The Marataba Trails Lodge experience
Marataba Mountain Lodge
Marakele National Park, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
At a Glance
The only Malaria-free Big 5 walking trails in South Africa
Get back to nature with an absence of Wi-Fi, mobile phone signal, or other modern distractions
A wide range of walking trails offering hugely diverse scenery for all levels of fitness
Luxurious accommodation with an incomparable walking safari
Exceptional bird-watching from October to April
A year-round trails destination
Healthy-living cooking with fresh, organic and delicious meals, many prepared over an open fire
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Summer (November to March) days can get quite warm (up to 28-32 degrees on average) but it is a dry heat. Summer rainfall, normally in the form of thunder storms are usually in the evening, however, the African climate is still always unpredictable. Autumn (April to May) days can still be warm but the evenings cool down. Average day time temperature 22-28 degrees. Evenings 10-15 degrees. Winter (June to August) days are warm (temperatures in the mid-twenties) evenings and early mornings very cold with average early morning temperatures 5-12 degrees. It very rarely rains at this time when the bush is golden and dry.
Spring (September, October) days start getting hotter, evenings and mornings could still be crisp but not as cold. A very slim chance of rain.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to Marataba Mountain Lodge or take a look at our itineraries to Madikwe and the northwest
Marataba Trails allows guests the opportunity to head out on foot into the bush for 2 or 3 nights. Experience contrasting landscapes and stay at the lodge by night, perched on the side of the mountain, with views all the way into the Waterfall Valley.
An utterly unique experience for the adventurous, Marataba Trails lodge is the only camp to offer Malaria free big five walking trails in South Africa. A two or three night stay here is ideal, arriving on a day organised with the lodge on a case by case basis. This is the perfect place for those wanting to disconnect from the outside world, with an absence of mobile phone reception, this is where you go to completely get back to nature in a remote and authentic wilderness world of your own.
There are five luxurious suites at the lodge, each with a private viewing deck, a fireplace and en-suite bathroom with rain dance shower. The lodge has been created solely for those intrepid explorers who want to explore the contrasting mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys of the Marakele Park on foot. The lodge boasts beautiful views out over the reserve and while the emphasis is on walking safaris, guests are welcome to take part in game drives or simply relax and unwind beside the inviting swimming pool, the perfect respite after a days walking in the bush.
There are a variety of trail options available, differing in terms of difficulty and fitness required. Whether you wish to hike over the top of the Kransberg range or through a deep gorge the choice is yours, the one thing you can be sure of either way is seeing spectacular scenery and wildlife. Trails can be morning and afternoon trails with lunch and a rest period at the lodge in between, or a full-day hike and picnic for those that are really energetic. Winter trails will leave from the camp later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon to make the most of the sun whereas summer trails take place early morning and late afternoon so that you don't swelter in the heat of the African sun. It is a year-round trails destination that is the only Malaria-free Big 5 walking trail in South Africa. The lodge also offers game drives to enable guests to have a closer encounter with the game than would be usually possible on foot. Evenings are spent around the fire in the boma when star-gazing is really exceptional.
The guides looking after you are of exceptional standard and will be sure to enthuse you all about the bush and what it has to offer. They are also very good at finding beautiful spots to cool off in a clear riverine for a refreshing dip!
No children under 16
At Marataba Trails the focus is still mainly on walking safaris, however they also offer game drives, which means guests are able to get closer to the game.
Riverine Trails - These follow the natural river course, are great for bumping into general game, and will take you via some of the bigger water holes which attract a lot of game, including hippos.
Gorge Trails - These descend down into the gorges of the Waterberg Mountains. You will get the unique experience of venturing into areas only accessible by foot. The fresh water pools along route also provide a welcome opportunity to have a swim and cool off.
Mountain Trails - These longer trails will take you up and over some of the mountains into neighbouring valleys. The views you will get on these trails are unbeatable and will show you Africa in all it's vastness.
Interest Trails - For a different take on things these trails aim to take you by all of the spots of historical and cultural interest in the reserve and give you the change to examine cave paintings, iron age ruins and other relics of the Stone Age.
Sian Frost (Staff)
This lodge has the most fantastic views down the large valley from the end it is situated. It is comprised of 5 glass fronted lodges which each have a completely uninterrupted view.
Dalmain the chef, makes the most delicious inventive food which you could never eat enough of. It has more of a communal feel with a large table for all of the guests to enjoy dinner and discuss all of the fantastic things they have seen on either their walks or drives during the day. Their boma is one of the prettiest I have seen, right on the edge of lodge with views right along the large valley and in to many of the smaller gullys.
Louisa Ross-Taylor (Staff)
Marataba Trails is a secluded lodge within the private Marataba Private Reserve, tucked away in a remote valley. The lodge is very much designed as a lodge which offers walking safaris, and there are some wonderful trails in the area which follow game trails through the gulleys and through the plains. They also offer afternoon game drives to explore the area in more detail and to enable you to get closer to the game.
The lodge is built using local stone and has a grass roof on each of the rooms so the lodge completely disappears from a distance - but is designed to make the most of the uninterrupted and breath-taking views down the valley.
South African Birding
The Waterberg is home to an incredible diversity of bird species. Besides residents, migratory species move through during the rains and the escarpment cliffs are home to the world's largest breeding colony of the critically endangered Cape Vulture.
Walking in Marakele National Park
For those intrepid explorers who wish to wander the African bush on foot then Marakele Park is the place to do it. Home to the Big 5 as well as abundant birdlife and flora.
Location & directions
Marakele National Park, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
The Marakele National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains, it is a haven for an impressive variety of wildlife due to its location in the transitional zone between the dry western and moister eastern regions of South Africa. Marataba sits in a private concession of 23,000 hectares which links directly, unfenced, with the National Park and other game reserves in the area creating a large protected area in a magnificent landscape.