“Marataba Safari Lodge is a simple but luxury extension of the natural environment beyond its walls – rich, bold, organic and patently magnificent. It’s my favourite safari lodge in Limpopo and perhaps even in South Africa – and I’ve seen loads. If you sit quietly for long enough, you can feel the energy of the countless people who have made this place home since The Stone Age.”
Marataba is a malaria-free 23,000 hectare private concession within the Big 5 Marakele National Park in Limpopo, South Africa. Just four hours from Johannesburg, this is a sanctuary where you can find yourselves again by connecting with nature. We were rendered breathless by the dramatic Waterberg mountains, vast plains, rich animal diversity and winding rivers cutting through the landscape of the Marakele National Park.
Rich red mountain rock meets lush green plains and all of the large game species from elephant and rhino to the big cats, as well as an amazing variety of birds (including the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures in the world, with more than 800 breeding pairs) have settled here!
We stayed in a canvas-and-stone tented suite that was tastefully furnished and decorated with a contemporary. The interior is truly ample, and the attention to detail impeccable, and I haven’t said anything about the view yet… Waterberg is such a special place and the mountain views are amazing. When we were there, some controlled bush fires lit the whole mountain and especially at night this gave everything a special dimension. Imagine going on a safari, looking for leopards with fires in the distance? Jurassic Park vibes all over again!
Our guide Luke is the loveliest and knowledgable guide I’ve ever met (and I studied wildlife in South Africa!) and he stayed with us for three days, taking us on safaris each morning and evening – as well as on a a boat safari on Miss Mara! We saw so many wildlife, it’s unbelievable. Seeing the big five was a daily thing, the sundowners were unforgettable and the food SO tasteful. Each night it was a surprise, fine dining under the stars with fires, around the boma, a braai, you name it. Everything is included when you book at Marataba Safari Lodge – the accommodation, food & drinks and two safaris daily.
Their newest gem, an open air tree house (LOVE TREE HOUSES!) just opened so I really need to go back one day. Super bohemian indeed! They also have another lodge nearby on the hills called Marataba Trails Lodge, specialized for the hikers and walking safari lovers!
I had to share this Marataba bucket list with you, I’ve ticked them all off!
THE MARATABA BUCKET LIST
– Head out on foot for a bush walk with a guide
– Drink a glass of bubbles on safari while watching the sunset
– Take a self-portrait at your favourite animal sighting
– Enjoy a body treatment, distracted only by the sound of the birds
– Enjoy a bit of retail therapy in the ONELIFE MORE boutique
– Take at least one picture of an African sunset and sunrise
– Take a walk around the lodge and see how many trees you can identify
– Take a picture with a favourite team member
– Take an unhurried cruise on Miss Mara
– Lie back and look up at the Milky Way and spot some shooting stars
– Have a private picnic in the bush
– Dine under the Camel Thorn Tree
– Join the Marataba Facebook page and become part of the family
Last picture: newest tree house, photo by Marataba