The Magic of Marloth Park
Marloth Park Conservation Trust
(IT 000023/2019 (MN) Founded 21st Aug 2019)
Marloth Park Management & Conservation Co,
(2019/569243/07 Founded 11th November 2019)
Since it's formalisation as a holiday township in the 1970's Marloth Park has gained a global reputation as a very special and unique slice of paradise. A place where you can enjoy an unparalleled and intimate experience in the African bush.
A place where wild animals, zebra, Kudu, giraffe, antelope, wildebeest, warthog and so much more just show up in our gardens going about their daily business. A place that allows us unrestricted access to dusty routes where we can freely walk, run or cycle, enjoying this natural beauty of the animals, plants and 350 odd species of birds!
Our Marloth Park is situated on Kruger National Park's Southern Boundary right on the banks of the Crocodile River. We have access to South Africa’s natural treasure “the Kruger” within 20 min through 2 gates. As owners of Marloth, we also have own little secret – our very own game reserve, “Lionspruit” which offers nature lovers the opportunity to see four of the Big 5!
Our town Marloth has come a long way from the stopover point between South Africa and Mozambique that was developed by the Bester Brothers after they consolidated additional farms.
To achieve the dream, rules and regulations were drafted. Their vision was to create a place where people could enjoy a bush escape in harmony with the wildlife living unfettered around them. Four decades later, their dream has now eventually been realised and there are almost 2000 owners with developed property in our town …
This story has a twist however, a unique place often has unique challenges, and this is certainly true of Marloth Park. Over the last twenty years, our country has changed, we lost our private municipality, the management of Marloth is no longer effective. Our town’s rules and regulations have not been actively enforced by our “new” Municipality. We have never had a management or sustainability plan for our town or its ecology. Almost 95% of owners live outside Marloth Park and we have blindly and selfishly left the management of Marloth to a few volunteer organisations, who thankfully, have taken up the baton on our behalf.
The result - we now have some serious challenges!
Marloth’s ecology, particularly in the township region, is in dire straits. We do not have a common consensus with regard to the management of our game. Most away owners and tourist operators want a high game population so that we can interact with the animals as we do. Other owners want Marloth to be closer to a game reserve with animal populations about 95% lower – in effect the same population one would expect in a game reserve.
As a direct result of urbanisation of Marloth Park, we, as property owners, now need to consider:
- do we actively manage our ecology and balance this challenge with the continued urbanisation that will happen? or,
- do we continue to leave the ecology to naturally progress on its own?
I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy.
Neither of these options is wrong – they just need very different levels of effort and affect the way we experience and interact with our nature in our town.
If we intend to actively manage our ecology, then we first need to identify our common desires and then find ways to support and maintain this desire with a balance between what is best for our environment, our ecology of plants trees and beloved wildlife. And remember our wildlife includes everything from the giraffe, Kudu and zebra to the mongoose, tree frogs, birds, lizards and bugs. The ‘Game Reserve vs. Petting Zoo’ comparison will not wash here – we will need to actively measure the needs and wants of most owners.
This is the challenge that has become increasingly difficult to address in the context of existing township management and lack of conservation systems, and more importantly, the total lack of an ecological and sustainability plan.
It was from this scenario that the pursuit of a workable and sustainable solution for Marloth Park was sought and that the model whereby the Marloth Park Conservation Trust and the Public Benefit Company owned by each and every owner, was born.
It is the pursuit of a way that every single owner can have input into how they would like our ecology managed and the development of the plans and budgets that drive this. Also, to establish the ability for this plan to be effectively managed by a professional ecologist and township manager. And for the managers to be monitored to ensure the requirements of the owners are achieved.