With the opening of the Giriyondo Border Post, South Africans can now readily enter the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique to experience its attractions. During this year, the road from Giriyondo to Massingir is likely to be completely gravelled, but at the moment it is best to use a 4x4 or 4x2 vehicle, with 4x4 being necessary in wet weather.
There are currently a few organised tourist packages on offer in the park. There are also overnight camping facilities for those who prefer to do their own thing, with individual campsites and newly constructed communal ablution and wash-up facilities near the Massingir Dam.
All of the big five have been seen in the Limpopo National Park on the 4x4 and wilderness trails, and there have been good bird sightings, including some birds that are peculiar to Mozambique. Visitors to the park can also get a glimpse of rural life, as there are some villages in the park.
Transfrontier Trails offer packages such as the Shingwedzi 4x4 ecotrail, the Massingir hiking trail, the Machampane wilderness trail and the comfort of the Machampane luxury wilderness tented camp. The Machampane camp is 25km south of Giriyondo, and is located in riverine forest overlooking the Machampane River.
Guided day walks are available from the camp, and four day/three night wilderness trails are also undertaken from the camp. The wilderness trail costs R3,600 and a night in the tented camp costs R1,500 (for one or two people sharing a tent). The Shingwedzi 4x4 ecotrail is a four night/five day self drive package, which involves river crossings, little-used tracks and camping out on pans and river banks.
It costs R5,000 for each vehicle to do the trail. The Massingir hiking trail covers the slopes above the Massingir dam, and over fournights/five days guests hike up the Machampane gorge using a different campsite each night. This currently costs R2,600. For more information on the trails visit www.dolimpopo.co.za or call Bridget Bagley on 012 426 5111.