Meeting at Crook’s Corner, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Crook’s Corner is situated in the most northeasterly corner of the Limpopo province. This is the place where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet.
Crook’s Corner is also where two rivers converge, the Luvuvhu and the Limpopo. Amazingly, hardly anyone ever ventures to Crook’s Corner. Tourists prefer to congregate in the southern part of the park as there is a higher concentration of animals. However, Crook’s Corner’s history is the most compelling.
During the early part of the 1900′s, all the infamous ‘crooks’ would hang out there – hence the name. If you were involved in dubious activities such as ivory smuggling or poaching and were wanted by the law, this was the place to be. If you heard that the police were on their way from Zimbabwe, you could merely move your campfire a few metres and you’d be safely in Mozambique or South Africa and luckily the law could not follow you.
The most famous crook of all, has a huge plaque there, that celebrates his life – Cecil Barnard (locally known as Bvenkenya). The legendary ivory hunter would hide on an island positioned in the middle of the Limpopo River to avoid the police and local rangers. Ironically, he later become a ranger.
If you are visiting this area and would like to find out more about Cecil Barnard you can read T V Bulpin’s, ‘The Ivory Trail’.
“…where two rivers and three countries meet – Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
Crook’s Corner is also in a national park, so you should hear some hippo’s grunting or enjoy watching the elephants cross the rivers. There is the chance you’ll see one of the Big Five and lookout for crested guinea fowl and the nyala, samango monkey.
On your way there, you will pass through some unbelievably spectacular trees such as the fever, fig and jackalberry trees. This area is filled with rare birds, such as the Pel’s fishing owl, three banded courser, thrush nightingale, river warbler, racket-tailed rollers and the broad-billed roller. So if you are a birder, this is the place to be!
If you looking for a place to picnic, the Pafuri picnic spot is only 10km away and the closest park camp site is Punda Maria, which is 45km from Crook’s Corner. If you are travelling in a 4×4 and are feeling adventurous, you can cross over into Mozambique at the Pafuri border post – definitely worth the experience.
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