seen from time to time around the picnic site.
  • Continue with your drive and stop at Shingwedzi rest camp situated next to the Shingwedzi river where plenty of animals can be seen.
  • After your stop at Shingwedzi you will be heading back to Punda by taking the Mphongolo loop where Leopards are frequently seen.
  • Arrive back at your accommodation in the afternoon where you can relax or explore the camp grounds after your day's excursion.
  • Enjoy a tasty dinner at 19h00 prepared by your guide.

Day 3

   Visit Thulamela ruins & transfer to Mapungubwe National Park
  • At approximately 06h00 you will make your way to the Thulamela Ruins site after you have enjoyed a refreshing cup of coffee.
  • Enjoy the Game drive on the way and be on the lookout for the rare Sharpe’s Grysbok.
  • Enjoy breakfast at the Pafuri picnic site before stepping back in time and experience how Ancient civilisations lived hundreds of years ago.
  • After your Tour at the Ruins site you will depart and make your way to the Pafuri Gate where you will exit Kruger National Park.
  • You will then make your way to Musina, the most Northern Town of Limpopo Province before you enter Zimbabwe, here you will have a quick stop to buy some items and stretch your legs before you make your way to Mapungubwe National Park.
  • After you have checked in at Mapungubwe National Park you will make your way to your accommodation situated in the Limpopo Riverine Forest where an abundance of birds and plenty of other wildlife can be seen.
  • Settle in and relax until dinner.

Day 4

    Exciting Heritage & Interpretation tour + a visit to the Confluence where 3 Countries meet
  • You will depart around 06h00 and make your way to the starting point of your very interesting Heritage tour.
  • You will visit the elite graveyard, view a natural amphitheatre and the entire spectrum of the region. Traverse the territory once walked upon by the ancestral Mapungubwe People.
  • After your Tour, enjoy breakfast before visiting the Interpretation centre, it houses some of the most important finds from Mapungubwe Hill including the Golden Rhino.
  • Afterwards you will make your way to a raised walkway where you can walk among the River forest.
  • Next you will head to the Confluence lookout point of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers.
  • You'll then continue your drive along the Limpopo river on the way back to the main gate of Mapungubwe Park.
  • You can enjoy lunch at the Restaurant before heading back to your accommodation.
  • Relax until dinner is served around 19h00.
  • Enjoy the last night in the African bush while listening to the roars of Lions or the calls of Jackal.

Day 5

   Last Game drive and transfer to Johannesburg
  • You’ll depart at 06h00 and enjoy your last Game drive through the Park.
  • You will also stop at a Bird hide overlooking the Maloutswa dam which attracts a lot of wildlife and plenty of Water birds.
  • After you have spent some time at the Bird hide you will make your way to the Gate where you will exit the Park.
  • Enjoy a breakfast pack on the way back to Johannesburg, while taking a last glimpse at South Africa's beautiful landscapes.
  • There will be stops along the way to buy some refreshments.
  • Arrive in Johannesburg late afternoon where your African Ruins Tour will unfortunately come to an end.

Please note - Although we provide a planned itinerary, our Tours are totally flexible and can be customized to suit your needs.

  • Pick-up at Hotel/B&B near or at O.R Tambo Airport or from Pretoria
  • Drop off at Hotel/B&B near or at O.R Tambo Airport or Pretoria
  • Mapungubwe National Park Daily Conservation/Entrance fees
  • Kruger National Park Daily Conservation/Entrance fees
  • Guided tour to and inside Kruger and Mapungubwe National Parks in an Air-conditioned vehicle, conducted by a registered and qualified SA Tourism and Field safari guide
  • Fuel & Toll fees
  • Accommodation - En-Suite(private bathroom)Chalets
  • 2 x nights inside Kruger National Park
  • 2 x nights inside Mapungubwe National Park
  • Thulamela Ruins Tour at Kruger National Park 
  • Heritage Tour at Mapungubwe National Park
  • Interpretation Centre Entrance fee at Mapungubwe National Park
  • 2 x 500ml bottled water per day
  • Day 1 - 5 Breakfast & Dinner, some prepared by your guide
  • Day 6 -  Breakfast/Snackpack only, due to travelling back to Johannesburg
  • Daily excursions/Game drives visiting waterholes, lookout points,walkway, Rivers etc.
Not included:
  • Airfares to and from South Africa
  • Lunch /snacks/beverages
  • Optional – Sunrise drive, Sunset drive and Night drive in one of the Park’s Safari vehicles, except where specified
  • Morning walk or Afternoon Walk. Please note that not all of these activities are available at all of the camps
  • All Gratuities
  • Medical Aid and Travel Insurance
  • Any items of personal nature

What to bring along on the Kruger/Mapungubwe National Park Ruins Tour?
  • Comfortable clothes and walking shoes
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Torch
  • Sun protection (Hat, Sunscreen lotion etc.)
  • Swim wear
  • Medication (Chronic and prescription) - Visitors are advised to use Malaria prophylactics and a mosquito repellent, as Mapungubwe/Kruger Park is Malaria zones.
  • Spending money (meals, snacks, beverages and souvenirs)
General Tour Information

Tour packages can also be tailor-made to your requirements.

The National Parks and Reserves that we operate in are very popular and can get booked out very fast so we recommend that the deposit should be paid as soon as possible to secure the desired booking date.

Availability is extremely limited and cannot be guaranteed until the booking is confirmed.

If the Reservation is made within 30 days of departure we request the full amount to be paid at the time of confirmation. If the Reservation is made more than 30 days prior to departure then a 50% deposit of the full amount is required at the time of booking and the balance is due 30 days prior to the start of the Safari Tour. 

Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules/planned itineraries, it should be noted that the Field guides/tour operators of RED AFRICA SAFARIS may be obliged to occasionally change routes/schedules on safaris as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by road conditions, diversions, weather conditions, traffic, availability of activities etc. RED AFRICA SAFARIS will communicate with you for such itinerary or accommodation changes

The facilities, local prices and amenities mentioned are shown in good faith as generally being available. Should local prices vary, or facilities not be available at certain times as a result of weather conditions, lack of support etc. RED AFRICA SAFARIS cannot be held responsible.

Departure times from camps may vary, depending upon the season.

Children below 6 yrs are not permitted on the optional Game drives.

Children below 12 yrs are not allowed on any Bush walks.

Participation in adventure travel requires that you be in generally good health. All visitors must understand that while a high level off fitness is not required, a measure of physical activity is involved in such tours. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and/or related dietary restrictions make them known to us before departure.

Should you not be able to view certain animals during your safari, Red Africa Safaris can not be held responsible, being that these are wild animals that move over vast distances.

PLEASE NOTE: It is recommended that clients overnight in Johannesburg the night before the tour and on the last day of the tour. We recommend hotels/B&Bs within 5kms of OR Tambo International Airport or in Pretoria. If you would like to book a flight on the last day of your tour is advised that you book your flight to depart later than 19h00 because of the long drive from Mapungubwe to Johannesburg and because of your last excursion through the Park.

Clients could also be picked up straight from the Airport, should your flight arrive early in the morning.

 Prices are per person
  2 Persons sharing - ZAR 11 130.00 p. person
  3 Persons sharing - ZAR 10 335.00 p. person
4 Persons sharing - ZAR 9375.00 p. person
Please note that the above prices are only estimated prices for Safari Tours. We would recommend that you request a quotation so that we can provide you with the accurate tariffs. RED Africa Safaris cc. reserves the right to change pricing at any time without prior notice.

Currency conversions at http://www.xe.com