The Big Five Marathon - Wildlife Adventure & World-class Challenge in One!

The Big Five Marathon is one of the world’s Top 10 Marathons Worth Traveling For, according to Forbes.
When you take on The Big Five Marathon you sign up for a really tough race and an unforgettable wildlife safari experience, rolled into one! It’s known as a tough race, but the rewards of running through stunning African scenery with an assortment of wild animals makes it more than worthwhile!
The whole marathon takes place within Entabeni Game Reserve in the Waterberg district of South Africa’s Limpopo Province. This private game reserve is part of the malaria-free Unesco Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, located between Johannesburg and the world-famous Kruger National Park.
The marathon takes runners through lion territory, which should help to keep them moving at a healthy pace. The area is however monitored by armed rangers and helicopters to ensure the safety of participants. Runners often encounter game up close in the bush, including zebras, giraffes and various antelope species.
The Big Five Marathon's photos
Photo from The Big Five Marathon's Facebook Page.

Entabeni Game Reserve 

The Entabeni Game Reserve is a privately owned wilderness area, hosting the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) that the marathon is named after. The name Entabeni means "the place of the mountain" with the reserve covering over 22 000 hectares (85 sq mi) of untamed bushveld, ravines, savannahs, wetland areas and wooded hills.
This diverse game park hosts more than 55 species of large mammals, 300 flower species, 50 kinds of grass, 140 tree species and over 300 species of birds, along with plenty of insects, reptiles and amphibians. Inhabitants include at least 15 antelope species, African pythons and Nile crocodiles!
The Big Five Marathon's photos
Photo from The Big Five Marathon's Facebook Page.

The Big Five Marathon Route

The Big Five Marathon follows a testing route through hills, valleys, ravines and gorges, as well as woodlands and open savannahs. Luckily it takes place in the southern hemisphere’s winter when the climate is a little more forgiving. 
The course starts on the upper escarpment passing the Entabeni Monolith and then runs into the steep and narrow Yellow Wood Valley and on to the lower plateau. Then it's through the valley on the lower plateau before going up through the valley again on a circular route. 
Back on the upper escarpment, the course runs through a small valley followed by a slight climb and descent into the last remote valley. The final leg is fairly difficult spanning halfway down the ridge, before climbing steeply towards the finish line. 
The Big Five Marathon
Photo from The Big Five Marathon's Facebook Page.

African Safari & Run in One

It’s time to put on your running shoes and head into the private Entabeni Game Reserve for an epic race through Big Five territory on 22 June this year.
Don't let budget put you off - there are loads of affordable safari options in this part of South Africa. Budget travellers can enjoy this marathon challenge and take a wildlife adventure to Kruger Park and Big Five reserves nearby, at the same time.
The Big Five Marathon's photos
Photo from The Big Five Marathon's Facebook Page.
Runners get to choose between the full marathon, half marathon and the 10km route. To do the marathon and half marathon you have to be at least 18 years old.
For the10 km race you need to be at least 12, but you have to be accompanied by someone at least 18 at all times during the race. 
Photo by The Big Five Marathon
Photo from The Big Five Marathon's Facebook Page.
The Big Five Marathon on YouTube:

For budget safari options in the Kruger Park area, contact us at African Budget Safaris or browse our Kruger Safaris that won't break the bank.


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