If you thought we were a bit quiet over the Easter Weekend you’d be right, as we disappeared into the Marakele National Park in the Waterberg Mountains of the Limpopo Province, celebrating the cornerstone of our Chrisitian faith with good friends and family surrounded by awesome scenery and beautiful wildlife.
Welcome to Marakele National Park
The full moon rising over the Waterberg (photo by Joubert)
Early morning at Marakele
The view from the road to the top of Lenong Viewpoint on the mountain
Everlastings thrive on the mountain
Impressive cliffs looming over Thutong
The view from the top of Lenong Viewpoint on the mountain
The plains and Tlopi Dam below Mbidi Loop
Marakele afternoon sun
Common Sugarbush bud (photo by Joubert)
View over the valley and Waterberg range from Thutong
Marakele’s such a treasure chest of diverse wildlife that it is hard to decide what to show and what to leave out. Let’s start then with a few of the “creepy crawlies” that we encountered while exploring the Park.
Adult Blotched Antlion
Broad-bordered Grass Yellow
Common Orange Tip butterfly (male)
Zebra White butterfly
Two-spotted Ground Beetle
A Velvet Ant female – the females are flightless
Flattie Spider against a bathroom wall
Grass Funnel-web Spider
Baby Turner’s Giant Gecko
Turner’s Giant Gecko
Speckled Rock Skink (photo by Joubert)
Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake
WIth Autumn now in full swing in South Africa most of the summer visiting migrant birds have departed for warmer environs already, but bird watching at Marakele over Easter was still a special treat!
Cape Robin Chat
Cape Rock Thrush (male)
Cape Vultures in flight over Marakele – the Park is home to the world’s biggest colony of these birds.
Emerald-spotted Wood Dove
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Lesser Striped Swallow
Long-tailed Paradise Whydah (shortly before molting)
Mocking Cliff-Chat male
Rock Kestrels in flight
What would a National Park be without some charismatic large mammals? Marakele certainly didn’t disappoint on that score, even though the lush vegetation following the rainy season did make game-viewing a bit trickier than usual.
Cantankerous Buffalo bull
Dassie (Rock Hyrax)
Dassie (Rock Hyrax)
Elephant visiting us at Thutong one night (caught on our camera-trap)
Elephant teenager showing off!
This elephant cow didn’t appreciate our presence one bit, even though we gave her plenty of space!
Kudu cow close-up
Majestic Kudu Bull
Lioness (photo by Joubert)
Young male lion at Marakele
Plains Zebra close-up
Vervet Monkey (photo by Joubert)
Altogether we spent 4 nights in Marakele on this trip, arriving late on the 18th and departing again on the morning of the 22nd of April 2019. When visiting Marakele in a big group there’s no better option than to stay at the Thutong Environmental Education Centre (as we did) in a remote corner of the Park.
Special friends and family sharing a beautiful piece of our country
Thutong Environmental Education Centre, Marakele NP, April 2019
We’ve covered Marakele extensively in previous posts on de Wets Wild, so why not have a read through all of them if you are interested to learn more about this magical piece of our country.