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Marakele National Park reviews

3 reviews

Quiet park for self-drive safaris

Morgan
Visited: Jan 2010 Reviewed: Nov 04, 2014

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 was there I saw elephant, rhino, impressive kudu, ostrich, impala, zebra, warthog, klipspringer, and steenbok among others. However, the best sighting I had was of a huge rock monitor lizard, the biggest I’ve seen. Birding in the park is also very rewarding.

The landscape is beautiful—consisting of grassy plains, woodlands and imposing rock formations. One of the draw cards of Marakele is that it’s quiet, with relatively few visitors and amenities. There’s no shop or restaurant, so bring your own supplies, including charcoal or wood for a camp fire.

Accommodation is in safari tents in the Tlopi tented camp, a self-catering cottage, or at the Bontle camp site. I stayed in the latter and had a relaxing, quiet stay—exactly what you want when camping. Roads to the camp sites are accessible in a normal car, but four-wheel drive is necessary for several of the roads in the park.

A must-do on a visit to Marakele is to drive the narrow, winding road that takes you to the top of the Waterberg massif. The views are awesome, and your chances of seeing a Cape Vulture are quite good. Marakele is home to the largest breeding colony of these endangered birds in the world. The park literature claims that you will be in “close proximity” to the vulture colony, so I was a bit disappointed when I got to the top of the mountain and realized “close proximity” is a relative term. You can’t actually see the colony. Nonetheless, it’s nice to observe the huge birds soaring over the valley.

Marakele is definitely worth the trip if you want a quiet experience away from the crowds.

Quality of wildlife
Crowdedness
Quality of lodging
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* Crowded parks have a lower rating

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One of South Africa's most beautiful national parks

Gretchen
Visited: Aug 2015 Reviewed: Sep 01, 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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Who knew?!

Visited: May 2014 Reviewed: Feb 11, 2015

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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