Rafiki's Resthouse and Marloth Park are ideally located for activities nearby. To the north east, the entrance to Kruger National Park is only 13 mins away. Eastwards, the Mozambican border is at 15 mins drive. To the west, famous tourist places such as the Panorama drive and Blyde River Canyon can be visited in a day trip. The Genesis route to the south west and Swaziland to the south are also worth seeing.
Rafiki's Resthouse is located within Marloth Park, a 3000 hectare wildlife conservation area. Half of this area is the nature reserve Lionspruit, which has some big game such as lion and rhino. The other half is the holiday village with facilities and free roaming game between the houses. One of the top activities is to walk along the river.
Crocodile River is situated within Kruger National Park, but it borders Marloth Park. The river is known for sightings of many popular animals such as elephant, hippo and lion. You can remain within the safety of Marloth Park while going for a stroll along the river.
Walking from Rafiki's Resthouse to the river takes about 3 mins (200 metres) if you take the shortcut through the back of the garden, with no other houses in between. Once you learn to recognise bush sounds, you can work out from Rafiki's Resthouse what is happening by the river. Do you hear the trumpeting of an elephant herd in the morning or late afternoon? Then it might be worth popping down to see them. At night you might hear the lion roar and the hippo grunt, but then it is best to stay on the property.
Because our house is close to the Crocodile River, why not just take a chair and a drink along to the fence and relax while watching the game by the river? You will have the view to yourself which is not the case at the popular viewing points further down.
"We want you to be relaxed, share our love for nature and feel very welcome"
Other activities in Marloth Park
The rest of Marloth Park is also worth a visit. There are car roads for self-drives, bike trails and walking trails. Self night drives are allowed in Marloth Park. However, cycling or walking is not recommended at night.
The resort is also lovely for bird spotters. Over 300 bird species have been recorded at Marloth Park.
Marloth Park’s own fenced 1500 hectares nature reserve, Lion Spruit, is home to four of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino) with the exception of elephant.
"Marloth Park always has surprises for those who want to see and hear"
There are two small shopping centres (no large shopping centres are allowed) with cafés, laundry facilities, a butcher, a hairdresser, a few restaurants, a petrol station, a post office, a hardware store and liquor stores. All the basic things can be bought there.
Shopping outside of Marloth Park :
Komatipoort, a small African town, is 15 mins drive and the various large shopping centres there offer everything. Even larger shopping centres can be found in Malelane (35 kms) and Nelspruit (90kms).
Sports in and near Marloth Park
Tennis and swimming can be done within Marloth Park, in the Henk Van Rooyen Park.
Outside of Marloth Park, there are several golf courses: Leopard Creek Golf Course, Malelane Country Club, Komatipoort Golf Club, all within 15 - 30 mins drive. Quad rides are organised at a farm just outside Marloth park. Fishing is organised at the Komati River. Elephant and horse riding can be done at Kwa Madwala Elephant Interaction and Ride.
Golf course Komatipoort
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is the largest national park in South Africa. Rafiki's Resthouse is only 13 mins drive from its south eastern entrance (Crocodile Bridge). The Malelane entrance to Kruger is 35kms (30 mins drive) west of Rafiki's.
The location is ideal for self-drive safaris into Kruger National Park or organised game drives. Day safaris into Kruger are offered by excellent companies in Marloth Park. Morning, evening and night drives and also morning walks in Kruger National Park are organised by SanParks, to be reserved at reception of the Kruger Crocodile Bridge entry gate or online.
Kruger National Park does not allow night self-drives, no individual can go out of the camps at dark without a guide.
The southern part of Kruger National Park boasts the most sightings in Kruger and is internationally recognised as good game viewing for the Big Five. All the pictures we have taken in Kruger National Park and displayed on this site were taken in this southern section of the park.
If you plan to visit national parks for multiple days, then the acquisition of a Wild Card might be worthwhile. The Wild Card Membership allows you one year of unlimited access to many parks. Prices differ according to the composition of your family, the parks you want to include and where you actually live or which nationality you have.
This can be a (long) day trip but definitely worth it. Highlights include the Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s window, Pinnacle Rock, Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim’s Rest (an old gold rush town), no less than 7 stunning waterfalls (with Lone Creek Falls and Mac Mac Falls being amongst the more famous). Very affordable day tours are organised from Marloth Park. We can help you with this.
If you go through Kruger National Park to arrive at the Panorama route, we would disadvise getting out at Numbi Gate. The road outside Numbi Gate is far from nice (large township) and there often is trouble there. Instead, opt for Paul Kruger Gate or Phabeni Gate.
Mac Mac Falls
The Barberton Makhonjwa Geotrail, only recently declared Unesco World Heritage Site, is a 37 km scenic self drive route between Barberton and Swaziland that takes you more than 3 billion years into the past. It offers a glimpse into the best-preserved example of the Archaean geological period in the world.
This old miner's town with stunning surroundings is a lesser known gem, not far from Nelspruit. About an hour and a half's drive from Marloth Park, you will be thrown back into time, in the middle of scenic surprises and unforgettable walking or riding trails. For the horse riding, no experience is required. The former miner houses are transformed into art shops, accommodation, restaurants and bars. Wild horses roam freely around in town and in the surrounding nature.
We were living in Swaziland for years and can provide information required to visit this charming country, for a day-trip or for a longer stay. Highlights include the internationally renowned Ngwenya Glass Factory, Swazi Candles factory, cultural villages, bushman paintings, game parks (the Wild Card is valid in Swaziland), art and craft centres and most of all wonderful hikes and beautiful nature and scenery. If you are lucky with the dates, you might even be witness to the famous Reed Dance (late August - early September) or the annual Incwala-Ceremony (December - January). Both are traditional African events with tens of thousands participants in traditional costumes.
From Rafiki's you can do a day-trip to Mozambique. The border at Komatipoort is less than 20 mins drive. From there, Maputo is only an hour and a half away. With some delay at the border, set aside two and a half hours in total from Rafiki's.
Maputo also has interesting architecture and a rich history. From there you can also see the Indian Ocean. Seafood lunch with view over the ocean is great. You can also enjoy the beautiful handicrafts and interesting markets in Mozambique. Do not forget to bring back your provision of seafood and king prawns.
However, for entry into Mozambique foreigners do need a visa which might be obtained upon arrival at the border (a single-entry 30-day visa). However, a visa at the border can take some time. It is recommended that you obtain your visa in advance from the Mozambican Embassy in your country.
Going into Mozambique with a rented car can be a hassle. Please enquire beforehand. It might be easier to go on an organised tour.