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Marakele: ADVICE

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by JenB » Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:24 am

Hi Bart47,

Marakele is completely self catering. There is a little shop at the entrance gate but you would only be able to get wood and ice and a few other small items there.

Your best bet would be to make sure to take everything you might need although Thabazimbi is only 15km away in case of an emergency.

Enjoy Marakele, Tlopi is a lovely camp! :D
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Bart47 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:42 am

Thanks JenB,

Bringing food and all is no problem, i have a big cooler so i can bring everything i need.
Looking at the site i am not sure how Tlopi works.
I read that the safaritents are fully equipped with a kitchen, stove and all. That sounds great.
But it is possible to get into the camp and park by sedancar? Or do i need a 4 x 4 car?

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by JenB » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:14 am

I theory you should be able to get to Tlopi quite easily by sedan but we were there 2 weeks ago and road condition is not all that great after all the recent rain in the area. Most of the people staying in Tlopi at the time were in sedans so I think it is quite do-able if you just drive slowly.

When you pass through the tunnel, you'll get to a steep uphill. The road was at it's worst there. When you get to the T-junction, you'll be traveling on tar for a short distance to the Tlopi turn-off. The turn-off road was not is such a bad shape. Just after Tlopi camp, you'll pass over a little stream, I would not suggest you traveling that way, it was very bumpy even in a 4x4.
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Sparks » Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:52 am

In the camps there are braais available and you can get wood at the gate. Picnic areas are different from Kruger and have no shops or full time attendants. It is an area that you could relax and braai on a normal fire but no gas at any of the spots in Marakele.

At present the camp at bontle is so close to the picnic spot that most folks just go back to camp for the braai as it overlooks the waterhole and is a nice backdrop to a pleasant lunch.
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Cassius » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:14 am


Please find the attacehd information below on Marakele National Park

The Marakele National Park; in the south western section of the waterberg mountains has, a its Tswana name suggest, become a “place of sanctuary” for an impressive variety of wildlife; this is due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. The park is characterized by contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clads hills and deep valleys.

Marakele is one of the younger national parks in South Africa having been initiated in 1986 when the state purchase a nucleus of five farms totaling about 15000 ha

The park was initially proclaimed in 1994 as the Kransberg National Park and from this core area, Marakele National Park has grown in extent to the current proclaimed area of some 90 000 ha and is still in a phase of considerable expansion. Land purchase has been made by the state, the national parks board trust fund and through private donations.



With furnished tented units overlooking the banks of the Apiesrivierpoort Dam. Each tent has two beds (Two Stretchers are available which are more suitable fro children), private bathroom (Shower wash basin and toilet) and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator/ Freezer, two –plate stove and electricity. Each tent has a veranda with table and deck chairs and barbecue facilities.


38 Campsite with power points, arranged into 3 clusters with one communal ablution block per cluster.

All the parts of the park are accessible with all types of vehicle tyres. Marakele Accommodation caters for variety of guest requirements.

Tourism Attractions

The Park also has an abundance of Irion- age sites that will be made accessible to visitors in the future


• Bird watching and game viewing
• Mountain pass up to an incredible view and proximity to the vulture colony
• Night drives
• Guided walks

Special Features

A narrow tar road takes visitors up to the top of the waterberg massif. The view and scenery are spectacular.


In an to keep the park’s ecosystem as undisturbed as possible most facilities are located outside the park in the adjacent town of Thabazimbi


Roads: the access road to the park is tarred, while certain internal roads are gravel. The tented camp and surrounding areas are accessible by all vehicles
Electricity: The tented camp and camping site are supplied with electricity.
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by louis dreyer » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:57 am

Just a bit more info about Marakele.
As far i know it's the only sanpark with marked disabled camping sites.

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by nmichalis » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:00 am

@ Cassius

You mentioned nighdrives also. Are they really taking place in Marakele? Because they are not mentioned on the homepage ("activities")...

Do you have any further infomation for the night drives? Time/departing from... Can you take place when staying at Tlopi Camp?
Is it possible to register for a night drive before travelling so South Africa?

Thank you very much,

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by JustJuice » Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:43 pm


I saw under Activities and Facililties for Marakele the following: 'Two nights Hiking Trail opening soon"

Can anyone please give me more information about the Trail and when can bookings for it be made.

Thank you,

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by outdoorsjunkie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:24 pm


I'm looking for advice on the best way to travel to Marakele from Joburg (Rosebank) this weekend. Previous postings have indicated that it's better to go via Warmbaths than Brits, is this still the case? Would appreciate any advice. Not travelling in a 4x4. Thanks!

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Pjw » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:50 pm

We were there last weekend Do not use the R511 past Diepsloot. The road is a mess. The Malibogwe route route to Brits is fine, but for about 30km past Brits the road is full of LARGE potholes. Once you go into Limpopo province the road improves again. I have not used the Warm Baths Bella Bella route for a long time so cannot comment on it. The road in the park once you go through the tunnel has been damaged by rain, but is passable in a normal sedan if you go carefully. Travel safely and enjoy :)
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by stephan groen » Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:56 am

Just returned from a memorable weekend.

A few tips:

The road from Brits to Thabazimbi (R511) is drivable. There is a stretch of about 30km where you just need to take it slow. But the huge potholes have been filled with cement so they are not deep and there are no tyre bursting sharp edges.

The road in the park from the subway up the hill to Tlopi is not good. You will manage with a sedan but the going will need to be slow.

The facilities at Bontle are prestine and we will be back.

Take it slow and you WILL mark a new bird off your list.

What a place!
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Flavia » Fri May 31, 2013 2:20 pm

I read all 22 pages of this Marakele topic, I’ll be there next August. I still have some questions:
1) How long is (in km and in approx time) the road to the viewpoint at the top of the mountain? Is it so difficult/dangerous to drive?
2) How is roads condition for sedan vehicle in August? I hope not too bad because it’s dry season.
3) Could you enter in Bontle camping to look at the waterhole if you aren’t an overnight visitor (we’ll sleep at Tlopi)?
4) We’ll arrive in Marakele coming from Pilanesberg, how is the road from Pilanesberg to Thamazimbi?
Thanks in advance.

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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by arks » Fri May 31, 2013 5:08 pm

I can try to answer your first two questions. I visited Marakele in April 2012 and was driving a VW Polo. I found portions (not many) of the roads quite 'challenging', because of potholes, deep ruts and big rocks, but not impassable. You just need to be careful.

As for the roadway up to the mountain viewpoint (you must also drive up to the viewpoint over Tlopi!), I didn't find it difficult or dangerous to drive at all. However, I don't suffer from vertigo :D -- there are places where it is narrow and has sharp curves, but if you take it slowly and carefully, you will be fine. I really did wonder what all the fuss was about! :roll:

Have a great trip!
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by PNF » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:16 am

Hi Flavia

From Pilansberg take the R510 to Northam; turn right at the sign for Brits (this road has no number) continue for about 20kms to T-junction with R511, turn left to Thabazimbi. When you reach Thabazimbi, continue straight through town (do not take Lephalale turn-off) and you will be on the Alma road. After about 10kms Marakele reception is on your left. It is tar all the way and currently very few potholes.
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Re: Marakele: ADVICE

Unread post by Flavia » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:05 pm

arks wrote:As for the roadway up to the mountain viewpoint (you must also drive up to the viewpoint over Tlopi!)

Does it mean that there are two different viewpoints?

Luckily no problems about vertigo for both of us, but we're a bit scared to drive in a very narrow and very steep road with many sharp curves. If we meet someone else coming in the other direction it could be difficult to manage it. It's not something common in my daily city life!

Thanks to both of you for reply.

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