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Marakele: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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meli
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Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby meli » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:38 am

HI
We are thinking of visiting Marakele National Park in July for 4 nights. We want something remote and off the beaten track but as we are coming from Australia we also want to see as much wildlife as possible. From what I have been reading on this forum it seems sightings are not prolific in this park. Has anyone got any different stories?
Thanks

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby Eagle Owl » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:05 am

Hi Meli,

Welcome to the forums!!

We visited Marakele on the 22nd of March. Only a day visit. Have not seen any of the Big5 but still enjoyed all the other sightings of various antelope, zebras and giraffe.
Though, at the picnic area we found some fresh small catprints and back on the sand rode we found bigger cat footprints we think might be those of cheetah... :hmz:

Then there is the road up to the lookout... :shock: I thought I did not have height anxiety, but I was clamming to SO's seat while laughing and crying at the same time... :redface: And it felt like hours before we reached the top. It was terrifying!!

But we had excellent klipspringer sightings and mountain reedbuck.

There are some trip reports with beautiful photos on Marakele (I do not know how to link it) which might give you a better insight of the place. JenB, help!!

Must say, I probably would camp two days at Bontle Camp and two days as Tlopi tented camp that overlooks the dam. I think just staying put for half a day might bring magnificent sightings at both places.

Enjoy your stay... :thumbs_up:

(I would probably do a one day trip report in the next few days.)

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby JenB » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:34 am

Here you are EO, Trip Report Index-Northern Parks. 8)

Hi Meli,
Warm welcome to the forum! :D
I can only echo what Eagle Owl has said: Marakele is a wonderful place to be with and enjoy nature and what it has to offer. We usually camp at Bontle which means beautiful place and it is beautiful! The animal and bird life is prolific and you will get to meet rhino up close.

(TR EO? :hmz: :popcorn: :pray: :wink: )
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby Eagle Owl » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:18 pm

Thanks JenB!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby meli » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:40 pm

Thank you both so much for this information. :dance:

I was really having doubts about Marakele however hearing about cat pawprints in the sand has changed that! :D Zebra, giraffe and various antelope sightings are good news as well.
We are really just looking for somewhere where we can feel close to nature and away from it all so Marakele is sounding better.
Have either of you been in winter? I'm wondering how cold it gets at night. We are coming from Australia so won't have camping gear with us - would 4 nights at Tlopi Camp be to much? Perhaps we can just spend a day at Bontle for different sightings.

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby JenB » Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:54 pm

We haven't been right in the middle of winter yet but I don't think it gets too cold at night, not subzero temperatures anyway but it would be wise to take something warm to sleep in. The daytime temperatures should be quite pleasant.

4 Nights at Tlopi is still on my to do list and I don't think that is too long. You'll have lots of time just sitting on the deck and drinking in the bush around you. The dam at Tlopi is also the main watering point in the vicinity so you might have many visitors coming down to drink in the afternoon. I think that is also one of the best spots to watch out for elephants. I'm sure you will have a wonderful relaxing time while your body start slowing down to the timing of the African clock. :wink:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby Hippotragus » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:40 pm

JenB, I beg to differ!! We went to Tlopi at the end of June 2009. I have never been so cold in my life. Luckily, we took extra bedding (sleeping bags with zips all round that open out to make a duvet). In the morning the windows, windscreen etc on our bakkie were covered in ice. It took several minutes with the defrost running to defrost them.

Despite the freezing weather (I'm sure it differs year to year), we had a wonderful long weekend at Marakele. It is not the place to go for Big 5, but it offers amazing scenery, animals and birds.

We had a breeding herd (25) elephants come down to drink at the dam right in front of our tent at Tlopi. Other animals also came down to drink from time to time. We heard lion roar one night and I'm sure I heard a leopard nearby.

We would definitely go back - a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the bush.
Skukuza 5-9 Mar 2015
Pretoriuskop 9-11 Mar 2015

Marakele (Motswere Guest Cottage) 29 Mar -1 Apr 2015

KTP May 2015

meli
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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby meli » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:27 am

It just sounds wonderful. Can't wait for July now! Thank you all so much

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Re: Marakele National Park for the first time

Unread postby Eagle Owl » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:09 am

This visitor did not mind using the loo outside. They have no regards to our human species... 8)

These ellie droppings was at the Tlopi tented camp.

Image

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Marakele

Unread postby Leb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:08 pm

Was wondering if the camp sites at Marakele have individual braai facilities like that of the Kruger?

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Re: Marakele

Unread postby naomi c » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:34 pm

Yes they do - each campsite has its own braai. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Marakele

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:36 pm

Yep! They do!
Mind you, remember to bring charcoal or wood, as this is not available in the park.

Have a read in this topic, that may answer some more questions, or give you some good hints.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: Marakele

Unread postby naomi c » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:48 pm

You can buy wood at the gate - we did so in February. :D

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Re: Marakele

Unread postby Leb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:43 pm

Thanks all for your help. Leave tomorrow for 4 days a really look forward to it. :dance:

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Re: Marakele

Unread postby Ladyhawke » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:17 pm

hey Leb,,hope you had a lekker trip,any photo's ? :pray: :huh:
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