From Marakele National Park to Botswana Border. Useful information.

We visited South Africa during a 3 months trip through southern Africa
(With Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland).
October - December 2015.

Average exchange rate: 1 euro =  14,10 Rands

We followed the route from Johannesburg (South Africa), stopping in Pilanersberg and Marakele National Parks, on the way to Botswana, driving a rental car. The roads are tarred and good, few traffic, except around Gauteng (Johannesburg-Pretoria) and the mining town of Thabazimbi. Easy to drive!

  FROM PILANESBERG NP TO MARAKELE NP   

Marakele National Park

It´s only120 km of good roads.
To go to Marakele National Park, from Pilanesberg NP-Mogwase take the R510 to Thabazimbi and then it´s 16 km more heading east.
All the roads are tarred except some ones inside the Marakele NP

   Marakele National Park   

Price : Entrance fee is 152 R/pp (foreigners), included with the Wild Card.
Complete information: www.sanparks.org

The Visit:
Beautiful landscape (views like in Jurrassic Park with empty areas and big mountains), few visitors, game with the “big five”. 
The first section is flat, around the gate, where you can see giraffes, ostriches, antelopes, monkeys... The second area is up in the mountains: antelopes, wildbeests... and 3 lions so close to us. Amazing!

Ok with a sedan car, even if gravel roads. There´s a view point on the top of the mountains (around 30 km from the gate) but very steep and narrow road in the last km so we didn´t get to the top.

There was a big fire (september 2014) a few weeks before our visit, so not too many animals. 

But Marakele NP is really amazing! Great landscape! Game! And no tourists! A great stop on the way to Botswana.

Accomodation in Marakele NP
 
There´s accommodation inside the park. The cheapest is Bontle Campsite (near the gate). Complete information on the SAN website, you can book in advance.
Campsite Price: 215 R/2p.

We stayed in Thabazimbi, hosted by Ian (Couchsurfing). The town is not beautiful, is a mining town, but you can find everything there (supermarkets, gas station...).

Note:
All this area is not too populated so it will be hard if you want to travel around by public transport. Maybe hitch-hiking...

   FROM MARAKELE NP TO BOTSWANA BORDER (GLOBLERSBRUG-MARTIN´S DRIFT)  

It´s around 200 km.All the roads are tarred.Follow the R510 and then N11.Little traffic.
You find everything needed (petrol, supermarkets) on the way in Lephalale, a growing mining town.

Crossing to Botswana: GLOBLERSBRUG-MARTIN´S DRIFT BORDER

Easy, hassle free, not very crowded border. No problem with a South Africa rental car (no papers needed).
You can see complete information in the chapter Botswana Border in this blog.

Where to stay?
 
The area is quite empty. The only town is Lephalale, where you can find accommodation. There are a lot of private hunting farms around. Usually accommodation is quite expensive around.
Thanks to Couchsurfing, we were hosted in an hunting farm by the Vos family (Gerhard and Yolande) in Tom Burke (N11 and R510 crossing, just a few km away Grobersbrug- Martin´s Drift border (SA- Botswana). 

“5 stars” couchsurfing!  They manage Daggaboy Safaris (www.dbsafaris.com).

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