After major floods in 2014 washed away the walkway to the Maloutswa birdhide, and the popular treetop walk in the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, both are back in perfect nick.
Words: SANParks Times
Pictures: Petro Kotzé
Visitors are encouraged to visit the popular attractions, as both give a unique perspective of this awe-inspiring protected area. The treetop walk takes you through the riverine forest on a raised canopy walk leading to a hide overlooking the Limpopo River. Here, ambling among the giant fever trees, leadwood and ana trees, look out for Meyer’s parrot, white-crested helmetshrike, Meve’s (longtailed) starling and flycatcher species.
If you’re really in luck, you might spot a Pel’s fishing owl from the hide. African fish eagles are sure to make their presence known. Remember to look down too; lots of antelope hide among the foliage.
The Maloutswa Pan hide is located in the western side of the park. Spend some time here watching birds of all descriptions come and go. To get there from the Limpopo Forest Tented Camp is a short drive, first through riverine woodland, then through arid thornveld, before one passes across a plain of reclaimed and rehabilitating farmland. Kori bustards are prominent while chestnut-backed sparrowlarks and wattled starlings are nomadic, but may be abundant. Temminck’s coursers and ground hornbills may also be seen in this habitat, as will a number of swallows. Leopards and bushpigs are regular evening visitors.