Marakele National Park
Marakele National Park boasts an impressive diversity of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes.
Majestic mountains, grassy hills and deep gorges typify this park in the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere. Some of the rare plant species found here includes exceptional yellowwood and cedar trees, enormous cycads and tree ferns.
Along with the prospect of exciting elephant, white and black rhino, lion and leopard sightings, there are an amazing variety of birds to be seen. This includes the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures in the world – Marakele is home to more than 800 breeding pairs. Drive up to the Sentech Towers for awesome close encounters with these massive vultures.
Kudu bulls with their magnificent spiral horns are often spotted at Marakele. Other less common antelope species include mountain reedbuck, eland, reedbuck and tsessebe.
Things to do near
Marakele National Park
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Mountain Biking Trails
Thabazimbi (28.4 km from Marakele National Park)
Thabankwe offers 300 hectares of rugged, rocky terrain for both extreme and amateur bikers and hikers. The reserve has a wide variety of wildlife and bird species. Trails are clear and maps are available.
Vaalwater (29.4 km from Marakele National Park)
Savannah Horse Trails offer multi day horse riding safaris amongst wildlife in the Waterberg Mountains. This scenically diverse landscape of open savannah plains, river valleys and panoramic mountainous views offers an exhilarating riding experience. Horses are responsive, well-trained, happy and healthy horses; tack is in excellent condition.
Vaalwater (31.2 km from Marakele National Park)
At just a three-hour drive from OR Tambo International Airport, Welgevonden Game Reserve is a sought after Big Five game reserve bordering the Marekele National Park in the Waterberg Biosphere. What makes it even more attractive is that it is malaria-free.
Meaning ‘well found’, Welgevonden is a mountainous place of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and awesome birdlife that captures the essence of true wilderness.
Home to white rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo, the reserve also has cheetah, sable, gemsbok, giraffe, bush pig, pangolin, warthog, black-backed jackals and many antelope species.
At night you have the chance of spotting rare and unusual animals such as brown hyena, aardwolf and aardvark.
With over 250 bird species including rare blue cranes, the reserve is also a birder’s dream. Welgevonden also features some superb, delicate Bushman rock paintings.
Visit Welgevonden for amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, an authentic wilderness experience and a wonderful sense of the spirit of Africa.
Mountain Biking Trails
Thabazimbi (33.4 km from Marakele National Park)
Are you up for an exhilarating 50 km challenge in prime mountain biking heaven? Whether its single track, a roller-coaster downhill, a demanding zigzag uphill, a technical climb, or a pioneering riverside and kloof tracks, Grootfontein has it all!
Book a stay at Grootfontein Private Nature Reserve and ride for free. R100 for day visitors.
Thabazimbi (36.5 km from Marakele National Park)
Tee off on a scenic bushveld course on the greens accompanied by lovely ancient trees, abundant wildlife and birds.
Situated alongside Ben Alberts Nature Reserve and just eight kilometres from Thabazimbi on the Rustenburg road, Thabazimbi Golf Course is home to the annual Billie of the Bushveld Tournament.
The 9-hole course is designed by Glen Strydom and renowned Peter Matkovich, featuring bent grass greens, 18 Kikuyu tees and kweek fairways. Practice facilities, a mini pro shop, carts and caddies are available.
Visitors are welcome to play a round or two every day. Open Monday to Saturday 07:00 – 20:00, Sunday and Public Holidays 08:00 – 18:00. For bookings call +27 (0)14 777 1839.
Thabazimbi (37.3 km from Marakele National Park)
Visit one of Limpopo’s wildest secrets
Situated in the Waterberg Biosphere, a leading South African wildlife area, this small 2 000-hectare reserve is home to impressive amount of wildlife.
At Ben Alberts Nature Reserve you can easily spot white rhino, giraffe, kudu, blue wildebeest, eland, zebra, warthog and an awesome variety of birdlife including the endangered Cape Vulture. A visit to the Vulture Restaurant is always exciting, especially if you get involved in feeding these large raptors.
Characterised by low mountain ranges and open savannah, Ben Alberts Nature Reserve and the Waterberg features grassland, steep gorges and crystal pools. The entire environment is perfect for game viewing, hiking, bird watching and mountain biking.
Rooiberg (46.2 km from Marakele National Park)
Rooiberg Golf Club is surrounded by game farms and offers a typical bushveld experience. Par Rating:72
Lephalale (Ellisras) (48.9 km from Marakele National Park)
Popular with water sports enthusiasts, anglers, families, birders and photographers alike, the Mokolo Dam Nature Reserve’s major attraction is boating.
Almost a quarter of the picturesque malaria-free 4 600-hectare reserve is taken up by water when the dam is full.
Dramatic cliffs and precipitous hills run down to the water’s edge, presenting fabulous backdrops for photographers.
Boat based bird watching along the shoreline also offers excellent photo opportunities.
Families will find numerous lovely picnic spots and fishing around the dam.
Vaalwater (53.1 km from Marakele National Park)
Equus Horse Safaris operates on Equus Reserve in horse-riding heaven, the Waterberg Mountains, one of South Africa's least explored wilderness areas. Here guests are given an enlightening, unique bush experience on horseback through one of the most exciting riding destinations in the world. The riding pace varies from quiet walks through a stunning mountainous landscape and thick bush on the lookout for birds and game, to long trots and canters where the terrain is easy.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (57.6 km from Marakele National Park)
Zebula Golf Course offers a superlative golfing experience on a Peter Matkovich designed golf course.
Teeing off on this pristine 1 200-hectare bushveld estate is a considerable pleasure with its wildlife spectators, tranquility and vast open spaces.
Giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, gemsbok, Nyala, impala, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, warthog, bushpig and many more species could be watching while you hit an ace.
Combining the wonders of golf with wildlife and the quintessential African environment is the fulfilment of a long standing dream for Peter Matkovitch.
Designed to blend unobtrusively into the bush, Zebula also adheres to eco-sensitive development guidelines. Other celebrated Peter Matkovitch courses are Leopard Rock, Spier, Steenberg and Arabella, the highest ranked new course in South Africa.
Zebula Country Club also features a restaurant, cocktail bar, TV lounge, swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium, Jacuzzi, squash court and tennis courts.
Vaalwater (57.8 km from Marakele National Park)
Almost the size of the Kruger National Park, the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve has it all.
Close encounters with amazing wildlife, vast open spaces, rich biodiversity and the romance of the bushveld contribute to an unforgettable African wilderness experience.
This magical part of South Africa offers discoveries as diverse as its visitors – fascinating people and places are all within easy reach.
Stretching from Marakele National Park in the south west to Wonderkop Nature Reserve in the north east of Limpopo, the reserve houses an immense treasure of archaeological, cultural, and biological diversity.
The small town of Vaalwater serves as the gateway to this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve characterized by undulating hills and endless views.
Explore it on foot, horseback or in your vehicle – you won’t forget it!
Vaalwater (58.1 km from Marakele National Park)
Horizon Horseback Safaris offers riders two guided experiences on some of the most spectacular wildlife farms in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The emphasis is on quality wildlife viewing on well trained and cared for horses with Horizon guides. Horses are chosen to suit each guest’s ability from the large ranch herd.
Vaalwater (58.3 km from Marakele National Park)
If you’re in Vaalwater looking for unusual handmade products made by locals look no further than Kamotsogo Craft Art.
Although the artwork is contemporary, inspiration is drawn heavily from numerous African aesthetics and cultures.
This wonderful empowerment initiative of the Clive Walker Foundation continues contributing to the meaningful improvement of lives and families within the local community.
Originally established in 2006, this social investment plan nurtures employment opportunities and empowers women through the production, marketing and sales of their unique merchandise.
Four By Four Trails
Vaalwater (59.3 km from Marakele National Park)
This 4 x 4 (or 4 x 2) trail features escape routes with rocky and mountainous terrain to navigate. During winter the trail can get very muddy. This is a trail that you will definitely not fall asleep behind the wheel.
Rated 3 to 5.
Bela Bela (Warmbaths) (59.8 km from Marakele National Park)
Ready for a mind-blowing experience with elephants in Bela Bela?
More than the usual 'touch and feed' elephant experience; Adventures With Elephants provide thrilling hands-on interactions for kids and adults with their wonderfully tame elephants.
Learn more about elephants and witness their intelligence, compassionate nature and delight in interacting with their human companions. Friendly, experienced and qualified elephant handlers share their in-depth knowledge and passion for their charges.
Choose experiences ranging from Swims on the Elephants, Elephants Interactions, Elephant-back Safaris, Starlight Safaris or tailor-made activities including weddings, teambuilding, corporate functions and filming.
Adventures With Elephants is located on a stunning wildlife reserve situated just an hour and a half drive north from Pretoria, adjacent to Zebula Country Club.
+27 (0) 14 734 7700