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Marakele: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele
Sylvi-Ann
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Sylvi-Ann » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:16 pm

Thank you for the advice, I will definitely contact the park, and I am also waiting on the school to confirm whether she can write her exam an hour earlier :pray:

I can't wait for the weekend, I have never stayed over at Marakele, only gone as a day visitor.

Have a great week all.
Sylvi-Ann Nelmapius
Novice birder and lover of KNP
:think:

Hippotragus
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Hippotragus » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:19 pm

I agree, RichardS, Silvi-Ann should get to the Main Gate/Reception in time. BUT Motswere Guest House is about 1 hour further, and I don't know if they will allow visitors to drive in the Park after hours. We have stayed there and it is a lot further than Tlopi Tented Camp and the last 5 km is a high-clearance/4x4 track. Once you get there, it is a lovely place to stay.

I agree she should phone Reception and ask their opinion/help. The Marakele staff are very helpful.

Just seen your post, Silvi-Ann. I hope you get sorted out and that you have a wonderful weekend. It is a lovely spot!
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

Hippotragus
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Hippotragus » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:11 am

Sylvi-Ann - I hope you have a fantastic weekend. You will love the cottage and the park has some beautiful scenery. You must go up the mountain one morning - up to where the vultures are.
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

E Orix
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by E Orix » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:28 pm

Some mixed feelings about Marakele NP
Having read about the 600+ pairs of Vultures that breed in the park we were anxious to get the photos.
What a disappointment after driving up to the tower only to see Vultures disappearing behind a mountain several Kms away. We had far better Vulture sightings in Kruger
We spent 3 days there and covered every road only to see one of the 5 and that was a Leopard.
It was a great view lasting possibly 40 min. Staying at Tlopi it emerged directly across from our cabin and walked around the edge of the lake to within 40m of us. Next morning its pug marks were out side out tent.
After being critical I must say it has the most spectacular scenery and that alone is worth seeing.
The stay in the Tlopi camp was great and well worth the visit,as for the animal well we were spoilt in
Kruger and possibly expected too much.
While in Kruger we were lucky enough to see 5 members of the cat family,
tangled with 2 Honey Badgers one night but sadly didn't see any Wild Dogs but what a magic place.

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George_Brits
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by George_Brits » Thu May 21, 2015 1:38 pm

EddieL wrote:What gate needs to be used to reach Tlopi? The one on the Thabazimbi side or is there another option?


Hi Eddie,

You will have to use the entrance gate that is close to Thabazimbi as the Park Reception is situated there, and its about 12km from the town.

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by George_Brits » Thu May 21, 2015 6:42 pm

Aaaaah Hilda, you will LOVE it!!!

You just want to sit on the patio of your tent and stare out yonder... but you have to make a trip up the mountain to see the vultures... just remember to take some chairs with and some sarmies, its such a beautiful view from the top too.

It might still be in august quite chilly in the evenings, especially in the tents but other than that, its a gem of a Sanpark!

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leervis
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by leervis » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:57 am

Now you have me interested as well. We will aim for late January - early February as I'm sure that a lot of the summer bird visitors will be there. Another exciting new area to visit.
13 - 15 January Mapungubwe
14 - 16 January Punda Maria
17 - 19 January Balule

18 - 23 May '17 Balule

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Laeveldkind
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Laeveldkind » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:57 pm

Hi Guys
My girlfriend and I are visiting Marakele for the first time in August. :D :dance: We are driving a 2x4 Isuzu doublecab with difflock. Will I be able to drive most of the roads and which roads must I avoid? I see on the map from Sanparks that a lot of the roads are marked 4x4? Is this only to mark it as high-clearance vehicle roads or is a 4x4 really needed? Any other advice would also be greatly appreciated. :thumbs_up:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.

Hippotragus
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Hippotragus » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:13 pm

Hi Laeveldkind and welcome!

The "main" roads in Marakele - i.e. from gate to Tlopi Tented Camp area - are OK for high-clearance 4x2. I have a 4x4 but have not engaged 4x4 gearing whilst on those roads. I would not like to try them in a saloon car, but some people do and seem to survive.

When we were last there, just before Easter this year, some of the roads appeared to have suffered from rain wash-away and were rather rough-going in places.

You will love the park. Make sure you drive up to the look-out point - a tarred, single-track, road with wonderful views on the way up and from the summit. Also a chance to see the vultures from there.
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

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barryels
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by barryels » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:24 pm

Laeveldkind wrote:Hi Guys
My girlfriend and I are visiting Marakele for the first time in August. :D :dance: We are driving a 2x4 Isuzu doublecab with difflock. Will I be able to drive most of the roads and which roads must I avoid? I see on the map from Sanparks that a lot of the roads are marked 4x4? Is this only to mark it as high-clearance vehicle roads or is a 4x4 really needed? Any other advice would also be greatly appreciated. :thumbs_up:


Dear Laeveldkind,

If you look in the Marakele index you will find under the heading: Activities that there are only two 4x4 routes, namely the Mbidi route and the 4x4 Eco Trail. Here is a link for easy reference. Most of the roads in the rest of the park is doable with a normal vehicle, so you will not have any problems with your vehicle :thumbs_up: .

To give you an idea of the road surfaces, have a look at the following trip reports where you will see the roads driven, Here and Here

We will also be in the park during the last week of August 2015 :thumbs_up: .

Enjoy your trip :D .

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Laeveldkind
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Laeveldkind » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:56 pm

Thanks a lot Barry for the quick reply.You have been really helpfull. Really can not wait. :D I hope you guys also enjoy your trip immensely. All the best. :thumbs_up:
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.

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yatiya
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by yatiya » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:21 am

Hello all

I am going to Marakele for the first time in a couple weeks. The only accommodation we could get was at Bontle.

Can anyone tell me 1) what game viewing around Bontle is like,
2) whether I can see the rest of the park from there (or is it too far, like in Kruger where you can't expect to see one part if you stay in another),
3)will a BMW X3 be sufficient
4) Besides the usual food, camera etc, what else is essential? Can I get refuelled there?
5) must see roads/sites etc
6) Lastly, what is the best route from Roodepoort, JHB? Should I use the N1, get off at Warmbaths, or follow the GPS through Hartebeespoort, past Sun City etc?

Thanks in advance

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barryels
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by barryels » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:04 am

Dear yatiya,

To make it easier to answer all your questions, here is a map of Marakele:

Image

You will see that the park consists of two parts. On the left you will find the Bontle side that is flat with smooth gravel roads that you will be able to drive with your BMW. The Tlopi side is a different kettle of fish, with rocky roads and only doable when driving really slow.

Now for further answers to your questions:

1. Here is a travel tale by isinkwe that will give you a good idea of what you will find at Bontle: Breaking "New Ground". This is my own travel tale that will give you an idea of both sides of the park: Our much-talked-of Marakele trip: August 2015

2. No, you will not be able to see the whole park from Bontle because it is quite flat on the Bontle side and as busy as Kruger.

3. You will be able to drive around the park in a BMW, but caution should be taken when driving on the Tlopi side of the park.

4. If you are used to camping you will be fine. No, there is no fuel available at Marakele, however Thabazimbi is only 10km from the park if you have to refuel. We were in the park for 4 days and did not have to refuel at all.

5. I think the two travel tales will give you enough info about sites etc.

6. To get there from Roodepoort I would suggest the following:

a. Take the N1 as you suggested and then take the N4 towards Rustenburg.
b. Drive along the N4 till you get the Brits off ramp into Brits.
c. In Brits, take the R511 to Thabazimbi.

This is the shortest route and a nice tarred road :thumbs_up: .

Hope this helps and enjoy your trip :thumbs_up:

Looking forward to a trip report when you are back :thumbs_up: .

Hippotragus
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Hippotragus » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:06 am

Hi yatiya. You will love Marakele - very different to Kruger, but special in its own way.

1. There is general game and rhinos in the section of the park round Bontle. The lions, cheetah and elephants are in the further section.

2. Yes, you can access the other part of the park. You will be given a map when you check in. You go through a short tunnel and through a security gate to get to the
further part of the park.

3. BMW X3 should be fine. The roads in the Bontle part of the park are very good sand roads. The roads in the further section do have some hills and some rough,
rocky sections. If you take it slow and steady, you will be fine.

4. The nearest fuel is in Thabazimbi, so refuel on your way through the town before entering the park. Take binoculars and bird book - the birds are very interesting.
A good torch is always a good idea. Charcoal and wood if you are going to braai. The nearest shops are in Thabazimbi - the park shop does not have much.

5. You must go up to the viewpoint - a long, winding, narrow (tar) road to the top. Wonderful views on the way up and at the top. A good chance of seeing the
vultures. Otherwise, there are not many roads to choose from - just try to do them all. Consult the map when you arrive.

6. I live in Kyalami and have done both the Hartebeespoort - Brits - Thabazimbi route and the N1 - Warmbaths route. They are both fine. From Roodepoort, it
would probably be shorter for you to do the Hartebeespoort - Brits - Thabazimbi route.

Have a great trip and let us know how you get on.
Malelane 12th October 2016
Skukuza 16th October 2016
Lower Sabie 17th October 2016
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017
Tamboti 8th-11th March 2017

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yatiya
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by yatiya » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:23 am

Thank you both so much for the advice! Looking forward to it!


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