Upcoming Marataba programmes
The Marakele National Park was known as the Kransberg National Park when it was first proclaimed in 1994. Located in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, it is now a fully-fledged, malaria-free, Big Five safari area. In 2003, it was reopened by Nelson Mandela and Prince Bernhard as the Marakele National Park.
Marakele, which means ‘Place of Sanctuary’ in the Tswana language, is located in a transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Consequently, many different animals and plants are at home here. Grassy hills, deep valleys, high mountains, yellowwood and cedar trees and large tree ferns characterise the landscape.
Marakele has one of the largest 'Cape Vulture' colonies in the world (about 800 breeding pairs), but many other raptors can be spotted here, including falcons, eagles and hawks. All the large animals are present: black and white rhinos, leopards, buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, hippos, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, wild dogs, hyenas and elephants. Best known are the Tuli elephants that were rescued from captivity and relocated to the park in 1999. Other wildlife include the Charma Baboon, the vervet monkey and various antelope species such as reedbuck, eland, tsessebe, sable antelope, kudu, impala and waterbuck.
The relatively sufficient rain ensures the park is lush and green. In September, there is usually no rain (the rainy season starts in October) and the daytime temperature is very pleasant, although it is quite cold at night and early in the morning.