Marakele National Park


  3 reviews
Rhino in South Africa
Rhino in South Africa
About Marakele National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
670 km² (260 mi²)
Year established:
1994
Anti-malarial:
Not required
Park wildlife:
  • Four of the big five to be found here, including the white and the black rhinoceros.
  • Home to a colony of endangered Cape vultures.
  • A refuge to the Tuli elephants.
  • Offers amazing views from Waterberg masiff.

Marakele National Park is located in South Africa’s picturesque Limpopo Province. Set in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, its Tswana name means ‘the place of sanctuary’. When opened in 1994 it was shortly known as Kransberg National Park. Since its founding days it expanded to 670 km² (260 mi²). An abundance of wildlife can be found here, as the park is positioned in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa.

The park is home to four of the big five. Elephants, lions, white and black rhinos and leopards all live within this natural sanctuary, surrounded by vegetation that has a prehistoric feel to it. Tree ferns, 5-meter-high cycads, and rare species of yellowwood and cedar trees all grow here. The highlights of a visit include sightings of the endangered Cape vultures, which can be encountered if driving to Sentech Tower. More than 800 breeding pairs have settled in Marakele and a sighting offers a breath-taking experience of a special kind. 14 of the notorious ‘Tuli elephants’ - babies that were captured in Botswana and then held in horrible conditions - were released into Marakele National Park, after a prolonged legal and media battle. They are considered the lucky ones of the Tuli elephants and have integrated well into the Marakele herd. Rarely seen species of antelope can be found in Marakele, including reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, eland and tsessebe, as well as the spiral-horned kudu. The scenery in the park is stunning and can be best appreciated if driving to the top of the Waterberg massif. Near the camps, chacma baboons and vervet monkeys can be observed in their mischievous interactions with the environment.

Marakele is best known for bird watching, game drives, bush walks and the 4x4 eco trail. Both morning and sunset drives are available. The park has several campsites; Tlopi tented camp offers a tent with wheelchair access.

When to visit Marakele National Park?

Summers are hot but not as humid as other regions of the eastern Lowveld. Heavy thunderstorms or soft rains bring the much needed rainfall throughout summer. Winters are moderate with pleasant day temperatures and frost only occurs in the low-lying areas. Between the 1st of May to 31st of August the park is open between 6 AM and 5.30 PM. The opening hours are extended until 6 PM between the 1st of September and 30th of April.

 

 

Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 02, 2015   |   Visited: Aug 2015.
A habitat restoration and wildlife repopulation success story, Marakele National Park is also amongst South Africa's most scenic. With the dramatic Waterberg massif as its backdrop, the park is home to the big five, and much, much more. At 120,000 hectares, there is no shortage of places to explore, whether on game drives, on the water, or on foot (guided, of cours... read more
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9 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Feb 11, 2015   |   Visited: May 2014.
Having spent years exploring South Africa's iconic national parks and wildlife private reserves, I wasn't sure what to expect when the More Properties family invited me to stay at their newest property, Marataba in the Marakele National Park.

Who knew what awaited! And if I did, I would have stayed longer that is for sure. From the moment we arrived, the servi... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:

(4/5 stars) Written on: Nov 04, 2014   |   Visited: Jan 2010.
Marakele is one of the smaller and lesser visited national parks in South Africa. It’s located relatively close to Johannesburg (about a four-hour drive), so it can make a nice weekend trip for travelers to Johannesburg who don’t have time for a more far flung safari.

Marakele is now a big five reserve after the translocation of a herd of buffalo in 2013. When I... read more
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10 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 9 / 10
A sanctuary to four of the big five, including black and white rhinos!
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Articles about the Marakele

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Pangolin
Pangolin
Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros
Cheetah
Cheetah
Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
African caracal
African caracal
See a complete list

Getting to Marakele

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Bush walks
Bush walks
Game drives
Game drives
Photography
Photography

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