The Machampane River is the only river in the Limpopo National Park (LNP) that originates in the Park. It meanders through a true wilderness area in the LNP and ends in the Olifants River. It is along this river that one of the LNP's first tourism products was built to kick-start tourism development in the Park.
The LNP developed several Park Authority Developments (Pads) to initiate private sector partnership and investment. Last year Glynn O'Leary and his team secured the tender to manage the Machampane Wilderness Camp and Trail, as well as the Shingwedzi 4x4 Eco-trail and Massingir Hiking Trail.
The Machampane Wilderness Camp is nestled on the banks of the Machampane River with the luxurious en-suite tented camp overlooking the river. The camp can accommodate 10 people at the most, "although we prefer to have not more than eight."
According to Trudie Rattray, camp manager, the walking trail guests arrive on Tuesday evening where they are welcomed with a real South African 'braai', prepared by Trudie and Nora Bombi, general assistant.
The next morning sees them up before dawn and on their first walk of at least five hours." "Apart from the game and scenery, this is also an excellent bird viewing destination," says Trudie. After a replenishing brunch and rest, the group usually enjoys an afternoon walk and later a sundowner to set the scene for dinner to end the day in style. The following day again starts before 05h00 for the early morning walk before brunch.
Two experienced guides gauge the group's experience and preferences to determine the length and route of the morning and afternoon walks. Trudie says she includes traditional Portuguese and Shangaan meals on the menu to make Mozambican life part of the experience, as far as possible. "The six groups they have had since the camp opened have had a great time," says Trudie.