Lauren - the best guide. Cannot praise her enough. She made the holiday so special and exciting for Suzanne and I. Her enthusiasm for her work, her knowledge and tracking experience meant we saw everything more than once and from every angle too! The setting of the lodge was fantastic and the views superb. Animals wandering around to greet us at every turn. All were happy to be around us and we didn’t feel scared at all. The staff were friendly and nothing was too much trouble. This is a little slice of heaven on earth. Thank you for starting our holiday of so well.
I booked this trip to celebrate my husband beating cancer twice. I realized you never know what will happen and I didn't want to put off a bucket list item any longer. I reached out to Ally to begin the process and from that very moment, the interaction and planning was 100% warm and welcoming. Even with complicated travel plans, Ally and team adapted, suggested options, and helped us secure the best itinerary we could. We arrived at Marataba Lodge after a Cape Town adventure. On our way into the Lodge, we saw tons of animals, including lions! We had an absolute welcome committee when we arrived, and all were friendly and helpful. Our accommodations were outstanding, and very comfortable. We booked a Family tent for my husband, son, and me. We especially enjoyed the outdoor shower, but our view was not to be beat - loads of impala greeted us each time we arrived or left our tent. Our servers, Euphinia and Shawn were awesome, friendly, helpful, and everything you would want them to be. The food quality was high, and though there were a handful of selections each meal, it was a nice, diverse offering with something for everyone. Tea was also a standout, with delicious food (I preferred the savories). We enjoyed the Boma dinner, too, and it was nice to enjoy a meal with our guide and our group. Speaking of our guide, she was absolutely A+, top notch. I am sure all of the guides are good, but I am so happy Lauren was our guide. She is absolutely passionate about what she does, incredibly knowledge with a strong teaching orientation. She is a good mix of competitive - she wants to get you as close to the game, seeing as much game as possible, yet she's totally collaborative with her field guides. On one particular drive, she spotted an awesome lion, but she made sure other guides knew about him too so all could enjoy. Every drive is different, you never know what you're going to see. And we saw the Big 5, most multiple times, and while I could say we saw it all, it sure seems like we should have booked another day or two. Patience, the Kids Club lead was so friendly and welcoming to our son. He enjoyed his time there, and it was nice to have a little bit of free time, too. If you're looking for a slower time, I'd suggest being there during the week. Obviously, I only have one experience, but it seemed to pick up the closer to Friday we got. Locals join for the weekend. If you like things busy, later in the week / the weekend is for you!…
I have to write this review but I wish I didn’t as I want to keep this secret to myself! Husband and I booked this as part of our 30th Wedding Anniversary trip to SA. This lodge is just a 3.5 hour drive from Johannesburg international airport but felt a million miles away. From the moment we arrived at the gate to the moment we left we were treated like family. Our guide, JJ, was exceptional. We had such varied drives and some outstanding animal interactions include a small pride of lions walk past the jeep as close as 5 feet away. We were also privileged to spot a leopard on our very first evening drive! We saw rhino, buffalo, elephants, a pack of hyenas, zebras, kudu, warthogs and impala. Plenty of birds including egrets, fishing eagles and walk berg eagles creating a new nest! Back at camp, our butler, KG, was super attentive and served us fabulous food - we really were stuffed after each day. Two game drives per day (5:30 and 15:30) were all unique. The ability to relax looking out over the mountain range whilst watching the animals at the waterhole was just phenomenal. Kim was brilliant and her and the team welcomed us back from each drive with iced towels and refreshments. Another highlight was an evening trip on the pontoon Miss Mara with James, JJ and Lauren. So wonderful to get this different perspective of the park and to see hippos in the water from the water. I cried when I left; I didn’t want to go- 2 nights isn’t long enough! We will definitely return.…
Had a super 5 days with my young kids at Marataba Safari Lodge, part of the More Collection. The camp was superb; the game viewing truly unreal; and the food and drink offerings excellent. Special mention to our game driver, Stohm, who was superb - great with the kids, very knowledgeable and patient; and made our game experience all that much better. The lodge managers, Roy and Madelaine were excellent and ensure our stay was as expected; and the staff at the lodge were great - friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and superb with my kids. The game viewing and quality of sightings was incredible - big 5, all the variety of antelope, bat eared foxes, jackals etc. The sunset cruise on the pontoon boat was a highlight. One of the more memorable holidays I have had with my kids.
Our whole family (and grandchildren) joined us for three nights to celebrate my wife’s birthday. Everything was absolutely perfect! The game drives and morning coffee or sundowners in the bush were idyllic and the animal sightings breathtaking. Our rooms, meals and staff similarly at a par with the best we experienced anywhere in the world. Highly recommended.
Staying here was the highlight of our SA trip. The staff were so warm and helpful, the kids club was packed with wildlife based activities and the game drives with William were exceptional. He was the heart and soul of the trip.
Absolute safari perfection. We traveled with our kids and some friends. Hospitality: exceptional food and service that complements and doesn’t distract from the safari experience. It’s truly a seamless and perfected stay. Guides: extremely knowledgeable, skillful and conscientious guides. You can feel the investment More has made in training and hiring guides of the highest quality. Safari activities: the variety of the drives and the stunning beauty and diversity of the reserve makes for comprehensive enjoyment and education. Communication and care from every staff member and manager was incredible.
We had heard lots of amazing things about Marataba and had been trying to visit since over a year. Unfortunately, they are so popular, that I was never able to get a booking over a weekend. We finally had a mid-week break and they were available and we got to visit them earlier this week. The road to Marataba is mostly highway and only turns into a smooth dirt road for the last 16-17km if you take the recommended route. (compared to the terrible roads leading to Lodges at Gowrie Gate - GKNP - Sabi Sands) Huge Plus Point. The rooms are very comfortable with double sinks and both indoor & outdoor showers (indoor showers are essential for me after a dusty evening drive, when its too cold for the outdoors) The in-room fridge and coffee station are very well stocked. The location is stunningly beautiful with the Waterberg mountains as a backdrop. There is a lot of wildlife about, but not at the same density as some other parks. On a 2 night break, we were able to view lions, rhino and cheetahs. We missed a leopard by 10 seconds. The buffalo here are a bit reclusive and we only saw elephants as we drove to the gate after checking out. I was hoping to see some of the species endemic to this park like reedbuck and white tailed mongoose - but they remained elusive. Our ranger was the Head Ranger Scott who is phenomenal. His knowledge, passion for the bush, infinite patience in answering our questions and the way he interacts with the rest of the staff is amazing. The water safari on Miss Mara is a unique experience and James our guide on the water was very good. This area is brilliant for birding and both James and Scott know their birds very well. It however, puzzled us all when a flock of 7 night herons kept flying around us all through the morning cruise. The hippo pod bobbed up to say hello, but kept their distance. Plenty of water monitors and even a little python were sighted on this ride. James and Scott also led us on a Bush Walk. They both did an excellent job, but the 32+C temperature played spoilsport - we were all extremely hot and the animals, even the little ones were curled up fast asleep somewhere. The food was very good and the portion sizes were perfect for me. The MORE special chilli sauce is the bomb! Everyone we met and interacted with at Marataba was lovely - Chantel, Olivia, Vanessa, Shaun, Innocent, Euphenia, Hendrick, Thabo, JC/Jessy - the Chef, Kuda and Liesl from the Concierge team. - everyone working behind the scenes too. …
This is the kind of place that takes your breath away when you arrive. Everybody is so attentive to your every need. The food is excellent, and almost non stop. The game drives give really good appreciation of the wildlife (big and small) and the environment. Give me a ticket to anywhere in the world and this is probably where I would go. I love this place
Went as apart of our honeymoon trip…The people were friendly and engaging. The staff checked up on us and took great care to make sure we were happy and comfortable. Our field guide Elmar led great game drives. Our bellies were always full and happy. We saw lions, cheetah, elephants, rhino, zebras, giraffes, buffalo, birds, impala, kudu, eland, warthogs, jackals, civets, catfish, lizards, snakes, brown hyena, vervet monkeys, baboons, hippos, the list goes on. The experience was unforgettable because it was fun,exciting, educational, and the people were lovely to connect with. We would be lucky to go back!