Marakele National Park

The impressive Marakele National Park is a few hours’ drive north of Pretoria and Johannesburg, in the province of Limpopo. The park was established in 1994 and after regular expansion through the purchase of agricultural land, it now forms a fully-fledged Big Five malaria-free safari area. Nelson Mandela and Prince Bernhard reopened the Marakele National Park in 2003.

Marakele, “Place of Sanctuary” in Tswana, is located in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains. The park is located between a dry western part and a wet eastern part and therefore many different animal and plant species feel at home here. The park consists of grassy hills, deep valleys and high mountains with wonderful trees and large tree ferns.

A narrow road takes travelers to the top of the Waterberg massif, from where the view is spectacular. You are now also close to the vulture colony, Marakele has one of the largest ‘Cape Vulture’ colonies in the world (around 800 breeding pairs). But many other birds of prey are also found here: falcons, eagles, hawks and eagles feel perfectly at home in this diverse landscape.

All large animals are present: black and white rhinos, leopards, buffalo in large numbers, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs (reintroduced), brown hyenas, elephants, reedboks, moose, kudus, impalas, waterbuck and many more (smaller) species .

There is relatively much rain, which means that the park is quite overgrown. Something a nice side effect in the warm summer.

– Bird watching
– Wildlife game drives
– Morning and Sundowner game drives (book in advance)
– Morning and Sundowner Bush walks (book in advance)
– 4×4 ecotrail

General information
– The reception is open from 7.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– The park is open from May to August from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm and from September to April from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
– Thabazimbi is a small place not far from the park where you can do some shopping before you enter the park (you cannot buy anything in the park itself, not even wood / charcoal if you want to have a BBQ during your stay). Here is also the gas station for gasoline and diesel.
– Accommodation is accessible with a normal sedan as well as the Kwaggasvlakte directly north of the reception. About 80 km of roads in the park can be reached with a normal car. Most other roads are difficult terrain with a normal sedan and a 4×4 vehicle is therefore strongly recommended.
– Marakele is mainly focused on safari with your own car (self drive safari), but it is also possible to go out with a guide.
– Please note: make sure food is out of sight and close your tent properly as monkeys are after your food. Never feed the animals!

Conservation Fees: the South African National Park administration has set a daily entrance fee (entrance fee) for all individual SAN parks. If you are going to visit several SAN parks in South Africa then it may be useful to purchase a Wildcard.

Accommodation: Tlopi Tented Camp

All images/information on this page: © 2004-2016

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