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“Amazing!”

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Marataba Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Thabazimbi
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
Reviewed May 9, 2011

We are literally just back from our stay at Marataba, where we were lucky enough to have the place (for 30 people) completely to ourselves. The lodge is really beautiful, lovely design and the rooms are fabulous and we had a stunning view over the Waterberg mountains (room 11 -recommended). The food was lovely and the went to so much effort to make lots of things for me that were gluten free, including bread and cakes. We were so well looked after by the staff and the chefs that our waislines have suffered a bit as a result.

At times the service was a little bit contrived and we felt that being the only ones there meant that they could have relaxed a little bit more, but that is my only criticism of the place.

It is really a stunning location with a lovely reserve around it and knowledgable rangers. It was a complete pleasure and we had to tear ourselves away. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Room 11 has a great view
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnjaP40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2011

I've rated Marataba as excellent because it excels at what it does; but with the slight caveat that, as this was my 8th safari, it wasn't quite for me. The property is a concession within the Marakele National Park, an ambitious project which is bringing together a number of private game concessions within a larger national park area. The land was primarily agricultural until 11 years ago and like many parks in SA has relocated animals to the area to supplement those (like leopard, and the wide range of birds) which had previously been able to co-exist with agriculture. It's a fascinating and admirable project, but the result may feel a little tame to those with experience of the more intact ecosystems elsewhere in Southern Africa.

There's therefore bound to be a limit to how wild a safari experience Marataba can provide, but within these limits, it strikes an excellent balance between the luxury expected from a Relais & Chateaux property, and creating a genuine safari feel. The wood and canvas "tents" (nothing like tents!) have wide balconies looking across the landscape, en-suite bathrooms with a huge bath, and inside and outside showers. Warthogs live under the floor (hence only 4 out of 5 for sleep quality - they're quite noisy) and kudu, bushbucks and the odd snake patrol around the property. Guiding is good and there is a good range of habitat within driving distance of the lodge. Drives are the only activity available at the moment although plans are in place to introduce game walks as well.

Which would be brilliant, because the food is superb and plentiful.

The lodge is ideal for families - accessible in a 2 wheel drive from Jo'burg and, most importantly, non-malarial.

Overall, if you want a safari experience that is accessible and comfortable, with just enough of a wild edge to feel like you're in Africa, Marataba will fit the bill perfectly (if you can afford it...)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MirandaMEJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

My wife, 18 year old son and I spent 3 nights at Marataba and would rate it very highly. The setting before the Waterberg mountains is magnificent and the rooms are part luxury tent part stone with full mod cons and plenty of style. It was incredibly comfortable and spotlessly clean.The main building is stylishly modern and elegant, mostly in glass, and gives onto a lawn overlooking the bush and mountains - stupendous. At night they hang lanterns everywhere to provide a brilliant atmosphere.

Service was very good although we had to ask once for the dishes at dinner to be served a little more quickly. The staff are polished, professional and incredibly friendly.

The rangers - Arie and Riaan - were as professional, knowledgeable and accommodating as you can get. We have done safaris before and like the "Little 5" as well as the "Big 5". The guides enthralled us with fascinating information about trees, plants, insects, birds as well as the big mammals. They were flexible on drive length and we could radio in to delay breakfast or dinner if we found something interesting. We were the only ones there when we stayed but even with a full house there won't be more than 5/6 vehicles in 23,000 hectares, so you really feel you have it to yourselves. You have to work for the animals in the Highveld bush but we got close to lion, elephant and rhino as well as glimpsing leopard. This is not for people who want the "wham bam, thank you, mam" Big 5 experience in a day and a half...but for those who appreciate style and comfort in a wonderful setting with people who really know and care about the bush.

Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank GarB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

From the moment I arrived, (being nervous when they took my car) until the second they took me back to my car. The service and facilities where out of the world.



Accommodation is stunning, loving d?cor and very comfortable. Outside shower was the best! The turn downs were done with such attention to detail and each guest receiving this will feel so special. Compliments to the Housekeeping department as they were never seen but you could see that they were always near you as the room was always spotless and felt fresh clean and wonderful

THANK YOU TO SHAREEN (sorry I can not remember the other ladies name)



Game Drives – GREAT, a lot of information and a lot to see. Quality of the wildlife and surroundings is great. Best is the amount of water you have there.

Touches of Sunrise coffee and Sun set cocktails in the bush I LOVE.

THANK YOU TO RYAN AN RIAAN



Catering – Ok well the chef got me meeting items which I never eat. The quality and freshness of the food was fantastic. The creativeness of meals and high tea, made a person excited for their next meal.

I must say you really feed your guests well as I have never eaten so much food before.



Staff – each and every person I got to meet was warm and friendly, I only saw one housekeeping lady during the morning but there were around as my room was spotless at all times.



Thank you once again for a fantastic stay and congratulations on such stunning facilities.

.



From the moment I arrived, (being nervous when they took my car) until the second they took me back to my car. The service and facilities where out of the world.



Accommodation is stunning, loving d?cor and very comfortable. Outside shower was the best! The turn downs were done with such attention to detail and each guest receiving this will feel so special. Compliments to the Housekeeping department as they were never seen but you could see that they were always near you as the room was always spotless and felt fresh clean and wonderful

THANK YOU TO SHAREEN (sorry I can not remember the other ladies name)



Game Drives – GREAT, a lot of information and a lot to see. Quality of the wildlife and surroundings is great. Best is the amount of water you have there.

Touches of Sunrise coffee and Sun set cocktails in the bush I LOVE.

THANK YOU TO RYAN AN RIAAN



Catering – Ok well the chef got me meeting items which I never eat. The quality and freshness of the food was fantastic. The creativeness of meals and high tea, made a person excited for their next meal.

I must say you really feed your guests well as I have never eaten so much food before.



Staff – each and every person I got to meet was warm and friendly, I only saw one housekeeping lady during the morning but there were around as my room was spotless at all times.



Thank you once again for a fantastic stay and congratulations on such stunning facilities.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 10, 2010

We went to Marataba last month for the first part of our honeymoon and it was absolutely fantastic. We stayed for 6 nights which we felt was the perfect length of stay. It gave us the best possible chance to see as many animals and to enjoy everything else there is to offer. The lodge is absolutely beautiful, the service is first class, the rangers are brilliant, the scenery is amazing and the food brilliant! We were blown away by the attention to detail and would recommend Marataba to absolutely anyone!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank amyjdey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pretoria
1 review
Reviewed August 10, 2010

beautiful surroundings made even more special by excellent food and service, good wine selection and wonderfully private rooms... one of the best priced lodges in south africa!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tombiPretoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 20, 2010

We had a lovely stay at the Marataba, which is a fantastic safari lodge set in the heart of a beautiful game reserve. The game drives were excellent as the rangers always tried their hardest to find the animals we wanted to see that day. Even if we did not see very much they made up for it by imparting their extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna.

It is not only the animals and the setting which make this place so special, but also the smaller touches, like the personalised menus and the fact that everyone knew your name and wanted you to enjoy your stay as much as possible. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for anyone and if you wanted to be left to relax on your own you were not interrupted. The whole emphasis of this hotel is relaxation and relax we most certainly did. The only downside being the food was so incredible that we put on weight during our 5 night stay!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank techylaslammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marataba Safari Lodge

Property: Marataba Safari Lodge
Address: Rooiberg Road | Marakele National Park, Thabazimbi 380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Thabazimbi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Thabazimbi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Marataba Safari Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marataba is a malaria-free 23000 hectare private concession within the Big5 Marakele National Park (Limpopo, South Africa). Just four hours from Johannesburg, this is a sanctuary where busy people can find themselves 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 (where you will find yellowwood and cedar trees, 5m high cycads and tree ferns). 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. Marataba Safari Lodge is a simple extension of the natural environment beyond its walls - rich, bold, organic and patently magnificent. Whether you prefer your own company or that of new-found friends, there are a number of spots from which to soak up the view - hammock, pool lounger or grassy patch. On the menu for your pleasure is a smorgasbord of activities from which to choose. Whether game drive, walking trail, sunset river excursion on Miss Mara, or a private dinner for two, there is never enough time to exhaust the many ways there are to love this place. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marataba Safari Company Hotel Waterberg

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