Marakele National Park | South Africa Travel Tips & Reviews | Africa Point
Marakele National Park
Marakele National Park, South Africa
Marakele National Park
Tsessebe, Marakele National Park, South Africa
Marakele National Park
Gemsbok, Marakele National Park, South Africa
Marakele National Park
Protea Caffra, Marakele N.P., South Africa
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Marakele National Park


Big African skies, magnificent mountains and four of the Big Five are waiting to welcome you to the Marakele National Park. 


Get close to the largest breeding colony of Cape Vultures and enjoy the peace and solitude of this place of sanctuary; welcome to the Waterberg Biosphere.


Best Time to Visit:

All year destination – best game viewing in winter, July - August.

Average Visitor Rating:

5 out of 5 'Pawprints' Based on 0 Review(s)
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Magical Marakele 

As its Tswana name suggests, Marakele is a true “place of sanctuary” for a large variety of wildlife, as well as the visitor who would like a genuine African bush experience far from the usual crowds.  Marakele is less well-known than some of the other South African game reserves, but offers a great game viewing experience with the added benefit of being situated in a place of superb natural beauty.  The Waterberg Biosphere is in a transitional zone between the drier western parts of the country and the wetter eastern regions, making it the ideal home for a wide range of species.  Marakele is a malaria-free zone, and is home to all the Big Five except for Buffalo.  In addition there are many of the lesser-seen species of antelope and an enormous diversity of birdlife including some rare or endangered species.


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Sensational Scenery, Vultures and other Highlights


It is the spectacular contrast of scenery in Marakele that sets this National Park apart.  Instead of the usual dry savannah and Bushveld, here you have African wildlife set against a dramatic backdrop of majestic mountains, verdant green hills and deep valleys, rivers, lakes and some very unique flora in the form of Yellow Wood and Cedar trees and enormous Cycads and Tree Ferns.  


Cape Vulture Breeding Colony

Cape Vultures can regularly be seen drifting and soaring on the thermals throughout the park, but the highlight of your visit would be a drive up the Waterberg massif to the Sentech Towers, which is the closest accessible point to the large breeding colony of nearly 800 pairs of these endangered birds who have chosen to make a home for themselves in Marakele.  Here you have the opportunity to come face to face with one of these enormous raptors – an experience of a lifetime, and a must-do for all keen wildlife photographers.  Other raptors which can be observed enjoying the updraft created by the cliff faces are the African Harrier Hawk, the Jackal Buzzard and several Eagle species.


Predators and other Game

Elephant and Rhino sightings are common, and several species of predators can be found in Marakele, including Lion, Leopard and Brown Hyena.  Some of the antelope species that you will be able to tick off your list are Sable, Kudu, Impala, Waterbuck and some of the smaller and less-frequently seen species such as Reedbuck and Tsessebe.



Safaris in Marakele

Although it is possible to drive yourself around Marakele, the roads are more easily navigated in a high-clearance 4X4 vehicle, and you will be much better off going on an organised safari with a knowledgeable guide.  Early morning and late afternoons are the best times to see the animals on the move, and there are a few places where you can observe them coming to drink at one of the dams or waterholes.  On a guided game drive your ranger will know the best places to go to see the most game which will increase your chances of spotting one of the predators.


It is also possible to go on a guided morning or sunset bushwalk, a truly thrilling bush experience with the possibility of a surprise around every corner!



Other Activities in and around Marakele

Although Marakele National Park is primarily all about bird and wild-life viewing, there are some other activities for you to enjoy within about 60kms of the Park:



Zebula Country Club is an amazing bushveld golf course that has been built on a former game farm and you have a good chance of seeing many animal species while playing your 18 holes – a really unique African golfing experience. (57.6kms)


Mountain Biking

Enjoy an exhilarating biking adventure over rugged terrain on one of the Mountain Bike trails, which are suitable for all levels.


Horse Safaris

There are two venues where you can go on a horse-back safari through this beautiful landscape.



Accommodation at Marakele National Park

Accommodation inside the Marakele Park is limited to two camping sites, one suitable for caravans and motor homes while the second is a rustic tented camp.  However, there are several options for accommodation just outside the Park, to suit all tastes and budgets.   In the Marataba concession area, a private reserve within Marakele, there is a very luxurious lodge offering a state of the art safari experience with all the 5 star bells and whistles, including the option of a chartered flight into the reserve.



How to Get There

You can get to Marakele by road in about 4 hours from Johannesburg and 3 hours from Tshwane (Pretoria).


Chartered flights are available from Johannesburg to the Marakele airstrip if you are staying at the Marataba concession Lodge.



Best Time to Visit

Marakele is a great year-round destination.  Game viewing is always better in the drier winter months (July – August) when the grass is shorter, and spring (September – October) is the best time to see baby animals.


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