The Marataba Safari Lodge experience
Marakele National Park, South Africa
Marataba is located in a 23,000 ha private concession adjoined to the vast, malarial-free Marakele National Park in South Africa's Limpopo Province. The Camp is set in the bushveld, on a quiet river with dramatic views of the Waterberg escarpment.
At a Glance
Non-malarial and only a 3-hour 30-minute drive from Johannesburg
The light bounces off the red iron filled rocks of the Waterberg Escarpment creating an incredible golden light
Some of the most amazing white rhino sightings anywhere in Africa
Stunning spots, on the slopes of the escarpment or by the banks of the river, for morning coffee or sundowners
Large tented suites nestled in the bushveld with game regularly wandering past the decks
Top quality guiding, very interactive, great for both children and adults
There's 15 minutes of self-driving through the reserve to get to the lodge to kick-start your safari experience - keep your eyes peeled!Amber Hopkins
This reserve is ideal for those who have done safari a couple of times before and looking for something a little different as you can cruise along the Matlabas River on their Miss Mara boat to experience the bush from a different perspective.Amber Hopkins
Their tented accommodation really brings the safari experience to life as you sleep to the sounds of the surrounding wildlife during the night.Amber Hopkins
Sit out at the end of the lawn for breakfast, with a glass of bubbly, and look out for the herds of elephants which come to drink from the nearby waterholeScott Dunn team
One evening forgo the evening safari drive and instead take a Miss Mara cruise down the river for a different way to experience the bushScott Dunn team
Meet our specialists
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Marataba or take a look at our itineraries to Madikwe and the northwest
Marataba is part of a real conservation success story. In the late 1990s Marakele National Park was severely underfunded, there was no money to maintain and reinvigorate the park or to invest in a strategy of biodiversity. Game species and population levels were declining.
Huge investment from 1997 onwards, in partnership with South African National Parks, managed to secure the neighboring cattle farming areas, the area in which Marataba is now set. 7,000 km of barbed wire, 80 km of high-voltage power lines, 100 km of telephone cables was cleared, and the overgrown and poorly managed bushveld was cut back to allow grazing animals to be reintroduced. Fences between the different areas of this part of the Waterberg have been taken down, and the greater Marakele area now covers an unfenced and professionally managed area of 120,000 hectares.
Marataba enjoys exclusive use of one of the most game rich and beautiful areas of the Waterberg. There is a diverse combination of fantastic mountains and gorges, bush and plains, rivers and ponds to explore, with abundant plains game, healthy populations of big cats, elephant, and both white and black rhino. Game drives here are full of excitement and species lists are quickly filled.
The biodiversity of this area is extreme: rare finds of yellowwood and cedar trees, five meter high cycads and tree ferns, are some of the plant species found here. There is also an amazing variety of birds including the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, which nest on the walls of the escarpment.
The main lodge houses a large lounge with comfortable sofas and warm fireplaces, there's complimentary Wi-Fi access, a curio and retail store and a well-stocked library. Outside there is a good size swimming pool with pool loungers and hammocks in the trees.
Each of the 15 luxury tented suites enjoys a private deck perched above the river below. From the deck you can enjoy panoramic views of the escarpment towering above the area, closer to the deck it is often possible to spot shy kudu and bushbuck moving silently through the shadows of the riverbank.
Each tent is fitted with king or twin beds, quality linen, indoor and outdoor showers and free-standing stone baths. All tents are equipped with air conditioning should it be required.
Marataba has one family tented area which is two tents close together. The tents are enclosed on one side by a wall which allows parents to go across and see their children in safety if needed.
Two children are able to sleep in a tent with their parents. The children sleep on luxury stretchers, this is limited to children under the age of 14.
Please note children under 6 are not permitted at the lodge without special arrangement. Also, children under 6 may not go on game drive.
Open plan lounge and dining area, Swimming Pool, Spa, Wi-fi
Activities at Marataba vary with the seasons. The area is most commonly explored with an expert guide in an open 4x4 safari vehicle where local places of beauty and interest will be pointed out to you, as well as you being able to spot some game. Walks and even swims in the mountain rock pools are available at certain times of the year.
Location & Directions
Marakele National Park, 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.
When to go
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. Fall (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.