We want to let you in on a little secret…
Deep in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains lies the secrets of the Marakele National Park; one of the most pristine and breath-taking parks in South Africa. It’s in a malaria-free zone and is also one of the least visited parks in the country.
As you wind your way up over mountains and down through deep valleys, you will take notice of the vast green fields and, surprisingly, many yellowwood and cedar trees.
This park is known as the “place of sanctuary,” as described by the Tswana people. It’s considered a transitional eco-zone, covering the center point between the moist eastern regions and dry western regions of South Africa.
When visiting the Marakele National Park, there are a few things to understand: The Big Five that you traditionally want to see on safari are not what you’ll want to search for here.
In the Marakele, you will want to be on the lookout for the endangered Cape Vulture, as the largest colony of this dying breed exists in this park (only 4,700 pairs in existence).
They are often found majestically soaring across the sky with their large wingspan of up to 8.5ft (be careful with small children). Or you’ll find them on the ground eating some leftovers of a downed animal carcass.
While the Cape Vulture is just one of the unique animals, you will also want to see the Kudu and the rare species of antelope known as the Reedbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Eland and Tsessebe.
These animals are not included in the Big Five, but offer a similar thrill when spotted inside the Marakele.
But seeing the wildlife is only one of the secrets of the Marakele. The other secret to this pristine location is one that most wouldn’t think about.
At the Marataba Safari Lodge, they offer some of the best food in South Africa.
With dinner meals from Char-Grilled Kudu Loin to Pan-Fried Kingklip, there is sure to be something on the menu to wet your whistle.
Each stay at the Marataba will include three healthy meals a day with plenty of snacks and wine to boot.
You will also find plenty of activities to do, such as go on game drives and bush walks. This will allow you to get up close and personal with many wild animals, but not too close.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you certainly don’t want to miss.