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Marakele: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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onewithnature
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Re: Marakele Questions

Unread postby onewithnature » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:06 pm

Nothing to keep you honest and fit like being chased by black rhino :wink: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Marakele Questions

Unread postby BushChicken » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:40 pm

Hi Onewithnature, Glad you are sold on the place. I love Kruger but when we do not feel like driving but being able to rest with a book and be “onewithnature” then Marekele is the place to be.

Marissa – I am sure you too will love Marekele as long as you not expect big exciting sightings.

On one of our trips we had about fifteen baby inpala sleeping right behind our caravan for the night. Warthog feeding on the grass, a few feet from our ground sheet. A small tortoise crawled right across our groundsheet. How much closer can you get to nature?

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Re: Marakele Questions

Unread postby Hippotragus » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:19 pm

Marissa - Marakele is another of SANPARKS "hidden gems". It is NOT Kruger and you have to realise that. It has its own special qualities.

We stayed in the tented camp - Tlopi - at the end of June 2009. The tent decks are right over the edge of a dam. I think we were there the coldest night of the winter - heavy frost - luckily we took extra bedding (though the tent comes with plenty for normal temperatures).

One day we had a breeding herd of 29 elephants come down to drink and play at the dam. We heard lion one night and I'm sure I heard a leopard nearby another night. We had various buck come down to drink, too. We did not see much game - the vegetation is rather thick. However, we enjoyed the landscapes (you must drive up to the viewpoint at the top of the mountain) and the vegetation.

Marakele is definitely a place to visit. Hope you enjoy it, Marissa.
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graham hamilton
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Marakele information please

Unread postby graham hamilton » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:29 am

Marakele - I also need some help please.
Does anyone have a map of Marakele?
Can you tell me where the entrance gates are.
What it costs.
Should one book a day visit or is that not necessary?
Is it worth a visit??
Many thanks,
Graham

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Re: Marakele information please

Unread postby angiek » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:41 am

We camped at Marakele October 2009. Only 1 entrance gate, about 10km outside Thabazimbi (just follow signboards). No map really available but one is handed out at gate. Don't think its necessary to book as day visitor. Nice picnic area, just beware of monkeys. Lovely outlook from top our mountain.

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Re: Marakele information please

Unread postby JenB » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:00 am

Hi graham hamilton,

Warmest welcome to the forum! :D
......... and same to you angiek, hope you guys have hours of fun here. :)

Have a look at this page, you'll find some useful info there and here is a basic map.

As angiek has posted, there is only one entrance gate about 10-15km from Thabazimbi. There are signboards, I'm sure you will not miss it.

I don't think it will be necessary to book for a day visit.

Is it worth it? :hmz:
Here are a few Marakele Trip Reports for you to read. Marakele is not about the big 5 but about spending some quality time with Mother Nature. If you would like to tick the big 5 in one morning, you might feel that it's not worth it. If you enjoy birds, magnificent views, plants, awesome kudu bulls and much, much more this is the place for you! :D
Enjoy your visit to Marakele, that is a very special little park. :wink:
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Re: Marakele information please

Unread postby DuQues » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:57 pm

Welcome Graham!

Marakele is home to most of the large mammals synonymous with the African bush, including elephant, black and white rhino, and leopard. Large Predators such as brown hyena, leopard and now also lion, occur in the park. Resident antelope include, sable, kudu, eland, impala, waterbuck, tsessebe and many smaller species. Chacma baboon and vervet monkey are two species to be watched carefully for mischief, particularly around the rest camps.

The birding seems to be good too, how's that?
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread postby glordon » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:33 pm

Hi All
I am new to the forum and this is my first contribution.
We live in Pretoria and are getting friends from Calitzdorp to stay in April.
We are thinking of doing a day trip to Marakele as it sounds great. Is it worth a day trip? where should we concentrate our time to get the best overall experience?
Look forward to any replies/advice

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread postby JenB » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:10 pm

Hi regalrinkals,

Warm welcome to the forum! :D

Marakele is perfect for a day trip. Firstly a trip up the mountain is a have to do, the view is absolutely awesome! As you go through the tunnel, you enter big 5 territory so be on the lookout. I would suggest you also pay a visit to the bird hide, I'm sure there should be quite a bit of water around. Have lunch at the picnic spot, that is in the lower part of the park and generally has more game than the big 5 side. While you are there, watch out for rhino, they are everywhere.

Have a wonderful trip!
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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?
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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: )
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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:
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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.
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