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Marloth Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Marloth Park

Marloth Park is situated in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. It nestles on the southern bank of the Crocodile River between Malelane and Komatipoort, adjacent to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. It is accessed via the N4 Toll Road between Gauteng Province and South Africa’s neighbouring country, Mozambique. The Crocodile Bridge entry gate to the Kruger National Park is about 14km-, and Malelane Gate is 35km from the town. Marloth is located approximately 390km from Pretoria.

The town resorts under the jurisdiction of the Nkomazi Municipality within the greater Ehlanzeni District Municipality. Marloth Park is a wildlife sanctuary and holiday town in one. Its unique location – on the border of the Kruger National Park – offers the bonus of game viewing into the Kruger, without actually being in the reserve itself.

This holiday town boasts four of the “Big Five”, with the exception of elephant. Buffalo, rhino and lion are found in Marloth Park’s game reserve, called “Lionspruit”, while a wide variety of plains game such as kudu, zebra, giraffe, blue wildebeest, nyala, impala, warthog, ostrich and others, aren’t restricted by fences, and roams freely among  the homes and holiday units. Visitors might therefore encounter giraffe, wildebeest, kudu, zebra, impala, bushbuck, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey and other small game and a rich bird life in the quaint town.

Marloth Park is a wildlife sanctuary with animals roaming freely between houses that have been constructed on a mere 1 500 hectares of the property. As  dangerous game have been restricted, visitors can enjoy walks along the river or go mountain-bike riding on the dirt roads.

Marloth Park was founded in 1977 and derived its name from German botanist, Rudolf Marloth, after whom the Aloe marlothii, found abundantly in that part of the Lowveld, was named. The town boasts many lodges and guesthouses, as well as private residences. It is a popular stopover point for tourists travelling either to the Kruger National Park, Mozambique or Eswatini. 

The town is unique in many ways. It was originally established as a holiday village in 1972, with a large part of the park that remained in its natural state. No internal fences surround properties, and the vegetation has remained largely untouched. Marloth Park is only separated by a boundary fence along the Crocodile River that runs between the town and the Kruger National Park, one of the most iconic game parks in the world. 

The village comprises about 3 000 hectares, and visitors can enjoy the freedom of unrestricted movement. Tourists often opt for a stroll or go bicycle riding in the African bush, rather than be confined to the accommodation units. 

Marloth Park, like the rest of the Mpumalanga Lowveld, features a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot to very hot summers. This contributes to the village’s ability to offer visitors the ultimate South African bush experience. There is literally something for everyone, from watching the wildlife going about their business whilst having your braai, lunch or breakfast or morning coffee, to idling around whilst enjoying the sights and sounds of the spectacular birdlife. At night-time a whole new experience awaits when visitors can enjoy the magnificence of the African sky and its unspoilt expanse of stars. 

During the day a drive, or walk to the river might just bring you up close and personal to the Big 5 in the adjacent Kruger National Park. The Crocodile River is the place to be at sunset, because it is then that all the animals come out to play and quench their thirst. Having a sundowner whilst watching the story of the bush unfold around you, is a truly memorable experience. The unique bush ambience is even evident in the conservancy’s own bush-like shopping centre. The latter stocks a wide range of items to enhance your bush experience. The centre also offers a garage, restaurant, deli, bottle store, laundry, hardware and bakery. Add a hardware store, curio shop and liquor store to the mix, and visitors are spoilt for choice.

The quaint town of Komatipoort, on the border with Mozambique, is also close-by – only 20km away. Here visitors can enjoy a splash of civilization. 

For those, however, who loves an adrenaline rush, wildlife safaris, 4×4 guided tours, quad-bike drives and other activities – to suit every taste – are available upon request.

Spring is between September and November, with minimum temperatures around 18°Celsius (C) and maximum temperatures exceeding 30° Celsius. During the summer months of December to February minimum temperatures are slightly higher (± 20° C) with maximums reaching a scorching 35°C or more.

Autumn is experienced from March to May with mild temperatures of a minimum ±15°C to maximums of  ±28°C. Winters can be quite chilly with minimum temperatures of ±12°C during the months of June, July and August, and maximum temperatures of ± 25°C. Autumns and winters are dry and the bush less dense, which makes game viewing easier. Animals visit the water holes more often due to lack of water in the veld.

According to a census conducted in 2011, the town had about 1 000 permanent residents, comprising mostly Afrikaans (48.1%), Swazi (22.8%) and English (21.3%) speaking individuals, with only 2.9% Tsonga speakers, and 4.9% representing other nationalities.


A wide portfolio of exciting activities are on offer in the town. These include scrumptious bush breakfasts, game drives in Marloth itself, as well as in the Kruger National Park (you may do your own), night drives in Kruger National Park, tiger fishing, quad-bikes excursions, mountain-bike outings, as well as microlight flips, elephant rides, Mozambique- and Swazi tours, horse-riding and  much more.

Being on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park, lion sightings are reported from time to time and elephant often visit the river.

Tiger fishing is a popular activity when in the town. These fish are ferocious and aggressive apex predators, and are a hard-fighting freshwater game fish – awesome to catch with light tackle and fly-fishing equipment. The Komati River close to Marloth Park is one of the few places where you can catch tiger fish in South Africa.

Marloth Park is, for many, a preferred location and the very definition of the South African bushveld. Both the small local community and the tourists that go there, vows that it is the best place to find utter peace and tranquillity. Marloth Park also has an almost inexhaustible network of dirt roads for the avid mountain biker. Marloth Park Conservancy has a variety of holiday accommodation of offer, including several self-catering bushveld houses, safari lodges, backpackers and guest houses. 

The early days of Marloth Park:

In the beginning was Marloth Park stands out on Mr Piet Nortje’s farm, close to where the water treatment plant is today, he had made ​​available to people who were looking for a convenient place to stay – stop on the way to the former Lourenço Marques, now Maputo By the end of the sixties of the last century came Tucker’s Land and Development Corporation on the scene and began to buy with a view to the establishment of a township in the middle of the desert. Six farms that purchased a total area of 5277 hectares were in 1970 for a total amount of R800 000. An application has been filed for permission to establish a township on this newly consolidated country and has made ​​a start with the sale of stands under the banner of the “Crocodile River Holiday Township and Nature Reserve” On December 7, 1977, was the city named the “Marloth Park Holiday Township”, on the advice of the Ministry of Agriculture Technical Services, the administrator refused more than 1548 hectares of land from Tucker would be used for the development of the town, only 55% of that area would be divided into booths, while the rest had to be preserved as parkland. The practical result was that only four of the farms and then only partially, could be included in the township, while Henk Van Rooyen’s Mountain Rest and Maroela together with the part of the other four companies that were forced because it fell outside its borders resold. But in the subsequent purchase of Lionspruit by then Marloth Park municipal institution in the early nineties means that a large part of the former Mountain Rest, along with parts of three of the farms, Seekoegat, M’Kayabult and Buffalo Turn, which could now not be included in Marloth Park due to the limitations of the department, but is now open to the owners of the stands in the township for game -. viewing and recreation When Tucker went bankrupt during the early eighties, Bester Homes acquired a large urban dwelling beside the N1 between Pretoria and Midrand, an extremely valuable asset, but to Theunis Bester amazement included the Tucker estate a large piece of land in the bush. This company became so involved in the marketing of Marloth Park and Bester has tried to make the best of it and offered customers to buy houses and then elsewhere in the country stand in Marloth Park as an extra incentive, but many of these new stand owners did not have the resources or the degree of importance to keep up with the payment of rates, with the result that their stands were sold at local auctions. At a later stage then also left dug Bester Marloth Park, ABSA came into the picture and saw the congregation over the full transfer of ownership to individual property owners. In the beginning, the Council for the Development of peri-urban areas (renamed the Council Local Affairs) were directly in charge of the church, but in 1984 the city was formed their own local environment committee in the same peri -urbane structure. The presidents were successively Faan Coetzee (1984-1989), Henk van Rooyen (1989-1990), Dries van der Merwe (1990-1992) and Cor Dippenaar (1992-1994). In 1995, this was the Marloth Park Transitional Local Council, the first democratically elected body under our new democratic constitution was established, and achieve full autonomy in the process. Mr. Dippenaar was as the president of this body in 2000, when Marloth Park until 2006, when he was succeeded by Mr Johan Mavuso in the greater municipal area of Nkomazi with Mr. Selby Khumalo who as mayor was recorded

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