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Marloth Park is in the northeastern area of South Africa. The country of South Africa brings many opportunities to visit impressive national parks. Kruger National Park, the size of Israel, borders many smaller wildlife concessions and parks. Marloth Park, one of those wildlife areas often attracts visitors to the southern region of Kruger as a stop-over. Others chose a visit there as a wildlife destination in itself. But, is Marloth Park just a zoo without cages?
Marloth Park offers a wildlife experience in South Africa
Marloth Park sits on the crocodile River in the Mpumalanga province. A drive of half-an-hour takes explorers to the Crocodile Bridge entrance gate at Kruger National Park. Tented camps, chalets, and camping at the Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp make for affordable accommodation.
The area’s known for lions, elephants, buffalo, and leopard sightings. But, the camp’s securely fenced to keep the animals out. And, in the southern section of the park, few places exist where visitors can get out of the car to view the animals.
Meanwhile, Marloth Park overlooks the same river as Kruger’s rest camp. Marloth allows nature and humans to interact freely. The exception is the Big 5. These include lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. But, within the overall space is the Lionspruit Game Reserve.
Comprised of 1500ha fenced off from the residential area, it provides a home to the big five. And, given the small size of it, careful environmental management takes place. However, many people gravitate to the Crocodile River. From there, the view across the fence often results in Big 5 sightings. On the Marloth Park side, you may walk, cycle, or drive along the river. There, guests enjoy interacting up close with all forms of nature.
Is Marloth Park just a zoo without cages?
The Kruger National Park extends 360km (220mi) from north to south and 65 km (40 mi) east to west. Massive, the vast area covers 19,485 km2 (7,523 sq mi). The huge area itself is often described as a zoo without cages. But it’s a far cry from any sort of modern zoo. In fact, it’s not a place where the animals roam around acres of paddocks, enclosed by fences. Conversely, in Kruger, the humans get closed in while the animals enjoy the massive natural habitat. And, Marloth Park sort of slots between the two concepts.
Conveniently, the residential area brings shopping zones, restaurants, camping, luxury safari-style lodges, the homes of local residents, BnB’s and resorts. Within the fenced municipality of about 4,500 stands of land, probably 3/4 of them have been developed. Meanwhile, the remaining area’s divided into game corridors and unused stands. And, without fences within the housing area, the animals move freely.
Zoo-like feeding of wild animals
Guests and residents may feed the animals, a zoo-like activity one would think. And, any feeding in Kruger National Park results in a fine. The difference is that Kruger Park requires little bush management, as the ecosystem’s complete. Therefore, human interference with nature gets frowned upon. Naturally, as Marloth Park allows feeding of animals, this means the animals become fearless and habituated to humans.
However, note this activity differs vastly from a modern-day safari park-style zoo. Actually, people don’t buy little cups of nuts and drive around feeding the animals. Instead, they rather buy bulk sacks of approved feed pellets and put it out at their residence or BnB. Consequently, the animals do their everyday thing. Now and then, they wander in for a quick supplementary snack.
Marloth Park zoo conclusion
Pedantics might well argue that as the animals exist inside a fenced area, the place really features as just another zoo. And, yes, technically they would be right. But, sitting there enjoying the animals as they move fearlessly about their lives brings a unique ambiance.
Somehow, a tangible feeling suggests that life was meant to be lived like this. If humans were never predators, perhaps the idyllic co-existence would be the norm rather than an exception. And, if this represents a zoo, then I’d certainly choose to be in it. For me, a little slice of heaven dwells in Marloth Park.
Marloth Park lies approximately 390 kilometers northeast of Pretoria. Ideally, allow about four hours travel-time by road along the N4 freeway. In addition, road tolls cost around the region of R300.00 ($20.00). However, flights into the area and car hire may be easily arranged through any travel agent. Notably, visitors should check with their medical practitioner before setting off for Marloth Park which lies in a malarial area.
Remember to check back with The Destination Seeker often for more information about Marloth Park and other South African destinations.