South African National Parks (SANParks) told the public in a statement, issued on 26 Sept 2012, that tourists planning to visit the Marakele National Park in the Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo this week are free to book and make use of the park following a fire blaze in the mountainous area of the park. The fire, which started on 23 Sept 2012 and got extinguished in the meantime, destroyed about 20% of the 67,000 hectares of land in the park. No fatalities or damage to property occurred as most of the animals and tourism infrastructure are in the plains of the Marakele National Park and not in the mountains.
Marakele National Park im Limpopo forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere and is known for its majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys. The park is home to all the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats as well as to an amazing variety of birds including what’s probably the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (approx. more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world. Up to five metre high cycads and tree ferns, yellowwood and cedar trees can also be found in Marakele National Park.