SANParks Bontle Rest Camp

It’s no coincidence that bontle means “beautiful” in Setswana. This pleasant rest camp consists of 36 camp sites with power points, arranged into three clusters with one communal ablution block per cluster. It also has 10 tented units for those who would prefer a permanent structure more than putting up a tent and camp themselves. The tented units consist of four (4) family units and six (6) two sleeper units. All these units have a private veranda and are self-catering with its own fully equipped kitchen and outdoor braai stand The rest camp, with its unobstructed views of the unspoiled bush and mountain, is located in close proximity to the Park’s main entrance gate. Accommodation at Bontle Camp Site is provided in thirty-eight individual rustic camp sites. Electrical outlets have been made available to certain sites, with communal ablution facilities also available. Activities Bird watching and game viewing. Mountain pass up to an incredible view and proximity to the Cape vulture colony. Morning and Sunset drives available. Morning and Sunset Bush walks available. Two nights 4×4 eco trail available. Come and enjoy the core of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve Wilderness experience with qualified and experienced Field Guides/Rangers in the park. Facilities The Kwaggasvlakte plains immediately north of the reception/office complex and camping site can be traversed in a normal sedan although certain areas might be a bit challenging. The entrance roads to the safari tent camp and bush camp and t he narrow track up to the towers, can also be accessed with a sedan. Most other roads will present difficult terrain. In an effort to keep the park ecosystem as undisturbed as possible, most facilities are located outside the park in the adjacent town of Thabazimbi. Other Facilities: Shop: In Thabazimbi. Restaurant: In Thabazimbi. 80km of our roads are accessible to normal sedan vehicles. No ATM facility available in the park. Only Credit Cards are accepted at reception. Electricity: Only the accommodation facilities and camping site is supplied with electricity. Fuel: Petrol and diesel available in Thabazimbi. Garage: In Thabazimbi. Medical services: Doctor and hospital in Thabazimbi. Telephone: There are no public telephones in the park, but these are available in Thabazimbi. Post Office: In Thabazimbi. Police: The nearest police stations are located 12km from the office and camping site in Thabazimbi and approximately 18km north of the Kareehoek turnoff at Hoopdal. Natural & Cultural History The park was first known as the Kransberg National Park when it was first proclaimed in 1994. The Waterberg was the area that the naturalist, poet and author Eugene Marais lived in and inspired such works as his renowned novel “Soul of the White Ant.” Ramolefe Boy Moatshe has lived in the area all his life. On 4 August 1981 he survived a 15 minute bare handed fight with a leopard (that he had surprised) after taking a calf from the herd he was tending. Ten hours after the attack he made it to hospital. He spent 2 months in rehabilitation in the hospital. The park also has an abundance of iron-age sites that will be made accessible to visitors in the future. How to get there The park is situated in the Waterberg mountain range in the Limpopo Province (formerly Northern Province) near Thabazimbi, approximately 250km north of Johannesburg, in a malaria-free area. Driving distances to Marakele: from Gauteng is 4 hours and from Tshwane 3 hours. Travellers can take either: the N1 to Bela-Bela (Warmbaths) and from there follow the R516 via Mabula and Leeupoort to Thabazimbi or travel to Brits and follow the R511 via Beestekraal to Thabazimbi. The office is approximately 12km from Thabazimbi crossing on the road from Thabazimbi to Alma. People in sedan vehicles might find the road conditions in certain areas of the park (main road) a bit challenging but the park is working on the major road revamp and the information will be updated as soon as the new development has been completed. Travelling times inside the park to get to any accommodation facility is between 07:OO and 18:OO and strictly no driving after 18:OO. GPS Coordinates S 24º 31.860′ and E 27º 29.896′ Gate Times: Gate opens at 06:00 and closes at 18:00 – 1st Sept to 30th April Gate opens at 06:00 and closes at 17:30 – 1st May to 31st August Vital Information Overnight Visitors: No driving at night is allowed in the Park. As outdoor lighting in camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night. No collection of firewood.

You will be warned at reception about roads that are inaccessible in the Park. Should you drive on these roads and get stuck we will contact a towing company for you and you will be charged for recovery expenses. Fines will be given if you drive off the roads. Your vehicle can be searched at exit points. Be aware of BABOONS and VERVET MONKEYS. Keep your tents closed when driving around and lock food in the tent’s cupboard. You may even turn the fridge slightly so that the door does not open easily. Don’t let anything lie around. Please do not feed the animals. Vervet Monkeys will soon become habituated to this and create serious problems in the future. You are not allowed to get out of your vehicle, except at places indicated to you on the map, by the receptionist. No pets are allowed in the Park. A general speed limit of 30 km/h must be maintained within the Park’s boundaries. Firearms must be declared at reception. You have to vacate the tent at 10:00 on the day of departure. The key for the gates must be returned to reception on the day of departure. Alternatively you can leave the key at the points indicated to you by the receptionist. Please keep your entrance permit with you while driving in the Park. No fishing is allowed in the dam. If you have a problem with the interpretation of the rules, please enquire at reception.** Check-in and Check-out times Check in 14:00 Check out 10:00 Office Hours Reception opens 07:00 and closes at 18:00 from 1st Sept to 30th April Reception opens 07:00 and closes at 17:30 from 1st May to 31st August Day Visitors Entrance from 07:00 to 16:00. No need to book in advance. Currently there is no limit on number of people per day. 4×4 routes as well as routes for sedan vehicles are open to day visitors. No visitors are allowed at the back of open vehicles. Your vehicle can be searched at exit points. No collecting of firewood. Day visitors have certain areas and roads where they can drive.  If you are still inside the Park after the gates have closed you can be given a fine. Tour operators must be licensed with FGASA and SATOUR to operate in National Parks. A proper game-drive vehicle will be required. Tour operators will pay a set entrance price – check details with park. Tour operators must be registered with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and be in possession of a valid Deat membership card as proof. Should you be uncertain as to the interpretation of a rule, please enquire at reception. Climate Summers are hot but the area does not suffer from the stifling humidity so typical of the eastern Lowveld. The park is situated in the summer rainfall region and rainfall occurs in the form of heavy thunderstorms or soft rain. Winter is moderate with frost occurring in the low-lying regions only. Mornings and nights can be cold, but day temperatures are pleasant. Rainfall between 500 – 700mm per annum. Hints & Tips Remember to bring a camera, binoculars, bird and wildlife reference books, a hat and sunscreen lotion. Also remember to take along medicines such as anti-histamine and lotion for insect stings and bites. Cool clothing for summer and warm for winter – the region is subject to sudden changes in weather, particularly in the mountains. Remember charcoal or wood, as this is not available in the park. Visitors should also remember to take a torch along, as the camp has no illumination between units at night. The safari camp has not been fenced and therefore visitors to Marakele are warned to stay within the confines of the tent and deck area. Walking outside the confines of the camp will put you at risk of dangerous game and negatively affect the experience of other visitors. Pets are not permitted in a national park. Vehicle fuel is available in all parks (or is available on the park periphery) – South African legislation stipulates that fuel stations will accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage/credit/debit cards or cash as a form of payment for any fuel purchase. Firearms must be declared at the entrance gate. No open vehicles are allowed. Passengers on the back of an open vehicle are also not allowed. Medical, pharmaceutical, vehicle repair, fuel, post office and police at Thabazimbi.

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