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Marakele: CAMPING

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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Andreas Cierpka
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Marakele: CAMPING

Unread postby Andreas Cierpka » Sun Dec 26, 2004 6:41 pm

How is the camping side? Would you recommand the more expensive one or just the camping?

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Re: Accomodation

Unread postby Danie » Mon Dec 27, 2004 7:41 pm

Difficult to make the decision for you. Perhaps info on our website will guide you:
================
See:http://www.sanparks.org/parks/marakele/
Marakele National Park



The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, as its Tswana name suggests, has become a 'place of sanctuary' for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the park. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds including what's probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here.

Marakele National Park is currently divided into two parts (namely the ± 2500 ha "Kwaggasvlakte" section and the Greater Marakele National Park), by a public gravel road (the Hoopdal Road). Most parts of the park are only accessible by 4x4.

Camps
Reception Office
Bontle Camping Site, and
Tlopi Tented Camp.
Origin of Camp Names
Tlopi Tented Camp
Tlopi is the name that the locals call the river, which feeds the dam on which the camp is situated. The name Tlopi is derived from the word Motlopi, which is the Tswana, name for the tree, Boscia albitrunca or "witgat".
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Unread postby Andreas Cierpka » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:24 pm

I've read the park description before I did the posting. None of my friends or collegues have ever been in the park. Therefore the information I'm based on is the offical park web page.
The pictures from the Tlopi Tented Camp are very beautiful. My question has been more directed to where to stay. As we want to watch game is it more interesting to do camping (tents) or stay in the tented huts etc.?

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Unread postby Danie » Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:24 pm

It is always difficult to decide on these issues as it is based on perceptions, personal experience, etc.

Certain visitors prefer camping as it is percieved to be 'closer to nature', nocturnal sounds can easily be heard at night, etc. Other visitors do not like camping at all and prefer the more luxurious accommodation. So in the end, it is a personal choice.

I have also directed your question to my colleagues at Marakele itself to give another perspective on your question.

I'll let you know as soon as I have received an answer from them.
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Unread postby Danie » Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:23 pm

Our Park Manager: Marakele National Park suggests that you try both the camps: Bontle Campsite and the luxury Tlopi Tented camp. They both offer a different experience.
=================
He will further correspond with you directly via your email.
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Danie Pretorius
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Accommodation is Marakele

Unread postby Owl » Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:24 pm

Bontle is a very comfortable camping site with 3 separate ablution blocks. It is situated on a grassy plain and game will come quite close.

Tlopi is a semi luxury tented camp. The finish on the deck, in the bedroom and on the ablutions is great. The tents overlook a dam which can be quiet at times, but also very rewarding. In December Wild Dog were resident in the area for over a week. It is fully equipped and will be a very comfortable experience. Becuase it is a completely different standard and experience the price is considerably higher than the campsite

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Marakele - Bontle Campsite

Unread postby Richard » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:03 pm

I hust want to get some more info on Marakele. We are going there over the long weekend at the begining of May. I have scanned to forum message list and can only find reference to Tloti Tented camp. Nowhere does anyone mention Bontle. Does anyone have info on this campsite. Is it fenced? Which side of the park is it in? How are the roads there?

Any info on this campsite will be a great help.

Richard Mack

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Unread postby hornbill » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:07 pm

Hi Richard

We camping there from tomorrow :D for the long weekend so will let you know on Tuesday.

Not sure if it is fenced but as far as I know it is in the part of the park where you don't need a 4x4 - where there are no predators.

We do have a 4x4 so will be going to both parts of the park.

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Unread postby DuQues » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:24 pm

Found this bit on the forum:
Owl wrote:Dear Erwin,

The whole of kwaggasvlakte where Bontle campsite is situated is sedan friendly. The network of pathways is probably about 30km if it was all stretched out in a straight line. It is a small area, but well stocked with game, including tsessebe, sable and white rhino.

However the highlight of the park is the drive up to the towers on the mountain top. This road is tarred the whole way. (It used to be the service road for the Sentec towers on the mountain top). Although it is only 20.5km of tar from the public dirt road to the mountain top, the road is very narrow and steep and it will take you at least an hour each way, and more likely alot more if you are game viewing and birdwatching.

The track starts off in bushveld, where rhino and other general game may be seen. Then it moves past a grassy vlei area, where common and mountain reedbuck, eland and red hartebeest may well be seen. The the steep climb starts, and klipspringer should be seen, plus the afore mentioned species as one looks back over the vlei. Up on the mountain top rock hyrax (dassie), elephant shrew and baboon are likely, and the montane birds are very tame and inquisitive. Cape Vultures and possibly jackal buzzard and verreaux's eagle will soar overhead.

While Tlopi Safari Tent Camp can be reached easily in a sedan, the roads leading from the camp and linking up with the tar road are 4x4 (or 2x4 with high clearance). However one can sit on the deck of one's unit and see what game comes to drink. The Wild Dog were active at the dam recently. Elephant used to be more evident here, but most of them have migrated over the mountain to Marakele PTY Ltd which is owned by a Dutch businessman, who helped SANParks finance acquiring additional land and erecting fencing. Although this part of the park is currently off limits to visitors to the National Park, the road to Hoopdal is a public road that passes along the boundary fence. It is regular to see elephant, cheetah and wild dog along this road.
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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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Bontle camping site

Unread postby billyt » Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:30 pm

Hi Richard

We just spent a weekend (2 & 3 April) at Marekele, at the Tlopi Tented Camp. Bontle camping site is situated in the lower section of Marakele, which lies behind the main gate and reception. It is easily reachable by sedan vehicle and seemed clean and well run. As far as I could see it is not fenced (there were a number of ostriches walking around inside the camp), but I believe there are no large predators in this section of the Park.

While you are there the drive up to the towers is a MUST. The view is magnificent and we saw quite a lot of game on the way, including seldom seen species like Tsesebe, Reedbuck and Klipspringer.

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Ellies & Lions

Unread postby Fatcat » Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:04 am

Has anyone been able to confirm whether there are in fact elephants and lions anywhere near the Bontle Campsite area. Also how far is the Tlopi Tented site from Bontle and are visitors to Bontle allowed to go to the dam at Tlopi??

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Re: Ellies & Lions

Unread postby Erwin » Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:48 am

No Lions & Ellies at Bontle. Only in the Greater Park (where Thlopi Tent camp is situated) Recent sightings of lion & elephant at the Greater Park area still to be confirmed on this forum)

Thlopi Tented camp is ±16km from Bontle (2 + 12 + 4) on the Hoopdal road.

Visitors not booked in at Thlopi are not allowed there or to visit the dam. :cry: Game drives from Bontle sometimes pass the dam at Thlopi.

Going there sometime?
why walk if you can run?...why run if you can fly...?

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Re: Ellies & Lions

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:01 am

You did that calculation by head? 2 + 12 + 4 = 18 in my book.
Last edited by DuQues on Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ellies & Lions

Unread postby Erwin » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:24 am

I see you're sitting on my tail :?: watch my brakelights...

- Thlopi Tented camp is ± 16km from Bontle - then ± 2km to the Hoopdal turn-off, then ± 12km to the Greater area (Green) entrance gate, then ± 4km to the first gate (where are we now? mm.. 17.45km..) then ± 55m from the boom to the first tent. Your option if you want to hike or drive the last 2 miscalculated km's :D

I'm busy drawing up a decent map of the area using the latest GPS surveying technology. The straight line distance between the two (according to WSG84 and new Cape map datums(not data)) is 7.632297km. Haven't checked that on foot - so that's also a ±. :?
why walk if you can run?...why run if you can fly...?

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Re: Ellies & Lions

Unread postby Fatcat » Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:22 am

Erwin wrote:

Going there sometime?

Yes indeed, 3 x nights camping at Bontle from 29Apr05. Very excited, as I have clearly not been there before :D Thanks a lot for all info given. You seem to know lots about the roads etc. are they all mainly tarred or only the one to the tower. Someone told me that they went there in a Land Rover and had to be pulled out (rescued) three times from bad roads.

Now here is a tricky one for you. How many km's of driving can one do on decent roads there ? ie (100km of game viewing roads in Pilanesberg)


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