I was on a business trip in Johannesburg and did not want to spend the weekend on my own in Johannesburg. Someone recommended the region and I just picked the lodge with the best ratings in trip advisor - which was Marataba. And it was really perfect!
I stay in hotels a lot for business, and do lots of weekend trips - but I did not have such a nice weekend in ages!
Cleanliness / Rooms:
Very tidy, clean, beautiful interior design. Luxurious without overdoing it, always staying in the african theme. The "tents" are really little huts with a tented roof. Very quiet, in the middle of the bush, with a great bath tub, with a view in the open... Every hut has it's own little patio, with comfortable seats and the antilopes were just grazing 20 m away... The lounge and dining room (as it was winter it gets cold at night and they had lots of small and large fires going).
Perfect! Private resort, you do not meet other jeeps on the game runs. Large, the lodge is isolated, the tents distributed over quite a range, so you feel really quiet and close to nature. It took me 3-3.5 hrs from Johannesburg (Sandton) by car. Very good street, you can drive in a rental.
I saw lots and lots of wild animals, with an extremely knowledgable ranger guide; we had Lions and an Elephant stay right in the camp as well...
At lunch time we set on the lawn to lunch, looking at the mountains and at night the garden was alight with torches and small fires...
Small pool (with Warthogs grazing around you) - but it was too cold in July to go into it; but must be nice in the summer.
It was winter (off) season, so I got a very good rate; it was all inclusive; with 4 meals a day, all non-alcoholic beverages and two 3-4 hr game runs a day - I paid ca. 230 EUR for one day (with single occupancy) which is really great value for money. Especially with the real 5 star quality of room, service, game rides and food
There was free WLAN in the lounge (of course not too high speed - but that's ZA's infrastructure in the bush) and a free Internet PC as well.
Service / Food
Service was great. Very personal and friendly, with just 30 guests max at any time. Very knowledgeable staff that strives to fulfil all your wishes. They were really concerned that I got bored, travelling on my own, but I just loved the silence and quiet (and I met a few nice new people through the game rides and in the lounge).
The food was very good. A bit African, a bit European, some Asian - as always in South Africa, well mixed. Extremly high quality; breakfast, lunch, then "High Tea" (the cakes are a dream) and dinner. I recommend not to stay to long if you want to keep your figure..
Overall - excellent and well worth a visit! It is a great place for couples / honeymoon surely as well and if I get a chance I will definitely return.
- 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