South Africa’s natural and cultural heritage have become tightly inter-woven with no less than four heritage sites located inside national parks.
Thulamela is a stone-walled site situated in the Far North region of the Kruger National Park (KNP), and dates back to approximately 450 – 500 years before present (BP).
This late Iron Age site forms part of what is called the Zimbabwe, culture which is believed to have started at Mapungubwe. Mapungubwe’s decline coincided with the increase of Great Zimbabwe’s importance. When Great Zimbabwe was abandoned about 300 years later, possibly due to political break down, several groups moved south across the Limpopo river into the North Eastern areas of South Africa (and Northern Kruger) and established new smaller chiefdoms such as Thulamela