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 Post subject: Marakele: INFO
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 2:32 pm
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Location: Sweden
I have seen many queries from persons wishing to go to Marakele National park regarding such issues as roads, accommodation etc and I write this to aid future visitors to the Park. Many of the questions I posed were unanswered by the time I went there so if it were not for Erwin we would have been unprepared. Thank you Erwin for your most informative description of park activities and directions of how to get there from Pretoria. I hope that this summary will be able to prepare future visitors better.

Firstly there are no good maps of the park, but Marakele consists actually of two Parks, The “Kwaggasvlakte section", which is served by the main reception office, and the “greater park area", which contains Tlopi Tent Camp and the bush camp. These two parks are not directly connected.

The Kwaggasvlakte section is flat and contains various antelope and other game, but not any of the Big Five. This section is accessible to normal sedan vehicles and if you are patient you will see a good variety of game.

The greater park area can be accessed by a tar road through a gate 7,5 km from the Reception Gate. This road enables a visitor to proceed the further 18,5 km to the lookout where the vultures can be viewed. This road is steep but suitable for normal sedans. Tlopi Tent Camp is reached by travelling on untarred roads, roughly 17 km from the main reception gate. Except for the last kilometer or so the road is in good condition and is acceptable for normal sedans. However after rain the roads become extremely slippery and muddy. Because of this and because all other roads in the greater park area are accessible only to 4x4's, I strongly recommend that visitors make use of a 4x4 in this section.

As far as game viewing goes we saw Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Kudu, Klipspringer, Hartebeest, Impala, Bushbuck, Ostrich, Warthog, Baboon and Vervet monkeys. We also saw a tortoise, a turtle/terrapin and of course many large Barbel in the water at the Tlopi camp. Rhino were the only member of the big five that we had the luck of seeing and they were definitely the highlight of the trip.

We found the greater park area by far the most interesting as far as game viewing, vegetation and general scenery goes, and thoroughly enjoyed the off-road experience. there are of courese many bird species to be seen but we did not see the vultures as the mountaintop was covered in mist on the day we went there

The accommodation at Tlopi was wonderful. The tents were serviced daily and everything was exceptionally clean. At the end of each day it was simply fantastic to sit next to a fire, watch the sun set over the water, see animals come down do drink and as darkness fell hear the sounds of the African night.

Would we go there again? Very definitely, Yes! And certainly in a 4x4!

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Andrew


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 Post subject: GPS Map Available for Marakele
Unread postPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 2:47 pm
Posts: 1
We have Just (a month ago) returned from a park visit - I took along my GPS and have downloaded the Track onto the SA Topographical Maps, as well as Elevation (3D). If people are interested, contact me at sdf@intekom.co.za for a copy. The formats are available in,

- pdf
- OziExplorer (2D and 3D) (map and waypoints)
- Global Mapper

Or if required in a specific format let me know. I have tried to indicate where 4x4 and sedan tracks are.
BTW - I think the park is awesome and the tented camps are amazing - saw rhino drinking from our deck.


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 Post subject: Marakele on Google Earth
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 2
Location: JHB, South Africa
...went to Marakele this weekend... here's a plot of my Marakele tracks using Google Earth.
Just thought you guys might find this interesting.
cheers.

Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:53 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14267
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Just came back from Marakele (2005-11-01). :(

They had a big fire and most of the Mountain area has burnt. Around 70% of the park! The fire was started by lightning and also fire jumping the fence from the neighbours. It is also very dry, though there still is enough drinking water for the animals.

There were no serious animal losses, and there still is enough food available. But rain is needed soon!

The visit was wonderful as Marakele always is! We saw the most interesting plants, animals, insects etc. And the view from the top can't be beaten! :D

A quick tip: If you really want to enjoy Marakele, get out of your car and take a bushwalk with the rangers! Book at reception! It is worth every cent, times ten! :wink:

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 Post subject: MARAKELE NEWS
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:07 am 
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Location: Pretoria, RSA
There has recently been a few interesting happenings at Marakele.

Firstly the new Park Manager has been appointed as of December 2005. He is Hendrick Mugwabana. He was the previous ranger at Lower Sabie in KNP.

Secondly one of the three Lions has been shot. Three males were released in to Marakele to establish their territory, before the fences with Welgevonden were to be dropped and the Welgevonden Lions would be able to enter Marakele. The one kept on breaking out of Marakele and had to be shot.

The Lion was found to be in a poor condition, with very little of his teeth left. He was thus not able to fend for himself, and were searching for easy prey outside the park.

Thirdly it seems that the fence with Welgevonden will be dropped early in 2006! This means that there will be more space for the animals to roam. It also means that the 38 Lion and more than 100 elephant currently in Welgevonden, will have free range of Marakele. Good prospects of good sightings! :D

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


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


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:51 pm 
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:( Some bad news! The dropping of the fence has been postponed to 2007. Apparently there is a possibility of some kind of sickness in the Buffalo which first has to be sorted! :cry:

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Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

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


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


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 9:28 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth
As fas as I know, Marakele got their disease-free buffalo from Addo.

I don't know where Welgevonden got their buffalo from.

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Kruger - July


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 Post subject: 3 days at Marakele
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:08 pm 
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
To show how close the rhino are:

Image

Grazing around the camp at night:

Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:32 pm 
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
This rhino walked down the road in front of us, then decided to have a bath!


Image

Image
Image

What a delightful mud bath!

Bill


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 Post subject: To whet your appetite!
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 3:35 am 
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
To whet your appetite for a visit there!

Taken at the Bontle camping site.

Image


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Anon


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 Post subject: Marakele: Total lunar eclipse
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:51 am 
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Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 3:01 pm
Posts: 21
Location: KNP north to south 2007 Oct 20 - Nov 8
2007 total lunar eclipse

This past weekend, May 3/4, parts of the world were treated to one of nature's most spectacular performances: a full lunar eclipse. It occurred late during the night of Saturday and early morning Sunday.

Overcast skies hindered Pretoria and Joburg but fortunately I found myself at Marakele National Park, near Thabazimbi. A few clouds early in the evening caused me some worry but by the time of the eclipse I found myself staring up at a crystal clear sky and smiling widely. I slept outside the entire night admiring the view and feeling blessed to witness such a spectacular show.

Lunar eclipses are more common than solar eclipses. A total lunar eclipse can only happen when the moon is full. It occurs when the sun, the earth and the moon are in alignment and the moon passes into the shadow of the earth. The moon does not disappear, but it becomes much darker and even appears as a coppery or reddish colour. As the moon becomes dark, one can see all the stars around that the moon that are not normally visible.

The last total lunar eclipse was in October 2004. The next show visible in Southern Africa is on February 21, 2008. I highly recommend that you sacrifice some sleep and witness one of nature’s great shows.

Kimberly Anderson
(reporting for Free Spirit Safari)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:50 am
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Location: Pretoria
I was also at Marakele and will post a few pics...this weekends event was I hope the first of many-the talk was informative, the moon was spectacular...and Marakele is magnificent. I stayed at Tlopi on the Sat night-I felt like I had the moon all to myself...also met some great people there, including a lady who's family had owned the farm that now forms part of Marakele 100 years ago-i have some pictures from her as well-absolute classics, dating from about 1912 I think...I also met three gentlemen from the mines in Thabazimbi who have found refuge in this park, a family of about12 who decided the book the tents the park had cleverly pitched and stay the night- I was impressed with how the park management found them bedding etc...

I was in a little opel corsa lite, which meant that some of the roads were off limits-but i can't wait to return ;)

Dianne


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:58 pm 
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pics as promised-although not great, and I'm still waiting for electronic copies of the old ones

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Image

Image

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:01 pm 
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A few of the people I met :-)

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During the talk

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:42 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Some information I received today:

The tunnel connecting the Kwaggasvlakte section and main section is as good as finished.
The main purpose is to allow visitors to access both portions of the Park without driving outside the Park and to avoid visitors opening gates for themselves as happened a lot.
Game might go through the subway in the long run but SANParks are not intending to fence off Bontle camping site as this will change the visitors expectation completely. (If there is a need they will go through a public participation process.)

The internal roads of the Kwaggasvlakte portion and three of the 4x4 roads at the main portion of the Park have been upgraded.

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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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