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Marakele: Bontle Camp

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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Gerd
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Marakele: Bontle Camp

Unread postby Gerd » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:11 am

I'm planning a bicycle-holiday in South-Africa. I would like to know if I can reach the Bontle Camping Site in Marakele N.P. with my bicycle?

Gerd

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RichardS
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Unread postby RichardS » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:02 am

Hi Gerd,

Where's your starting point in South Africa?

Cheers
“Most of my best memories come from some old dirt road.” - Anon

Gerd
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Unread postby Gerd » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:28 am

I'm starting in Johannesburg and - after about 7 weeks - end in Cape Town.

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Senyetse
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Unread postby Senyetse » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:33 am

Hi gerd

You will not be able to get to Bontle on a bicycle nor a motorcycle nor on foot, only closed top vehicles are allowed. The camp site is a few km inside the park.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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JenB
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Unread postby JenB » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:35 am

Hi Gerd,

One could easily get to Bontle by bicycle because there are no predators in that area. The road is in good condition and the camp is close to the main gate.

The question is just whether it will be allowed? Maybe someone from SANParks would be able to clarify?

*Edit*
Oops, Senyetse, missed ya there! :lol:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Senyetse
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Unread postby Senyetse » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:46 am

:wink: jenb

When we were there the gate guard told a group of tourists to close their bakkie's canopy door which was open and a few kids were at the back. There are white rhino in that section, not usually aggressive but could be potentially dangerous if suprised on foot.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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JenB
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Unread postby JenB » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:51 am

Senyetse wrote: There are white rhino in that section, not usually aggressive but could be potentially dangerous if surprised on foot.


Yea right! They surprised ME on foot, on my way to the ablution block! :lol: :lol:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

Gerd
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Unread postby Gerd » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:08 pm

Thank you all for the information.

Gerd

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Trelawney
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Unread postby Trelawney » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:46 pm

How about calling the park gate on +27 14 777 1745 and asking if a ranger could give you & your bike a ride from the gate to the campsite and then back again the day you leave ?

Seems minimal effort on their part ? Its only 2 minutes drive from the gate to the campsite.

ilovecamping
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Bontle camp - Marakele

Unread postby ilovecamping » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:51 pm

Hi everyone, I need your help!
I am considering going to the Bontle camp (Marakele), however, we do not have a 4x4.
Would most parts be accessable by a sedan?
Would it be worth our while to go there if we don't have a 4x4.
And is the view from the top accessable by a sedan or by foot?
We are going in a tent - would it be safe with all the animals roaming freely? Guess I'll have to lock all the food in the car so that the baboons cant rip our tent apart in order to get to the food!
Which is the best way to travel from Johannesburg?
So I guess my main question is: WOULD WE BE ABLE TO GO TO THE BONTLE CAMP IN A NORMAL CAR?

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Senyetse
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Unread postby Senyetse » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:07 pm

Hi

Most of Marekele is now accessible by sedan.
It is definietly worth it going in a sedan, we went in a Toyota Yaris!
You can only get to the top by car (no walking!) and a sedan is fine to get there. The road is very narrow and be prepared if you can't handle heights.
No big 5 animals are found in the camping area, only non-dangerous game and white rhino occur in the camping area, so there is no danger, just be careful of snakes, scorpions, etc. Remember though that you cannot walk beyond the camping area. You drive through a small tunnel by opening an electric gate to get into the big 5 area.
We did not have any problems with monkeys/baboons when we camped there in April, but locking away all food is a good idea.

Best way from JHB is to drive up tp Rustenburg and then on up to Thabazimbi, the park is a few km passed Thabazimbi.

Enjoy it is a great park!
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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JenB
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Unread postby JenB » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:12 pm

Hi ilovecamping, welcome to the forum! :D
'K........ let's see.... 8)
ilovecamping wrote:Would most parts be accessable by a sedan?

Yes, I'm not sure of the exact ratio.
ilovecamping wrote:Would it be worth our while to go there if we don't have a 4x4.

Yes, yes, yes!! Image
ilovecamping wrote:We are going in a tent - would it be safe with all the animals roaming freely?

Yes, just keep your eyes open. They are used to people but not "tame". :wink:
ilovecamping wrote: Guess I'll have to lock all the food in the car so that the baboons cant rip our tent apart in order to get to the food!

We had no baboon problem but just to be sure, better keep your foodstuff out of view. I do not think they will rip your tent apart though. We saw many animals in camp but no baboon and monkeys. Keep an eye on the ostrich! There's the real culprit! :lol:
ilovecamping wrote:Which is the best way to travel from Johannesburg?

We took the route via Britz to Thabazimbe, I believe it is the quickest.
ilovecamping wrote:So I guess my main question is: WOULD WE BE ABLE TO GO TO THE BONTLE CAMP IN A NORMAL CAR?

Yes! Most of the roads are gravel but they are in good condition. The road to the lookout point is tarred and you can leave your vehicle at the top to admire the view. You will be given a map at reception so just make sure they indicate the 4x4 routes.

For more info, you are welcome to have a look at my Trip Report.
Enjoy your trip! :D
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

ilovecamping
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Marakele - how far?

Unread postby ilovecamping » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:22 pm

Many thanks for your previous replies!
Exactly how far is Marakele from JHB?

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JenB
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Unread postby JenB » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:28 pm

Approx 280km. :wink:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France

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Trelawney
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Unread postby Trelawney » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:16 pm

Hi,

Concerning the best route to Marakele, we live in Pretoria and have tried going :

(1) Via the new N4 just north of Pretoria to Brits & then directly north to Thabazimbi and;

(2) Up the N1 to the Warmbaths offramp and then west until you meet the Brits-Thabazimbi road ...

... and we have found its far quicker to go the second route.

- Going through Brits takes a lot longer than going through Warmbaths

- The road out of Brits gets clogged with traffic / trucks / donkeys & carts far quicker than the Warmbaths roads, the road is more twisty-turny and difficult to pass such traffic.

We have reached Thabazimbi travelling at the 120 km/hr speed limit in 2 hours 30 minutes from Pretoria East ... took an extra 25 minutes via Brits.

I would not suggest going from JHB to Rustenburg to Thabazimbi, unless I am missing something on the map ?

Could be from JHB you go via Hartebeesport & then onto Brits but, again, the number of traffic lights and narrow roads will probably take you longer.

As for getting there in a sedan, we have been there the last 3 Julys for a school holiday camping trip and have had no problems ... the roads in the western portion where Bontle is are sandy but dry, we tow a venter trailer which weighs something like 400kg fully loaded & have not experienced a problem, the road from the gate to the camp site is virtually flat, so no slopes to climb. Its about 1 km from the gate to the Bontle camp site.

T.


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