Marakele: INFO

Golden Gate, Mapungubwe, Marakele

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Andrew
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Marakele: INFO

Unread post by Andrew »

I have seen many queries from persons wishing to go to Marakele National park regarding such issues as roads, accommodation etc and I write this to aid future visitors to the Park. Many of the questions I posed were unanswered by the time I went there so if it were not for Erwin we would have been unprepared. Thank you Erwin for your most informative description of park activities and directions of how to get there from Pretoria. I hope that this summary will be able to prepare future visitors better.

Firstly there are no good maps of the park, but Marakele consists actually of two Parks, The “Kwaggasvlakte section", which is served by the main reception office, and the “greater park area", which contains Tlopi Tent Camp and the bush camp. These two parks are not directly connected.

The Kwaggasvlakte section is flat and contains various antelope and other game, but not any of the Big Five. This section is accessible to normal sedan vehicles and if you are patient you will see a good variety of game.

The greater park area can be accessed by a tar road through a gate 7,5 km from the Reception Gate. This road enables a visitor to proceed the further 18,5 km to the lookout where the vultures can be viewed. This road is steep but suitable for normal sedans. Tlopi Tent Camp is reached by travelling on untarred roads, roughly 17 km from the main reception gate. Except for the last kilometer or so the road is in good condition and is acceptable for normal sedans. However after rain the roads become extremely slippery and muddy. Because of this and because all other roads in the greater park area are accessible only to 4x4's, I strongly recommend that visitors make use of a 4x4 in this section.

As far as game viewing goes we saw Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Kudu, Klipspringer, Hartebeest, Impala, Bushbuck, Ostrich, Warthog, Baboon and Vervet monkeys. We also saw a tortoise, a turtle/terrapin and of course many large Barbel in the water at the Tlopi camp. *** were the only member of the big five that we had the luck of seeing and they were definitely the highlight of the trip.

We found the greater park area by far the most interesting as far as game viewing, vegetation and general scenery goes, and thoroughly enjoyed the off-road experience. there are of courese many bird species to be seen but we did not see the vultures as the mountaintop was covered in mist on the day we went there

The accommodation at Tlopi was wonderful. The tents were serviced daily and everything was exceptionally clean. At the end of each day it was simply fantastic to sit next to a fire, watch the sun set over the water, see animals come down do drink and as darkness fell hear the sounds of the African night.

Would we go there again? Very definitely, Yes! And certainly in a 4x4!
Andrew
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MockTurtle
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Marakele on Google Earth

Unread post by MockTurtle »

...went to Marakele this weekend... here's a plot of my Marakele tracks using Google Earth.
Just thought you guys might find this interesting.
cheers.

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Imberbe
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Unread post by Imberbe »

Just came back from Marakele (2005-11-01). :(

They had a big fire and most of the Mountain area has burnt. Around 70% of the park! The fire was started by lightning and also fire jumping the fence from the neighbours. It is also very dry, though there still is enough drinking water for the animals.

There were no serious animal losses, and there still is enough food available. But rain is needed soon!

The visit was wonderful as Marakele always is! We saw the most interesting plants, animals, insects etc. And the view from the top can't be beaten! :D

A quick tip: If you really want to enjoy Marakele, get out of your car and take a bushwalk with the rangers! Book at reception! It is worth every cent, times ten! :wink:
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Imberbe
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MARAKELE NEWS

Unread post by Imberbe »

There has recently been a few interesting happenings at Marakele.

Firstly the new Park Manager has been appointed as of December 2005. He is Hendrick Mugwabana. He was the previous ranger at Lower Sabie in KNP.

Secondly one of the three Lions has been shot. Three males were released in to Marakele to establish their territory, before the fences with Welgevonden were to be dropped and the Welgevonden Lions would be able to enter Marakele. The one kept on breaking out of Marakele and had to be shot.

The Lion was found to be in a poor condition, with very little of his teeth left. He was thus not able to fend for himself, and were searching for easy prey outside the park.

Thirdly it seems that the fence with Welgevonden will be dropped early in 2006! This means that there will be more space for the animals to roam. It also means that the 38 Lion and more than 100 elephant currently in Welgevonden, will have free range of Marakele. Good prospects of good sightings! :D
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Unread post by Imberbe »

:( Some bad news! The dropping of the fence has been postponed to 2007. Apparently there is a possibility of some kind of sickness in the Buffalo which first has to be sorted! :cry:
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

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Marakele: Total lunar eclipse

Unread post by freespirit »

2007 total lunar eclipse

This past weekend, May 3/4, parts of the world were treated to one of nature's most spectacular performances: a full lunar eclipse. It occurred late during the night of Saturday and early morning Sunday.

Overcast skies hindered Pretoria and Joburg but fortunately I found myself at Marakele National Park, near Thabazimbi. A few clouds early in the evening caused me some worry but by the time of the eclipse I found myself staring up at a crystal clear sky and smiling widely. I slept outside the entire night admiring the view and feeling blessed to witness such a spectacular show.

Lunar eclipses are more common than solar eclipses. A total lunar eclipse can only happen when the moon is full. It occurs when the sun, the earth and the moon are in alignment and the moon passes into the shadow of the earth. The moon does not disappear, but it becomes much darker and even appears as a coppery or reddish colour. As the moon becomes dark, one can see all the stars around that the moon that are not normally visible.

The last total lunar eclipse was in October 2004. The next show visible in Southern Africa is on February 21, 2008. I highly recommend that you sacrifice some sleep and witness one of nature’s great shows.

Kimberly Anderson
(reporting for Free Spirit Safari)

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Unread post by dianne »

I was also at Marakele and will post a few pics...this weekends event was I hope the first of many-the talk was informative, the moon was spectacular...and Marakele is magnificent. I stayed at Tlopi on the Sat night-I felt like I had the moon all to myself...also met some great people there, including a lady who's family had owned the farm that now forms part of Marakele 100 years ago-i have some pictures from her as well-absolute classics, dating from about 1912 I think...I also met three gentlemen from the mines in Thabazimbi who have found refuge in this park, a family of about12 who decided the book the tents the park had cleverly pitched and stay the night- I was impressed with how the park management found them bedding etc...

I was in a little opel corsa lite, which meant that some of the roads were off limits-but i can't wait to return ;)

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Unread post by DuQues »

Some information I received today:

The tunnel connecting the Kwaggasvlakte section and main section is as good as finished.
The main purpose is to allow visitors to access both portions of the Park without driving outside the Park and to avoid visitors opening gates for themselves as happened a lot.
Game might go through the subway in the long run but SANParks are not intending to fence off Bontle camping site as this will change the visitors expectation completely. (If there is a need they will go through a public participation process.)

The internal roads of the Kwaggasvlakte portion and three of the 4x4 roads at the main portion of the Park have been upgraded.
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Marakele Information

Unread post by Fhatuwani »

The good news is the road network development in Marakele has been completed and Park management is looking forward to link the two portions of the Park in two weeks time, visitors are not longer going to drive outside to access the main park.

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Mountain Biking Near Marakele

Unread post by Trelawney »

I like to combine a camping trip with a Mountain Biking excursion if at all possible.

In early July we camped at the Bontle camp site at Marakele and I went out the one morning on a Mountain Biking ride starting outside the main gate, off into the mountains nearby, i.e. cycling north east from Thabazimbi.

I thought I should at least share the experience in case others also wish to combine their camping trips with some offroad adventure in the Marakele region ?

I cycled north east from the gate, after 2 kms the tar ends and you go straight across the 4 way stop onto a dirt road, this leads to the old gate to the main part of Marakele.

The dirt road to this old gate is currently seriously corrugated, almost impossible but only for a couple of kms ... as soon as you pass the old gate it smooths out and you get to climb a 400 metre mountain pass ... just remember to keep your lungs in your chest at this point :-)

I was looking for a 60 km route and soon realised there were no side roads for me to take and hence at 27.7 km I turned around and backtracked, not ideal but I managed a 55 km cycle through some of the most beautiful terrain the Waterberg has to offer.

At one point as I was nearing the top of the pass on my way back I realised I was being circled up above by 2 vultures ... maybe they knew something I didn't ?!

If I had continued on my route and looked for a circular route I would have reached Rankins Pass and then returned to Marakele some 100-120 km later, not quite my distance so I was relieved I did in fact have the sense to turn around ! Maybe someone with decent GPS software can tell me how far the full circular route would have been ?
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Activities in and around Marakele N.P.

Unread post by mh_baer »

Hi forum members,

we will be staying in Marakele N.P. :dance:

Marakele's Activity-Page http://www.sanparks.org/parks/marakele/tourism/activities.php says:
Night drives and guided trails are being planned - please enquire at Reception.
Morning Bush walks *
Sunset Drives *
* Please note that these can only be booked at Reception in the Park and are subject to the availability of qualified staff, thus, they may not be always available.


Does anyone have information and experience about these activities?

As we're staying for almost three weeks :-) (and walking is almost impossible in Marakele), what other activities in the proximimity would you recommend to use our muscles...? Do you have recommendations for bike rentals, is it possible to go golfing/ swimming in any of the surrounding areas/ Lodges???

Any hint would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
Last edited by mh_baer on Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marakele National Parks

Unread post by Imberbe »

Marakele is wonderful and worth a visit! Great animals and beautiful scenery. Do go to "the towers" on the top of the mountain!

It has a lovely picnic site, with braai facilities, the works.

Directions: Aim for Thabazimbi. (From Bela bela you will join the Brits Thabazimbi road at Koedoeskop and turn right) Drive straight through the town without turning from the road that led you there. (In other words do not go in to the CBD.) Marakele National Park is on that road approx. 10km outside town to your left. Can't miss it. Do not be misled by developments surrounding Marakele with similar names.

(You can also go via Rooiberg. This is a gravel road and joins the tar road just 1km on the other side of Marakele NP. This is an excellent road, but since you are new to the area, rather take the Brits Thabazimbi tar road.)

You won't regret it!
:mrgreen:
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"Wilderness cannot be conquered, it becomes part of you and enriches your soul." - Louis

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Re: Marakele National Parks

Unread post by Toddelelfe »

Yes it is a wonderful small park, and scenery from 2 Towers is great!
Completed mission means next mission is on the way :D
The next flight is booked :doh: :wall: 16.02. - 02.03.2024 :dance: to KNP :D
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Re: Marakele National Parks

Unread post by Cassius »

Hi Woodlin

Even thou you never had a chnace to visit Marakele as you would wish her is the additional information about the Parks perhaps you could visit at some point these 2009

Marakele National Park 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.


Park Proclamation

Marakele is one of the younger national parks in South Africa initiated in 1986 and proclaimed in 1994 as a park it was fist known as Kransberg National Park


Tourism Attractions

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

Special Features

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

One is also in the proximity of the vulture colony and these large birds will soar past at close quarters.

Accommodation in Marakele National Park

Bontle Camping Site

38 campsites with power points arranged into 3 clusters with one communal ablution block per cluster

Tlopi Tented Camp

With furnish tented units overlooking the banks of the Apiesrivierpoort Dam. Each tent has two beds (Two stretchers are available which are more suitable for children) private bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator/freezer, two –plate stove and electricity. Each tent has a veranda with table and deck
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Marakele - comments and queries

Unread post by Hippotragus »

Spent 3 nights at Tlopi Tented Camp last weekend. It was our first visit to Marakele and we didn't know quite what to expect (had some ideas from the Forum). What a wonderful place!! Had quite a heavy frost Sat night/Sun morning - luckily took extra blankets from home.

Sat morning went for a drive on the short 4x4 road - comment: it really is 4x4 only and high clearance. My bakkie managed fine but smaller or non-4x4 would battle. Although the guys at Reception pointed the 4x4 track out on the map, there were no signs at the beginning of the track, warning people that is is only 4x4. I can imagine people going down there by accident and then getting into trouble.

Back to camp to sit and watch a breeding herd of 20+ elephants drinking at the dam just in front of our tent. What a wonderful sight.

Sunday morning: up to the view site. What an amazing road and well worth going up - even though it was freezing up there. Only saw 2 vultures, though.

Question: what is Modikela Bush Camp?? Understand it is where the original tented camp was situated. What is it now? Can one book it? If so, how?

On Monday morning got up fairly early, packed and left the camp - vowing to return as soon as possible. Got to the electric gate at the tunnel - dead! Luckily there was cell phone reception there and phoned Reception. Very pleasant chaps came along with key to put gate on manual. Comment: put a sign at gate to say "if gate not working, please phone ......."

All in all, the park is a gem and is well worth a visit/s.
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