User Reviews – Marakele NP

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Overall rating

Wonderful place and very professional Guide in Marataba Safari Lodge.

Scenic zero big 5
Overall rating

Beautiful but a complete lack of animals in the Big 5 section...not even common animals.

For lovers of nature and relax
Overall rating

Staying at Tlopi tented camp it felt so relaxed, surrounded by pure nature, observing birds and wild animals drinking at the waterpool, fabulous sundown and sunset and a clear starfull night. It felt so nice this solitude yet richness of nature. The safari from gate to the camp was a wonderful ride with all the zebra's, impala's, monkeys around. The accomodation was with all the comfort the visitor needs.

Overall rating

The scenic beauty is the best of this place

Marakele- worth the trip
Overall rating

Marakele , has been one of my favourites national park i've been to .
the park in , 2 parts : once is more rocky mountain, with stunning view on surrounding, and the other part more flat .
The wildlife for ones who loves mamal has been great : kudu, white rhino, antelope is really lovely.
The tented camp is great and well situated , You can enjoy, very early morning , animals coming to drink, while you'll hear sometimes fishing eagle.
i overall rate it as excellent, and also considering that kind of camp and price range.

Overall rating

If you are in the vacinity it may be nice to spend two or three hours here. It's in quite a nice part of the country as far as the scenery goes. But please keep in mind this is a subjective rating and others may have had a greatly different experience.

Greatest experience ever
Overall rating

Every thing during our stay was fantastic. From the accommodation (tlopi tented camp) to the warm welcome from every employee we met, not forgetting the wild life and great sceneries.
Thanks to our guide Tinyiko, we almost saw all the big fives. We had the chance, the first evening and next morning at the camp, to see a group of more than 20 elephants of all ages, come and stay two hours by the pound side, drinking, bathing, playing. It has been the most beautiful show we ever saw.
The evening dinners cooked on the braai was perfect, with the wild as soundtrack for this three nights / four days stay.
We would highly recommend this national park to anyone dreaming of wildness, peace and beauty.

Marakele National Park is a hidden gem with magical scenery and good selection of wildlife.
Overall rating

My visit to Marakele took place at the end of September 2015. This is typically considered near the end of the dry season. The temperatures are above 30 degrees celsius daily with little to no sign of rain. The surrounding vegetation is quite dry, although leaves are starting to sprout with the advent of the coming summer. This means that the vegetation is not too thick enabling you to spot the animals further away from your vehicle than you otherwise would when everything is green and vibrant. Its also a good time to frequent waterholes in the morning and evening because water is still scarce and animals tend to congregate at the waterholes for their daily fill.

Marakele has a predator section and a non predator section. Camping is allowed at designated camp sites in the non-predator section. There are no fences around the camp sites so animals are free to walk through the camping area. This might sounds both exciting and scary, but what I noticed is that many campers are not used to this and do not respect the animals right to be there and try to chase them away when they come sniffing at the strange smells we humans bring. But its a lovely experience to see giraffes and rhino walking through the camp and the ability to grab the camera to get amazing photos. Additionally, Bontle Camp, where I stayed, has a waterhole alongside a wide plain that provides hours of peaceful wilflife entertainment where one can spend hours sitting and staring through binoculars. The non predator section has an abundnace of wildlife ranging from many species of buck, to more rare sightings of rhino and giraffe. Monkeys, babboons and warthogs are fairly prevalent too, as well as plenty of zebra and ostriches. There should be ample opportunity to spot most of these animals while driving through the park over the course of a few days.

The non-predator part of the park covers a small region of fairly flat savannah. The predator section takes you into the larger part of the park which is situated among some of the mountains making up the Waterberg mountain range. Most of the animals from the non-predator section can also be found in the predator section, but because of the larger area, sightings become more rare here. In addtion to the above, it is also possible to encounter lions, elephant and leopard. But these are rarer and they were mostly hanging around the single large dam which I, as a resident of the Bontle camping site, was off limits to me. But the most notable thing when driving into this part of the park are the high mountain peaks and craggy cliffs creating some amazing landscapes. The single tar road ends in a very beautiful scenic climb up one of the mountains ending at the top near a radio relay station with some spectacular views. Here you can also spend a while looking at the family of white backed vultures that fly gracefully around the valley and often come to glide above the viewpoint giving birders and photographers some great opportunities.

There is only one tarred road in the park. For the most part it is reasonably maintained except where it starts to rise up the side of the mountain leading up to the view point where you can encounter some tricky potholes. All other roads are dirt tracks of varying conditions. Most roads can easily be accessed by normal cars but some of the roads in the predator section are certainly uneven and can be very bumpy, and in some cases my require some careful navigation. There are a couple of marked 4x4 roads and certainly I wouldn't recommend low clearance cars trying them, but only the 4x4 track in the north eastern part of the park requires a capable 4x4 and a driver with some experience.
Overall the park is a lovely place and was not very busy when I was there, which is perfect. The guards and game rangers were friendly. Animals in the non-predator section were plentiful but the predator section was less eventful in this regard. But the spectacular scenery made up for that. Many of the local bird species appear in the park, of note are rollers, vultures and hornbill. Places like Pilanesburg probably have a higher density of animals, but Marakele has better scenery and certainly has its own charm that should not be ignored.

Beautiful landscapes, few animals
Overall rating

We visited the Park 4 years ago, so i don't know what's the current situation..
We spent a day in the park with our car, exploring a large part of it.
The park is divided into 2 zones, the first is flat, with a "bush" where you can easily see impala, wildebeest, warthog (and according to the rangers at the entrance, not seen rhinos ...).
In the second area the road becomes bumpy, the landscape becomes more mountainous and they told us that we should be able to see the "big four" (except the lion), but on a full day of search we have seen just some kudus and zebras ...
You could see on the road very recent traces of the passage of elephants and rhinos (droppings and broken branches), but it's amazing that even waiting for a long time we didn't heard or saw anything ...
Maybe because of the dense and narrow vegetation near the road ... but also from the high ground with binoculars we couldn't see anything on the move.
However the views are spectacular in the mountains, including the long, steep climb up to the top of the massif of Waterberg, where you should be able to see the colonies of griffon vultures.

A memorable experience
Overall rating

Our first safari so nothing to compare it to but we had a lovely trip - enjoyed everything with no complaints

Average User Rating

  • 4.1/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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  • 2 star 1
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