Marakele is a 70 000ha park in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province.
Marakele is a 70 000ha park in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province.

SANParks week: 4 national parks you should add to your bucket list

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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SA National Parks (SANParks) will once again allow South African citizens to enter most of their parks for free between November 22 to 28.

The week-long event, in partnership with Total Energies and FNB, is in its 16th year.

The Discover Africa Group has developed a National Parks Explorer site, an easy guide to all 19 SANParks with interactive information and videos.

Here are 4 national parks you should add to your bucket list:

Camdeboo National Park

Camdeboo is the only national park that surrounds a town. Located in Graaff Reinet in the Karoo, it is popular for overnight and day visitors.

The Valley of Desolation is one of the big attractions, formed from lava magma over 180 million years ago.

The rock has eroded to produce a haunting cathedral of pillars overlooking the town.

The park offers fishing at the dam, hiking trails and 4x4 tracks for those wanting to test their driving skills.

The accommodation in the park is situated on the floodplains of the Nqweba Dam, where you will find Lakeview tented camp with four two-bedded rustic tents, and the Nqweba Campsites with fourteen stands.

The game in this section of the park includes eland, kudu, mountain zebra, springbok and blesbok.

Visit www.sanparks.org/parks/camdeboo/.

Marakele National Park

Marakele is a 70 000 hectare park in the Waterberg region of Limpopo province.

Divided into two sections, one holds the Big 5 and can be viewed from your vehicle or on an early morning or sunset game drive.

Accommodation ranges from the Bontle and Tlopi rest camps, tented camps with two bed and four-bed units and full self-catering facilities, to the 38 campsites with power and shared ablution blocks.

A secluded favourite is the farmhouse turned guest house, Motswere, a comfortable four bedroom house with two bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.

The house is fenced and secure, but you will need a 4x4 vehicle for access.

Visit www.sanparks.org/parks/marakele/.

Augrabies Falls National Park

The national park is home to Augrabies Falls, hailed as one of the Northern Cape’s best-kept secrets.

The boardwalk that takes visitors to the falls, with six viewing decks.

Spot eland, kudu, springbok and giraffe.

The 3-hour, 7km Dassie Interpretive Trail at Augrabies Falls National Park is a sought-after attraction, boasting splendid views and animal sightings.

There is also a 3-day, 2-night Klipspringer Trail that takes place between April and October.

Accommodation includes two and four bed chalets and family cottages, and caravan and campsites are available with power and other facilities.

Agulhas National Park

Agulhas National Park can be found at the southernmost tip of Africa in the Western Cape and is a 21 000ha reserve that boasts historical sites, hiking trails and wetlands with birdwatching.

Walk along the boardwalk or head out on the circular hike and then retreat to your peaceful accommodation without TV and cellphone reception.

The Cape Agulhas lighthouse is the second oldest on our shorelines and was built in 1848.

It has 71 steps and is 27m high.

The renovated historic cottages and chalets make up the accommodation offering.

Two and four-bed chalets are found at the Agulhas Main Rest Camp 10km from the lighthouse, facing the sea.

The historical Lagoon house, originally built in 1898, now boasts four bedrooms, two with en-suite bathrooms, and a 270-degree view of the ocean.

Renosterkop Rest Camp and cottages are situated 31kms from the Cape Agulhas lighthouse.

A high clearance vehicle is recommended to reach these restored cottages with a modern touch.

Visit www.sanparks.org/parks/agulhas/.

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