About Marakele National Park

The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, only 2 and a half hours from Pretoria (223,7 km on the R511), has become a 'place of sanctuary' for a vast variety of wildlife mainly due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moist eastern regions of South Africa.

Did you know? Situated in the Waterberg mountain range, Marakele National Parks distinct landscape offers everything from ragged mountains to lavish grasslands and deep valleys. You could probably shoot a fantasy epic like Lord of the Rings there and never have to leave.

The Marakele National Park is characterised by contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys. Rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five metre high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. All the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as an amazing variety of birds including the largest colony of endangered Cape Vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here.

Marakele is home to most of the large mammals synonymous with the African bush, including elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard and cheetah. Lion and spotted hyena are the only large predators found in the Marakele park.

Resident antelope include, sable, kudu, eland, impala, waterbuck, tsessebe and many smaller species. Chacma baboon and Vervet monkey are two species to be watched carefully for mischief, particularly around the rest camps.

One of the Park’s biggest birding attractions is one of the largest colony of Cape Vultures in the world (more than 800 breeding pairs). However this national park is also appealing to birders as it falls within the transition zone between the dry western regions and the moister eastern regions of the country. The Marakele National park is an excellent place to look for raptors, with many species using the uplift generated off the cliff faces of the Waterberg to sore on the thermals.

Apart from the vultures, visitors should look for Gymnogene, Jackal Buzzard and several eagle species, including Black Eagle, African Hawk, Black-breasted Snake and Brown Snake Eagle. In summer Wahlberg’s Eagle becomes prominent. On areas of high ground Cape Rock Thrush, Mocking and Mountain Chat, Malachite and Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Swee Waxbill should be searched for.

Other species to look out for in the lower lying bushveld and broadleaf woodland regions include Purple Roller, Black Cuckooshrike, Brubru, Whitecrowned Shrike and White Helmetshrike and the exquisite Blue Waxbill, Violeteared and Blackcheeked Waxbills. Bee-eaters are conspicuous, particularly Whitefronted and Little with Swallowtailed (winter) and Carmine and European (summer) present as well.

Need to Know

WhereMarakele National Park, Thabazimbi, Waterberg Region, Bushveld, Limpopo, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

OvernightStay in Waterberg Accommodation, Limpopo

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