Explore the Ancient African Ivory Route

Named for the majestic animals that have occupied the area for thousands of years, the African Ivory Route stretches over fifty-four nature reserves, crossing mountains and wide open plains, and incorporating the ancient Mapungubwe archaeological site. The African Ivory Route links to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Project, which promotes the idea that wildlife should be free to follow age-old migratory routes between South Africa and neighboring Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Certainly, the route offers travelers with an adventurous spirit the opportunity to explore some of South Africa’s finest bushveld, with the option of including aspects of the region’s fascinating history, archeology and culture, to the wealth of bird and wildlife found throughout the route.

Visitors can arrange for organized tours, or enjoy a self-drive excursion, bearing in mind that this is 4×4 country, with the emphasis on returning the region to its original wild state, although there are routes which can be traversed with an ordinary vehicle. Simple single tracks wind past traditional villages to safari tented camps, and local communities are being encouraged to protect their natural heritage, while welcoming those who wish to explore it.

A number of different options are available to visitors traveling the African Ivory Route. Those interested in the ancient history of the region can visit the sandstone formations of Makgabeng, with its many archeological sites and internationally recognized rock art at the Bahananwa massive. Cultural experiences include a visit to the Leipzig missionary station, or discovering more about the legendary Rain Queen Modjadji. Natural wonders include the cycad reserve, the Great Letaba River, and the Balena hotspring.

The African Ivory Route offers safari camps and cultural camps, depending on what visitors are looking for. All camps are located in very scenic areas, easy access to the wildlife of the area. By keeping the camps small – each camp accommodates ten people – visitors are assured of all the amenities for a comfortable stay, while at the same time enjoying an authentic bush experience without intruding on the domain of the resident wildlife. All but one of the camps is located in “big five” territory and experienced guides ensure guests make the most of their game-viewing opportunities along the magnificent African Ivory Route.