Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 4 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Marakele - a little Gem-Jungle Junkie -Sep 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:44 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 9641
Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
We suddenly had an urge last Thursday to visit a National Park for much needed R & R - I believe the "bush" gets into your soul and contributes to the unwinding and destressing.

After checking the Accommodation page and seeing Kruger was full yet again :cry: (not camping), I checked Marakele's availability. I was pleasantly surprised that a Safari tent was open for Saturday night at Tlopi Tented Camp (never seen that before).
After a quick phone call to central reservations (so efficient :D ) we were booked.

Only after getting back today, did I decide to write a short trip report - Three installaments at the most, because what we discovered was that this Park is a little Gem, especially if you are not searching for "The Big Five".

Marakele has Gems around each corner and I would love to share them with you :D

I will post my 1st installment later this week when I have access to uncapped Internet.

JJ

_________________
I am two with nature ~ Woody Allen ~

To vote for your FAVOURITE WEBCAM SIGHTING go HERE

My Trip to Marakele National Park- Here


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Marakele - A quick visit turned into a little Gem
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:29 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 9641
Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
Saturday – On the way in and the first day.

We left Jo’burg, with our little sedan packed to the hilt (as there are NO restaurants or shops inside the Park) and decided to take the route to Marakele via Brits - Big mistake :shock: but at least we knew we could come home via Warmbaths now called Bela Bela, also a Big Mistake :big_eyes:

As we approached Thabazimbi (meaning Mountain of Iron) the temperature gauge started to rise dramatically, hitting 39OC in Thabazimbi.

We checked in at Reception, very friendly staff – but there is no info of what to expect in the park and fortunately I did a bit of research on the Forum beforehand. A simple map is handed out with your permit stapled to it.

After five minutes in the park the temperature climbed again… and I had to take this picture..

Image

Please remember when seeing this number – there is NO AirCon in the tents :big_eyes:

Luckily for me, most of the roads are sand, which forced SO to drive slowly (10kph, see above photo :thumbs_up: ) This was the main contributing factor of our special sighting! But that comes later. . :whistle:

There were very few animals and birds about due to the midday heat and we slowly drove towards Tlopi Tented Camp –
The Park is sort of divided into two, by a railway line, which you drive under via a subway to get to Tlopi, after the subway there is an electric gate and the pressing of a button is required for it to open.
Fortunately; hardly any other vehicles around (only mad dogs and Englishman etc etc. . ) and that kept the dust levels low. The dust and stones/rocks in the park are red – this is because of the high iron content in the soil (remember the meaning of Thabazimbi)

It took us about an hour or so to travel the 17kms to the camp. We had been allocated No. 3 Jacana (If you are planning a trip try and get Cormorant :D ). It is under trees and has a better view!

No3. Jacana
Image

The views are simply wonderful from the camp. .

Image

We saw this Bushbuck having a drink across the water
Image

All the Safari tents are on the edge of the dam with a very similar view. The tents are built on wooden decks raised above the water.

The camp is UNFENCED, but no Lion in the Park (I hope). Leopard would surely be around, and there's Rhino, both Black & White.

Image

We unpacked the car and took note of the sign warning us that “The Monkeys & Baboons know how to open the fridge and cupboards and can get into the tents”. Do not take food into the tents, as they damage the tents trying to get to the food”

Our “Honeymoon” neighbours choose to ignore the warning and the resident Monkey’s raided their fridge scattering the contents all over the place. The guests in a tent a bit further away choose to feed the Monkey’s slices of bread :rtm: No wonder they have become pests.

Later in the afternoon, we could see Impala and Warthog coming to drink. The view from our patio was just gorgeous!

Image

I added a few new birds to my “life” list and this “ White Breasted Cormorant “ is one of them :dance:

Image

Next to Tent was Ellie poo, but we did not see or hear any Elephants anywhere? :(

Image

and you can see how close the next tent is :shock:

Marakele is “in” the Waterberg Mountain Range and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful.

Image

As the sun set, it cooled down and a light breeze sprung up.

The tents lighting has been well planned and there is a spotlight onto the braai – which is so convenient :clap:
This made braaing a very easy, instead of trying to hold a torch or lamp to see how much you had burnt the meat! You could use both hands to see the charred remains :evil:

The night sky from Marakele is a stargazers dream – there is NO light pollution at all, it is pitch dark and the stars and planets are amazingly bright. Image

While braaing, we spotted hordes of fireflys at the waters edge – how special is that, their little headlights flicking on and off 8)

We went to sleep quite early, as the heat was exhausting – The “Honeymooners” woke us up after we had been asleep for an hour and chatted late into the night. The tents are VERY close together, so we could follow their conversation without a problem! Be warned, if you are planning a visit.

Eventually they shut-up and we got back to sleep, dreaming of an exceptional sighting we were sure we would have the next day :roll:

. . .to be continued

_________________
I am two with nature ~ Woody Allen ~

To vote for your FAVOURITE WEBCAM SIGHTING go HERE

My Trip to Marakele National Park- Here


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Marakele - A quick visit turned into a little Gem
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:23 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 9641
Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
Sunday – To the mountain and then the exit gate

This morning we packed up early-ish; for us anyway! Deciding to take the tar road to the Lenong View Point. Not realising we would be going to the TOP of the mountain where the Radio & Aircraft navigation Towers are. :shock:

TOWERS - Far far up the mountain. .
Image

In the cool-ish morning, relatively speaking, the drive was just spectacular, and we only passed one other vehicle the whole way up and down. As the road grew steeper the views became more magnificent.
Our little sedan handled the climb really well :clap: (Even though I clung to the door handle while peering over the road edge).

We only saw a troop of Baboons going up, they were in the middle of the road – could hardly not have missed them really? :wink: These baboons are very dark in colour compared to the Kruger ones? Are they a different species?

As we reached the summit we could not help seeing this Klipspringer either, He was also enjoying the view. :D

Image

The view to the valley had us catching our breath – really puts a person in touch with Nature!

Views from the TOP . .

Image

We also saw Cape Vultures soaring overhead – no pictures, as that is a skill still to be learnt :(

We parked near the aerials and numerous birds (all new for me) came hopping close to the vehicle – we surmised that they are used to getting food scraps :naughty:

A few “parked” under the car as well . . .

BIRD near car – I searched and searched for ID with no luck, but I did identify the Cape Buntings that were also close by. :thumbs_up: BARCUD kindly ID'd it for me :clap: "A Buff Streaked Chat"

Image

After just drinking in the view and feeling very de-stressed and relaxed we headed back down the mountain.

Image

I was now on the inside of the road, so I could concentrate on any movement in the bush – I suddenly spotted a Kilpspringer couple, Mrs. disappeared into the undergrowth, while Mr. snacked on the bushes and then followed his Mrs.

Image

Looking up towards the mountain cliffs where the Cape Vultures have their nests, there is clear evidence of them, by the white streaks on the rock face.

We also noticed that this HUGE piece of rock had separated from the cliff and tumbled down, resting at a 90 degree angle to it’s mother!

Mother rock. .

Image

Broken piece. . .

Image

Further along the mountain road, this cleft in the mountain caught our eye!

Image

The rest of the drive to the exit gate was uneventful, until about 2kms before the gate.
It was again boiling hot and we SLOWLY drove past a clump of shady trees
I thought, surely an animal will take cover from the sun in this cool, shady spot! About 3 meters past the clump, I said in a soft voice to SO – Stop, go back, there is a . . . . . :shock:

…to be continued a little later today :mrgreen:

_________________
I am two with nature ~ Woody Allen ~

To vote for your FAVOURITE WEBCAM SIGHTING go HERE

My Trip to Marakele National Park- Here


Last edited by Jungle Junkie on Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Marakele - A quick visit turned into a little Gem
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:43 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 am
Posts: 9641
Location: Zambia, inbetween visits to Knysna
Sorry for the delay - Crisis with burst/leaking pipes and a very slow forum tonight :redface: Thanks for being patient :D

@BARCUD - Thanks for the bird ID :thumbs_up:

This is the creature we saw, looking straight at us, unfazed by our presense, but also just as hot as we were.

Image

Image

The caracal turned half away - looking so proud.

Image

Mouth open and panting in the heat. .

Image

then it stood up and walked off as slowly as can be, we moved forward a bit, trying to see behind the shady clump - but it disappeared :(
We drove off and I was near to tears after seeing the caracal. No other cars passed us or even came near and we sat for about 10 minutes watching in awe!

We exited Marakele on a high - that is an understatement for sure.

Thank you Marakele for showing us one of your Gems :clap: :clap:

_________________
I am two with nature ~ Woody Allen ~

To vote for your FAVOURITE WEBCAM SIGHTING go HERE

My Trip to Marakele National Park- Here


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 4 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: aboon and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Stampajane at 15:39:09 Submitted by fenman5 at 20:18:10 Submitted by Foxy at 20:26:41 Submitted by umkhulu at 20:10:03