This is an exquisite safari offering from the MORE Collection, situated in a beautiful and remote area of South Africa, well away from the crowds. The luxurious lodge is great for all visitors, but especially for families with its four enormous family suites and entertaining kids club, the latter allowing parents to take a little time for themselves in this stunning location! The Waterberg Mountains is the backdrop, and the lodge is far from the usual routes made by day-trippers, giving you a more exclusive safari experience. This is a Big Five safari destination and you will see lots of wildlife, although not in quite the same volumes as South Africa’s busier parks, such as the Kruger. However, the bonus is that at Marataba Safari Lodge there is significantly less safari traffic. This is an excellent camp in a spectacular area, with fine dining, great guiding for all ages, a long list of activities, and, most attractively, no malaria.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Marataba Safari Lodge is located within the 350 square kilometres of Marataba Private Reserve and also connected to Marakele National Park. This gives you the best of both worlds in terms of safari activities, allowing for night drives and walking. With the amazing Waterberg Mountains as your main vista, it’s a very special place in which to enjoy getting back to nature. For such a remote and wild experience, and given the levels of luxury, this is a very competitively priced property. To access Marataba Safari Lodge, you’d fly into the private airstrip on scheduled light aircraft from Johannesburg, and then it’s just 20 minutes’ game drive.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT MARATABA SAFARI LODGE:
At Marataba Safari Lodge there are eleven majestic tented suites, made from canvas and stone, all with impressive private decking from which you can see game on the plains and enjoy amazing views of the mountains. Each room is stylishly appointed, featuring an outdoor shower, a huge bath, a well-stocked fridge, and comfy beds with great linen. The four large family suites are similar, but with en-suite child rooms boasting bunk beds and even an array of toys.
The main area is breezy, beautifully constructed, and in keeping with the surrounding landscape, with dining options both inside and out, and flexible mealtimes. The frontage leads to the grassy firepit area, where safari tales are told over sundowners – all with views of the Waterberg Mountains.
There’s even a treehouse here! And it’s a pretty amazing one – solar powered, two storey, complete with shower, lounge, and viewing decks, and able to house up to four guests (two adults, two kids). It’s a great experience to sleep out beneath the stars with the sound of the bush going on at night. Of course you remain well away from the animals and your guide is on call 24/7 should you need them. The treehouse doesn’t need to be pre-booked, so this is something you can decide on once you’re there.
There is also a pool for cooling off in the heat of the day, Wi-Fi, and although there isn’t a spa building, staff do offer in-room massage. Overall, Marataba is a great, high-end safari property for families looking to get away from the hubbub of busier parks!
ACTIVITIES AT MARATABA SAFARI LODGE:
The lodge has a wide-ranging and diverse list of activities, with lots of child-targeted options, so there’s no shortage of things to do! Although maybe sipping a gin-and-tonic on your decking with the backdrop of the Waterberg Mountains might be enough…
Expertly guided game drives- Among the highlights are all the Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. You can look out for smaller predators such as cheetah, hyena, jackal, serval, civet, honey badger, and the rare wild dog, while the herbivore collection features giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and an excellent assortment of antelopes.
Walking safaris- Why not head out into the bush with an armed guide? As well as enjoying animal tracking and the area’s phenomenal birdlife, you’ll take a closer look at the reserve’s insects and plant life. The difficulty levels and distances available will depend on the ages of your group. Classic walking safari has a 12-year-old age limit, but there are little routes close to camp that can be used with younger children.
Night drives- You can also head out at night, when all the big predators come alive. It’s always an unforgettable experience, watching what goes on in the dark of the night! You might see porcupines, genets, civets, bush-babies… and occasionally a larger predator with its prey.
Sleep-outs- The Thabametsi Treehouse is spectacular and makes for a magical night under the stars. It can house a couple, or a family of four with kids aged 6–15 years. It can be booked while you’re at the lodge.
Mack & Madi Kids Club- A wonderful team will look after the mini safari-goers, offering bushcraft, rock painting, bush camp-outs, and animal tracking using that most reliable of techniques – looking at spore! They’ll also take part in air rifle target shooting, pizza making in the boma, baking cookies/cupcakes, and enjoying arts and crafts.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.