SOS Rhino Specials
Rhino Species
Rhino FAQ

Other News ::

Current Rhino News
Archived News
Press Releases

SOS Rhino : In the News : Rhino Goes Back to Mapungubwe

Rhino Goes Back to Mapungubwe

  BuaNews (Pretoria)
July 20, 2004
Posted to the web July 20, 2004

Dirk Nel

A unique natural and cultural history will be written in Limpopo in the next two days when four white rhinos are reintroduced to the Mapungubwe National Park.

The rhinos are to be translocated to Mapungubwe from the Kruger National Park tomorrow (Wednesday) and on Thursday.

The facility is said to have the potential to be a sanctuary for viable populations of threatened animals including black and white rhinoceros, wild dog, and African elephants.

South African National Parks CEO David Mabunda said the national park was likely to become a regional economic hub on the sub-continent, because of its tourism potential.

Researchers have confirmed that recent archaeological discoveries at this World Heritage Site showed that rhinos roamed the region two thousand years ago.

The natural site that the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) declared a World Heritage Site last year, boasts a substantial amount of San rock art found over 15 000 years ago.

One of the most striking items unearthed during extensive excavations by the University of Pretoria was a gold rhino artefact, which firmly entrenched the area's many rhino legends from the past.

Other finds indicated that a well-developed smelting and trading industry existed in this area during that period.

Various dignitaries, as well as senior officials of South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board (LTPB), will attend a formal ceremony in the park to mark the historic event.

According to SANParks, the arrival of the animals will be the first step in a process to introduce a number of rare or endangered species into the park, and this would considerably enhance Mapungubwe's status as a national asset.

Previously known as a Vhembe Dongola National Park, Mapungubwe is situated in Musina, north of Polokwane. It is located at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers.

It also comprises the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in an area covering over 28 000 hectares.

The finding of gold artefacts, beads, burial grounds and other remains indicated that the new park was one of the major centres of culture and it bore testimony to the way of life of African people more than a thousand years ago.

The park also formed part of an ambitious project to develop a major transfrontier conservation area, Limpopo/Shashe Transfrontier Park that will include Botswana's Tuli Block and Zimbabwe's Tuli Safari area and South Africa.

Accommodation and other tourist facilities in the park are nearing completion. The park is scheduled to open to tourists early next year.

Privacy Policy