Marakele National Park

Marakele National Park – the Setswana name meaning “Place of Sanctuary” – traces its existence to the proclamation of a 150km² tract of the Waterberg as the Kransberg National Park in 1986. Over the years, more land was added and today the expanded protected area known as the Marakele National Park covers 670km² of bushveld plains and soaring mountains.

Without a doubt the highlight of a visit to Marakele is the vista from Lenong Viewpoint high up on the mountain.

Marakele’s name is well deserved, considering that it is home to 91 kinds of mammals (including the famed “Big 5), 363 kinds of birds (including an important colony of Cape Vultures), at least 62 species of reptiles, 27 amphibians and as many as 20 species of fish.

The South African National Parks provides a range of overnight options to suit almost every taste and budget in the malaria-free Marakele National Park. Bontle Rest Camp is located just a kilometre into the Park, very near the main gate and reception office. Here guests can camp in their own tents and caravans or rent one of the fully self-contained safari tents that sleep either 2 or 4 people. The camp is unfenced and regularly visited by various kinds of animals and birds. Guided drives and walks can be arranged through the reception office, and a swimming pool was added to the camp’s facilities in March 2023.

Motswere Cottage, in a remote woodland corner of the Park, is the most secluded option available to overnight guests. It is a revamped farmhouse that can accommodate groups of up to 8 guests.

Motswere Cottage, Marakele National Park

Tlopi Tented Camp is Marakele’s most popular accommodation option, with the ten two-bed tents (an additional stretcher is available for kids) situated beautifully on the bank of a dam that attracts a constant parade of wildlife day and night.

The Thutong Environmental Centre provides dormitory-style accommodation for up to 128 people and is ideal for big organised groups from family reunions to schools and church groups.

Remember that DeWetsWild will gladly assist you with a reservation and planning if you’re interested in visiting Marakele National Park and making the most of your visit, whether you intend staying at Bontle, Tlopi, Motswere or Thutong.

Marakele National Park is within easy reach of Gauteng’s major urban centres, lying just 220km north of Pretoria along good tarred roads. The town of Thabazimbi, just 10km from Marakele’s gate, provides all the necessary amenities one might need, from shops and fuel stations to medical facilities. Inside the Park guests are able to explore along a network of rough gravel roads, with the route up to Lenong viewpoint being the only stretch of tarred road in the Park.


23 thoughts on “Marakele National Park

  1. wetanddustyroads

    Dis altyd verstommend hoe die kleure van ‘n landskap verander met sonopkoms en sonsondergang – jou foto’s wys dit so mooi. En natuurlik is die diere foto’s net so mooi (ek hou veral van daardie lip-lekkende leeu en die renosters se boude met daardie wegstappie 😉). My gunsteling … julle vuurtjie se rook oor die dam – dit bring ‘n geselligheid wat mens nie sommer op enige ander plek kry nie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Die bekendste van die spruite in die Park, en hulle is almal eintlik maar klein strome, is die Matlabas, Ineke. Die Park se suid-oostelike hoek is net buite Thabazimbi, en dit strek van daar so halfte van die pad na Vaalwater se kant toe.


      1. de Wets Wild Post author

        Mapungubwe and Marakele combined could work for you too then! Just avoid the route via Swartwater when traveling from the one to the other. Even though every map, printed or online, shows it as a tarred road, a good 60km of it is not even good enough to call a road, nevermind a tarred one.


  2. lois

    The gossiping monkeys and rhinos out for a stroll…both such cute and funny photos. I keep going back to them and smiling.
    ‘Free roaming dangerous animals’–have there ever been any near disasters?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Amazingly, Lois, I don’t think there has been any serious altercations at Bontle between campers and animals – I think people heed the signs! And that is amazing as we’ve even seen rhinos strolling among the tents!

      Liked by 1 person


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