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Marakele: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele
brau
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traveling with children

Unread postby brau » Sun Aug 07, 2005 5:57 pm

Hallo,
we will go for 4 weeks to SA in august and September. We are a family with two girls, 12 and 15 years old. We hired a car for the first 10 days where we will go from Johannesburg up to Marakele, the area round Luis Trichard and through the Krüger park to Nelspuit.
Now my questions:
- Which places are the best for to walk - guided or not guided- to watch animals.
-There are places in wintertime where we can make a nice boat trip seeing game.
-Do you know camping places in game reserves where we can walk unguided.(of course, where are no dangerous animals)
-Is there a place where we can swim with dolphins in nature.
-Where is a good place for snorkelling, direct from the beach, best would be near a camping side.
-Who has experience with buses in SA.
-Is it easy to go from Nelspruit to Durban or ST.Lucia with public transportation.


Please answer as soon as possible, because we are leaving soon.

Thank’s a lot
Maria

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Bushbaby
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Unread postby Bushbaby » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:22 pm

Wow and welcome - that is a lot to do in 4 weeks.

Some answers

If you are in the Louis Trichart area there is a small reserve often used as an overnighter to the Northern part of Kruger called Ben Levin. You are able to walk and ride in the reserve unguided and there is very comfortable camping and chalets available.

The long distance buses are fine and travel between most towns and cities and all have websites so try Intercape, Greyhound and Translux. You may need to connect in a city to reach another city. I.E. Nelspruit, JHB, Durban.

Most of the companies and groups offering dolphin swimming have their opperations in Mozambique try Dolphin Encounters. This is also perfect snorkelling coast. You can, however, get great snorkelling on the Kwazulu Natal north coast. Most of the small towns have campsites close to the beach.

Boat trips to view game are best done in Zimbabwe, IMHO, on the Zambezi or in Kariba.

Don't spread yourselves too thin and try to do too much, you want to enjoy everything and not loose too many days travelling.

Don't worry about the girls - they will have a blast.

Enjoy!
Not all who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:10 pm

PAPA SMURF wrote:Dont try to do too much -- there is lots to see and do.
Enjoy the holiday


Hi and welcome.
General remark. Try to stay a few days at each place/camp
Makes a place feel like home, especially to children.
And try to get a swimmingpool at every place.

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lam
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Re: once again Marakele

Unread postby lam » Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:47 pm

annelies wrote:We want to go to Marakele at the end of October for 3 nights. Reading this forum it is a littlebit confusing. Can we or can we not go by f.e. 2x2 Condor? Please let us know. We need to hire a car for our trip in SA and need to know what kind of car.
Thanks,
Annelies, The Netherlands


No you don't really need a 4x4. You will be only slightly limited. We didn't enjoy the 4x4 road as they were just to bumpy.

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:16 pm

Hi Annelies

I have been to Marakele quite a few times and wil be going again at the end of October. (maybe we will meet!) Your decision to visit Marakele wil be rewarded! It is a beautiful place!

Regarding the confusion on the roads: It is true that there are some roads in the mountain section of the park that is marked 4x4 only. They used to be in a terrible condition (I did all of them in a 2x4 and survived - just!). 8)

Recently they have been upgraded. The aim of the park is to make all of those roads accesible by sedan motor. They are definatley not there yet! You will however be able to travel all the roads in a 2x4 or 4x4. They are not comfortable! They are quite bumpy! :shock: A regular sedan is just to low on the ground to make it on these roads.

As you may have read, the National Park is devided in to two sections, which is seperated by a public road. The "Kwagga Vlakte" area is the smallest area and is mostly flat, and harbours the most game. Here there are lots of different species e.g. White Rhino, Sable, Kudu. Game viewing is easy and animals are plentiful. The roads there are in a good condition, but can deteriorate considerably after heavy rains. Then you must be aware of getting stuck in the mud. Otherwise you wil have no problems! There has not been any good rains as yet, but the rainy season is about to start.

The mountain section is the biggest part of Marakele NP. There are relativley few roads in this section. The tarred road leading up to the "Towers" are the only road in this section that is really comfortable and accesible to all types of motorcars. It is worth the drive up to the Towers just for the view.

Some rather ignorant people lament the fact that there are few animals in this section. They dont seem to understand that this is a result of the ecology and topography of this beautiful section. There are also quite a few species of animals and plants that occur in this section because of its caracter, that does not occur elsewhere.

The 4x4 roads is also in this section.

If you ask me, it is not at this stage really worth it to try and drive the 4x4 roads. There are some beautiful scenery only visible from these roads, but there are just as beautifull scenery on the other roads. If you stay at Marakele for a long time you might get board with travelling the same roads, but then the park is not that big and even with the 4x4 roads, there is not that many roads to travel.

Enjoy your visit!
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Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:17 pm

Hi all,

Do they allow caravans and can you get to the campsite easily towing the caravan.

Thanks,
BB
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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:46 pm

Imberbe wrote:YES AND YES!

There are a beautiful campsite which is in easy reach.

The campsite (Bontle) is about 1 km. from the reception. There are a tarred road all the way to Marakele. The road from reception to Bontle is gravel, but is kept in a good condition. Should you have lots of rain, it might be a little tricky, but you should not have any problems.
:wink:


Ta, my dad will be pleased.

BB
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Dominoel
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Marakele with children?!

Unread postby Dominoel » Fri Mar 31, 2006 7:19 pm

Hi there, I would like to know, whether children are alowed in the park and if so, which is the minimum age.
If alowed, did anybody already travel with children here? Please let me know your experience. Thanx.

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Unread postby naomi c » Tue May 09, 2006 1:49 pm

There is no age restriction on children when visiting Marakele. My daughter was just starting school when we first visited Marakele - then stayed in the tented camp that has since been closed. All subsequent visits we camped. Just remember that all the camps are unfenced and that there are no shops or swimmingpools.

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Tue May 09, 2006 11:17 pm

We have been there lots of times with children of all ages. Once with about 40 children! They really enjoyed the stay!

And yes, the camps are not fenced, so keep an eye on your children, and warn them that the animals are not tame, and must not be approached!
:wink:
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Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


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Trelawney
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Unread postby Trelawney » Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:15 pm

Hi,

Bontle Camping Site (@ Marakele) sounds intriguing, you get to camp without fences and, from the various SAN Parks forum postings I've read, there are no Big 5 present but there are Rhinos ... OK.

Anyway, presumably its reasonably safe if you respect the usual rules with animals.

But what about that midnight visit to the ablutions ?

Come on, there must be some interesting stories out there ?

Regards,

T.

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Imberbe
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Unread postby Imberbe » Sun Jul 09, 2006 1:14 am

:lol:

You need to be quite awake! (and have a good torch)

I once notest a strange sound coming from the other side of my car as I was returning from the ablutions at around 23:00. Luckily I stopped to check! It was a white rhino feeding next to my car on the other side! I spent a very quite three to four minutes next to my car before the rhino moved of.

Friends of ours was rudely awaken by the sound of rain hitting the side of their tent. They made a quick but stealthy exit to the other side, when they realised that it was in fact a rhino who saw no need to go to the ablution block, since the tent was nearer!
:wink:
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.

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Trelawney
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Bontle Camp at Marakele

Unread postby Trelawney » Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:44 pm

Hi all,

Have just returned from 3 nights in our tent at the Bontle Camp at Marakele. Wow, what an amazing place, we were truely charmed.

We camped in a tent, drove in a sedan and were able to access the sand roads around Bontle as well as the tar road in the main section up to the view point without problem. Obviously it was not raining which made things easier.

I keep a website with pics for family overseas and have just posted some of Bontle / Marakele. Ignore the people ones and check what a beautiful place Marakele is.

http://www.chezwallis.com/gallery/view_ ... 6-Marakele

Jeremy.

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Sedan Accessibility to Bontle and Tlopi

Unread postby eladn » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:11 pm

Hi all,

I'm planning to visit Marakele in late May. I'm considering booking accommodations for either Tlopi Tented Camp or Bontle Camping Site, but since I will be coming with a normal sedan car, I was wondering whether Tlopi is accessible with a normal sedan car (from reading previous messages in the forum, I understood that Bontle is accessible by sedan - correct me if I'm wrong).

Thanks,

Elad.

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Sedan accessibility to Bontle and Thlopi

Unread postby naomi c » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:08 am

Bontle is definitely accessible by normal sedan. Thlopi also - you just won't be able to do the four-by-four route.


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