The Marataba Trails Lodge experience
Marataba Mountain Lodge
Marakele National Park, Madikwe and the northwest, South Africa
At a Glance
Get back to nature with an absence of mobile phone signal, or other modern distractions
A wide range of walking trails, as well as game drives and river cruises offering hugely diverse scenery
Luxurious accommodation with incomparable wilderness surroundings
Exceptional bird-watching from October to April
A year-round, malaria free and big five safari 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 Mountain Lodge is a luxurious secluded retreat with just five eco suites offering guests peace and solitude, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of the Marataba reserve, a Big Five wildlife reserve within the Marakele National Park.
Elevated on a mountain side with views out over the Waterberg Escarpment, Marataba Mountain Lodge is a stylish and contemporary safari lodge blending into the natural environment, catering for adults and children 16 years and over.
The main lodge is contemporary in design with floor to ceiling windows bringing the outside in, with simplistic yet stylish interiors of natural earth tones echoing the true wilderness environment. The main lodge brings guests together to relax both day and night, to cool off in the infinity pool or enjoy a sundowner around the camp fire. Due to the intimate nature of the lodge, meals are shared around one dinning table, allowing guests to mix and share stories of their adventures so far.
With just five luxurious eco suites, the lodge is small and intimate, ideal for couples or friends looking for privacy and the ultimate escape from the outside world. Each suite enjoys views from their private deck, a fireplace and en-suite bathroom with rain shower. In-suite spa treatments are offered by expert therapists for those looking for some pampering.
Home to the big five as well as good rhino populations, Marataba offers guests a first rate safari experience whether out on a game drive, boat safaris or out on foot with experienced guides on a specialised walking safari. A night in the Thabametsi tree house is also a unique experience offering guests a night to remember sleeping out under the stars.
This is the perfect place for those wanting to disconnect from the outside world, with an absence of mobile phone reception (wifi is available), this is where you go to completely get back to nature in a remote and authentic wilderness world of your own. Due to the nature of the lodge's elevated location, Marataba Mountain lodge is not recommended for guests who are physically challenged.
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.
How to get there
Fly to Johannesburg, a 10-hour 30- minute flight from London. From here it is a 3-hour 30-minute drive to Marataba, alternatively charter flights in light aircraft can be arranged to Thabazimbi Airstrip, a short drive from the reserve.