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 Post subject: Three days at Marakele : Jan 2007
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:51 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
29-31 January 2007

My first visit to this gem of a Park. Camped at Bontle Camp.

Excellent facilities! Extremely well kept ablutions and kitchen wash up area. (I found the hot water just a bit too hot, so check before using!)

The camping sites are clean and well kept. Site "service stations" have a night light, electrical points, baboon-proof dustbins and a fresh water tap. Plenty trees for shade.

As there is NO fence around the camp site, folks with children would be advised to to a keen eye on them as the rhino have the habit of grazing in the camp at all hours.

The roads in the lower section of the park, divided by a public road - (a tunnel has almost been completed under this road to allow access to the greater, mountain area of the Park) are in extremely good condition. All are accessible in a standard vehicle.

There are no predators in this "lower" section. The largest meat-eaters are jackals - heard every night!

The "mountain" section can be accessed by a sedan to a certain point. I visited the two camps with ease in a Toyota Camry. There are 4x4 only roads in this section.

I particularly like the tented camp, situated along side a large dam - definitely on my list for places to stay!

So, for those that want a quiet week-end away, not too far from Joburg - give this park a thought.

Don't forget a visit up the mountain, 2010 metres above sea level, to the old Sentech and other radio beacons. Here is a vista that will not be forgotten for some time! The birds at the top are not used to humans and are as friendly as can be! The proteas are a sight to see! This a tar road all the way up, in good condition - but NOT suitable for large motor home type vehicles. There are some corners that are tighter than the normal "U'" turn! But don't despair, there are "way-sides" to allow passing of on-coming vehicles.

See my other post about Marakele, "Northern Parks : 3 days at Marakele", has some photos.

Bill


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:51 pm
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Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Joburg to Marakeleis about 250 kilometres.

To say thank you for the kind welcome and compliments received, here are two jewels I found on the mountain:

The protea:

Image

And the unidentified friendly bird:

Image


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:51 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
Thank you nightjar for the name of the bird and the compliments... I left ALL my bird books back home. I am lost without them! (My sister is never going to forgive for this - she is the bird expert...)

arks, thank you for the kind words!

This park, I believe, has something magical about it - and that is both sections. There are so many BBB camps and other camping parks closer to Joburg, with much more amenities. But Marakelele has that something.

Being a bit of a romantic (silly twit that I am), as I washed the dishes in the kitchen area, with 5 rhino grazing not five metres from me, I swear I could hear the theme song from "Out of Africa" filtering through the trees!


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 Post subject: 3 days in Marakele
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:40 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:59 am
Posts: 286
Hi Bill

Thank you for the trip report.

Marakele is indeed a beautifully park. Its a pity that some of the magic of the camping area will be lost once the tunnel has been opened. The camping area will then have to be fenced in
As the predators will have access into the lower area.

According to my son he saw a carcase of a impala in a tree in one of the corners of the lower area towards Tabazimbi. There might be a leopard that visits it. We have seen spoors that might have been that of a leopard.

Marakele indeed is a short distance from Jhb and Pretoria and is ideally situated for a weekend break away.

As far as the rhinos that feed in the camp goes I had to address a rhino not to drink my Whisky as I kept him between my self and my bakkie as he walked up to my whisky that I left in my haste to get to my camera.

We had a lady playing her violin one afternoon teaching the animals to dance as well as another lady doing yoga in the nude. Indeed interesting people visiting the park.


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