Marakele National Park
Marakele National Park
4
About
Valleys give way to grasslands and finally to mountains in this rolling, soaring wildlife sanctuary. Rare rhinos, African elephants, wild dogs and the prehistoric Cycad plants are among its amazing sights.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
172 reviews
Excellent
64
Very good
72
Average
23
Poor
7
Terrible
6

padayacheee@gmail.com
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Family
A majestic park with nature at its best. You get to enjoy the huge mountains, valleys, rivers , fauna and flora in abundance. Peaceful to take in. Almost visiting God's home.
Best was the drive up to Lenong Look out Post on top of the mountain. Driving up the pass requires skill. Not for the feint hearted. Once you are at the top its almost like being up Table Mountain. Refreshing amongst the clouds.
Written November 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HenriCloete
Trondheim, Norway220 contributions
Dec 2022
On a recent trip back home to South Africa, we visited Marakele National Park for the first time. We stayed at Tlopi Tented Camp, watching the finches build their nests around the dam and spotting a variety of kingfishers (I should also mention the very friendly room service). After good summer rains, the vegetation was very lush and game viewing difficult, but we were still rewarded by 6 rhino sightings (4 of them from very close) and 2 leopard sightings in our 5 days there. The drive up the mountain to the lookout point is also worth it for the view over the spectacular landscape of the park. We also really enjoyed how quiet the park was, despite visiting over Christmas.
Written January 28, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pieter N
Hartbeespoort, South Africa140 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
If you want your batteries charged and relax in pristine bushveld , camp here. Friendly people, clean ablutions and wonderful scenery…
Nothing to do for youngsters except enjoying the bush
Vervet monkeys a bit of a nuisance, they will try to get to foodstuffs, so be aware. Lots of wild animals and camp has very affordable rates…
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phill_Driver
Caboolture, Australia59 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
Marakele is a great little national park for scenery, but not much good for game viewing.
We stayed in Tlopi Tented Camp which was fabulous. This is camping at it's best. You have a large tent with bathroom and toilet, and a separate private kitchen. All of this is on a platform overlooking a dam.
We didn't see a lot of game at the dam, but I believe from time to time it can be quite productive.
The road up to the lookout is tar, but very narrow in places, where passing an oncoming vehicle can be challenging.
Unfortunately, most of the park is inaccessible, and we got the feeling that the majority of the game are probably in the areas we can't go.
There isn't a lot of road to game drive on. and the scrub in most of the accessible area is too dense to see much.
Read up as much information as you can find before you go, as there is some unusual things about the park.
Probably won't return, simply because we have done it once, and we would prefer the game of Kruger.
Written September 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim T
Bristol, UK6 contributions
Jan 2015 • Family
Good day, I am planning on a day trip to the Marekele national park in January (5th) and will be driving from the Bela Bela area, can any body advice where is the main entrance to this park, what will the roads conditions be like, what route (road number) is the best to take and can a normal sedan car drive up to view the vultures .

Many thanks
Tim
Written October 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

qoda
Johannesburg, South Africa29 contributions
Jan 2012 • Couples
All official literature on Marakele states implicitly that the park is a big 5 park and that the park has wild dogs, this turned out to be a lie.

I was told on arrival that the park that the wild dog had shipped off for Botswana, the parks two male lion keep escaping, the buffalo have been removed and you would be extremely lucky to see the elephant (which we were).

The camping facilities were good except that there is no swimming pool, nor are the ablution facilities kept clean.

For the price I would not recommend this park to anybody!
Written February 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pat W
Johannesburg, South Africa130 contributions
Apr 2012 • Friends
I just spent the weekend camping at this Big 5 national park. It is an amazing place with spectacular geological features, plenty of different eco zones and most importantly the worlds largest colony of breeding Cape Griffon Vultures. It is well worth a visit. We camped at the Bontle camp site. The ablutions were spotlessly clean and the reception staff helpful and friendly. We also looked at Tlopi tented camp. This camp is sited at a dam and the views are wonderful. I highly recommend it for a 3-4 day stay
Written April 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fnaughton
ireland168 contributions
THis is a fabulous little national park - a bit rundown, very basic, very few facilities and definitely far from luxurious. the place teems with insects, and I mean teems - lots of them, all shapes and colours, everywhere. But it's fabulously wild, and if you want to rough it slightly and see some real wilderness, this is the place for you. If you want a little luxury, good wine and fine dining, this isn't. I actually loved it, but it's not for everyone.
Written March 11, 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peabo75
Edinburgh, UK1 contribution
Feb 2012
Visited the Tlopi Tented Camp which was fabulously wild. Both nights we were woken up my monkeys on the fixed structure roof and baboons trying to steal food. Being this close to nature may be as exciting for you as it is for me, and if so you will enjoy this place. The accommodation is good but it is not luxury. The beds were comfortable, the shower hot, and the kitchen reasonably well-equipped. We saw a large number of animals (Monkeys, Baboons, Kudu, Impala, Tortoise, Monitor Lizard, Wildebeast, Zebra, etc) but none of the Big 5. The park claims to have 200+ elephants but in 2 days of driving around we failed to see any. The vastness of this park is difficult to explain, and whilst we were unlucky so were most of the people in tents around us. This is not 'shooting fish in a barrel' wildlife viewing ; every sighting should be cherished as you are in a truly wild locatity. I would recommend this place, but come with realisitic expectations of seeing zebras, baboons and plenty of different deer varieties ; if you then see any Big 5, particularly predators, you will feel very enriched. If this is your once in a lifetime trip to Africa to see BIg 5 I would suggest going somewhere with a higher animal to hectare proportion.
Written February 6, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

africanlover0691
Thabazimbi, South Africa2 contributions
Aug 2017 • Solo
I’ve been to Leo first as volunteer to learn about marketing and promotion and of course see the beautiful animals. The animals are great, the nature around and the location is just stunning.
The organisation is not great. The two managers, a Italian woman and an Afrikaans man, are a couple who work together, but they are not capable of putting their emotional feelings on a side when it comes to work. So during my first visit, every staff member who was working there, was planning to leave the project. They had internship with Bushwise, and even the students were leaving one by one.
The woman manager tries to keep every volunteer (especially Italians) close to her, worried that at some point she will end it up alone. In addition, when there is the opportunity to go out one evening to have something different to eat, she will have crisis since her boyfriend likes to drink alcohol and she doesn’t like that.
It happened when I was there that she started crying in front of everyone because he wanted to go to a party and she disagree.
He is really male focused, he likes to be bossy and imperative towards woman especially and volunteers. That creates sometimes really difficult situations, where the staff members are obliged to take control of the project to avoid volunteers to feel what is going on.
I know that because the second time I went there, I was working as camp coordinator, without salary, without off days and without the possibility to enjoy Africa for its animals and beauties.

The food was never enough, the volunteers are having two drives per day where it says they do research, but they just driving around looking for animals, and if the Marataba lodge has guests around they will have priority leaving the volunteers in the car waiting for their turn.

I wouldn’t call a volunteer project, but rather a cheap safari. That was my experience.
Written June 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 120
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Marakele National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)