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 neighbouring 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 metre 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.