Marakele National Park

In just three hours from Johannesburg lies the heart of the Waterberg, where the park’s spectacular scenery rivals sightings of raptors and big game. The endangered Cape vulture may be seen in the air catching thermals anywhere in the park, but drive up to the Sentech Towers for close encounters with these enormous birds that will leave you breathless.

In Marakele you’ll find guides fluent in the language of the bush. Join them for a walk and you’ll see that broken twigs and dusty spoor can speel a day to remember.

– Melissa Siebert, Wild 17

Main attractions

  • Big game sightings
  • Tarred mountain pass to the top of the Waterberg massif
  • Two night 4×4 eco-trail


  • Game viewing
  • Birding
  • Morning and sunset drives
  • Bush walks
  • Self-drives

Top sightings: Cape vulture, kudu, elephant

Accommodation: Campsite, safari tents, Marataba Safari Company

Gate times: September – April 07:00 – 18:00, May – August 07:00 – 17:30

Nearest centre: About two hours drive from Rustenberg and a little more from Johannesburg (about 250km).

Know before you go

  • The Waterberg is a malaria-free area.
  • Although there are routes for sedan vehicles, much of the park is accessible by 4×4 only.
  • Fuel is available in Thabazimbi (adjacent town outside the park).

Contact park: +27 (0)53 204 0158, [email protected]

SANParks Central Reservations: +27 (0)12 428 9111, [email protected]

Visit Marakele National Park’s home page.

Packing list – Sponsored

We asked the team at Cape Union Mart for their gear recomendations for a visit to one of our favourite parks.

For more gear ideas and advice visit the Cape Union Mart site.