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Marakele National Park

Marakele National Park



+27 (0) 14 777 6929/6928



Poaching Hotline:

+27 (0) 800 205 005


Size:  67,000 ha / 670 km2

Nearest major city:  Johannesburg (3h30 approx by car)

Species Numbers:  96 Mammals        418 Birds        62 Reptiles

Big Five:  Yes


  • - Malaria-free
  • - Excellent diversity of birds
  • - Beautiful mountain scenery for great photo opportunities
  • - South Africa’s second largest breeding colony of Cape vultures

One of the newer national parks in the country, Marakele National Park was proclaimed as the Kransberg National Park in 1994, before changing to its current Tswana name, which means “Place of Sanctuary”. It’s the only national park situated on the vast highveld of South Africa, the massive plateau that begins in the Drakensberg in the east and extends westwards across the subcontinent at an altitude of at least 1,000 metres.

The park conserves part of the Waterberg mountain range, which rises a kilometre above the plateau to around 2,088 metres, offering a completely different experience to any other national park. Views of the high cliffs of the Waterberg are omnipresent, while on the woody plains below wildlife like impala, wildebeest and white rhino wander through acacia woodland and grassy patches.

The contrast between Marakele National Park and the local mining town of Thabazimbi just a few kilometres to the south-west is immense; the park is home to elephants, rhino (both white and black), lion, kudu and Cape vulture. The Waterberg’s population of these endangered birds numbers 800 breeding pairs.