Spanning 12,000 hectares (120 km2), Mapesu Private Game Reserve is an integral part of the expansive Limpopo Valley Conservancy. It shares a border with the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mapungubwe National Park, and is nestled within the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). This vast 5,909 km2 transnational conservation zone unites South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe in a unique ecological partnership.
Mapesu is a biodiversity hotspot, thanks to its diverse habitats. Dominated by the iconic Colophospermum mopane (mopane tree), the reserve is situated on the ancient Archaean Beit Bridge complex. It features a varied landscape of undulating plains, drainage lines, and hills characteristic of the Limpopo Ridge Bushveld in its eastern and southern parts. The reserve boasts numerous water sources, including solar-powered artificial waterholes, a natural dam expanded for hippo habitation, and the seasonal Mapedu River.
This region, once impacted by cattle farming and overgrazing, is undergoing a transformative conservation effort. Our goal is to restore the area’s natural beauty, a commitment to nature that requires time, dedication, and effort.
Mapesu is home to over 49 mammal species, including a thriving population reintroduced as part of our conservation initiatives. Since 2016, we have successfully reintroduced elephants, cheetahs, sables, giraffes, buffalo, and, notably, rhinos. Our collaboration with the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cheetah Meta Population Project marks a significant step in our conservation efforts, providing an immersive experience in conservation through our unique cheetah walk activity.
In addition to four of the Big 5 species roaming freely in Mapesu, the remaining species, the lion, can be observed in the adjoining Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, where we also conduct game drives. Mapesu Private Game Reserve is not just a wildlife sanctuary; it’s a testament to the power of conservation and the beauty of Africa’s natural heritage.