Jun 172009

South Africa (Limpopo)

Originating just north of Makhado, the perennial Luvuvhu River follows a 200 km course along the southern edge of the Zoutpansberg and eventually joins the Limpopo River in the far north-east of the Kruger National Park, on the border between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Luvuvhu River - bridge


Upon leaving the Zoutpansberg, the Luvuvhu runs  south past the eastern edges of Makhado, to head east into the Albasini Dam. From there, it traverses Vhenda agricultural settlements to reach Thohoyandou. Nandoni Dam (Nandoni means “the iron smelting ovens”) is situated just a few kilometers from Thohoyandou in the district of Vhembe in Limpopo province.

Near the western Kruger National Park border, in the steep Lanner Gorge, the Mutale River joins the Luvuvhu River.

The area between the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers has been proposed as a Ramsar site. This area will fall within the proposed Gaza-KNP-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park. The high biodiversity in this area can be attributed to the geographic location as well as the diversity of landscape features. Three biomes converge in the Pafuri area, and nine geological features with contrasting rock types are found, including quartzite, sandstone, mudstone, shale and basic lavas.

Extensive areas of floodplain alluvium occur at the confluence of the Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers. Several landscape features are found in this wetland, which include riverine forest, riparian floodplain forest, floodplain grassland and river channels and pans.

The riverine forest is confined to the riverbanks. It consists of large, broad canopied trees more than 20 m in height. The river is extremely popular with crocodiles, both inside and outside of the National Park. Incidents with local fishermen are common.

In the early 1900’s Crook’s Corner used to be a smuggler’s paradise for hunters, smugglers and poachers, hence its nickname. The outlaws used to camp here and “jump” from one country to another to avoid being arrested for smuggling ivory and gold.


Location (from 23° 0′ 12″ S, 29° 57′ 37″ E to 22° 25′ 32″ S, 31° 18′ 24″ E)

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Service Providers
Luvuvhu River - The Outpost

Luvuvhu River – The Outpost

The Outpost lies in a vast wilderness area in the northernmost part of Kruger National Park. Italian born architect Enrico Daffonchio designed this multiple-award winning lodge. Using simple, clean lines and combining elements of steel, concrete and open space, the unashamedly contemporary design of The Outpost emphasizes its beautiful surrounds but blends and preserves the wilderness that is its home.

Pafuri Camp lies in the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, great game viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger, and is filled with folklore of the early explorers and ancient civilisations. It is well known for its fever tree forests, beautiful gorges and Crook’s Corner, where the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers and three countries, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, meet.

The Pafuri Walking Trail invites you to walk through one of the most remote and diverse places in the Kruger: the riverine areas of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers and secret perennial springs interspersed with rugged baobab-dotted kopjes that jut from mopane woodland. Endless vistas across palm-studded floodplains, acacia woodland and ethereal riverine forest combine excellently with wildlife and bird encounters.

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