Marataba Mountain Lodge is perched on the side of the mountain in a malaria-free 23,000 hectare Big 5 private concession at the foothills of the Waterberg Mountains which forms part of the Marakele National Park, just 3.5 hours drive from Johannesburg. With 180 degree views into the valley below, the lodge is utterly remote and in a wilderness world of its own. It was designed and created for seasoned safari goers and hikers who are looking for diverse and challenging walking trails in a spectacularly beautiful Big 5 private malaria-free reserve where a rich abundance of wildlife roams free.
The trails are specialised, on-the-ground bush experiences which take you to the far reaches of the reserve - from the edge of the plains, past watering holes, into forested gorges, to historical interest areas, and over mountain crests presenting Africa in all its magnificence. The expert trails guides will advise on suitable routes based on your group’s preferences and fitness levels. The trails depart year round, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and last between 3-4 hours - but longer trails can be arranged for the more intrepid hiker on request.
While the key experience remains the morning hiking trails, guests can then experience a traditional vehicle safari on the Marataba concession or a 'Miss Mara' boat safari in the afternoon. Guests can also choose to spend a night in the Thabametsi Treehouse - a one-on-one experience with Africa under the starry sky.
Your Eco Suite (one of just 5) offers sophisticated simplicity, without clutter to distract from where you are. Even its design elements, from stripped-back wood furnishings to the stone colour palette, have taken their cue from the environment. There is still everything, however, you need for a luxury stay - kingsize bed, maxibar, Nespresso machine, wood-burning fireplace, en-suite rain shower, and shaded viewing deck. With no electricity, the atmosphere is enhanced by paraffin lamps throughout in the evenings.
The main lodge has an open plan lounge/dining area and viewing deck. The infinity pool is far enough from the main lodge area to allow for complete privacy, while still being close enough for quick service!
The rooms are all reached by a winding rocky path from the main lodge area - please note therefore that this is not a suitable terrain for people with walking disabilities.
Special offers for longer stays or when booked as part of a longer itinerary may apply - details on request.
In addition to the room rate, guests will also be charged the Marakele NP Guest Contribution (pp per stay)
1 January 2020 to 31 October 2020
GBP 6 USD 8 ZAR 128 EUR 7
pp per stay
In addition to the room rate, guests will also be charged the Marakele NP Gate/Entrance Fee (pp per stay)
1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020
GBP 14 USD 18 ZAR 295 EUR 16
pp per stay
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All meals; tea/coffee; all beverages (including soft drinks, beers, spirits and wines); all trail activities; refreshments and snacks on the trails; the Marakele NP entrance/gate fee; the Marakele Guest Conservation Contribution; and transfers between Marataba Safari Lodge and Marataba Mountain Lodge are included.
Children aged 16 years and older are welcome.
Marataba Mountain Lodge Location.
Directions For Drivers
Please DO NOT follow your GPS to Marataba. Many of the prescribed roads are not navigable in a normal vehicle. Following GPS co-ordinates can result in getting lost in the middle of the bush, or unnecessary delays.
From Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport: Depart OR Tambo following the airport exit signs (R21 and R24). Approximately 200m thereafter, the road forks. Take the right fork towards R21 N Pretoria/R24 Johannesburg. The road immediately turns sharply to the right. Get into the left lane and follow the signs to R21 N Pretoria as you exit the airport.
After exiting the airport, get into the left lane and follow the R21 N Kempton Park/Pretoria signs. After 300m, take the left off-ramp, following the R21N Kempton Park/Pretoria signs. Once on the R21N drive for 36.3 km.
You will see signs indicating exit 134 (N1 Noord, Pretoria/Polokwane/Johannesburg). Take the 134 exit. Immediately thereafter, the road forks. Take the right fork towards N1 North-Polokwane. Continue on the NI North-Polokwane passing through 2 toll gates (cash required).
Take off-ramp to Bela-Bela / Warmbaths (R516). Once in Bela-Bela, turn right at the first set of traffic lights into Marx Street (Waterfront Shopping Centre ahead of you). Continue across one intersection with traffic lights (Engen and Total petrol stations on either side) until you reach a T-junction. The Elephant Spring Hotels is ahead of you. Turn left into Sutter Road (Thabazimbi signpost ahead). At the T-junction, turn right into Ritchie Road. From here on, follow the signs to Thabazimbi (R516).
In Thabazimbi, turn left at third stop street towards Lephalale/Sentrum (at the Total petrol station) onto the R510. Travel for 32 km, and turn right to Lephalale (stay on the R510). Drive 11 km and turn right at the Marataba Safari Lodge sign post. Travel 8 km along the gravel road. The Marataba gate is on your left hand side.
Once inside the gate, follow the signs to the lodge through the reserve. Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.
Please Note: The gate opens at 07:00 and closes at 187:00. Please advise your consultant at Travel Butlers if you will be arriving outside of these times so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
General Information For Guests
Each suite has a kingsize bed, maxibar, Nespresso machine, wood-burning fireplace, en-suite rain shower, and shaded viewing deck.
A laundry service is available (additional cost).
Spa treatments (additional cost) are offered in the privacy of guests' suites by expert therapists.
Game drive vehicles take 6 guests per vehicle.
The hiking trails depart year round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Departure point is from the lodge, and you are transferred by vehicle to the start of the trail. The departure times are 06:00-06:15 in the summer and 07:00-07:15 in the winter. The trails are between 3 to 4 hours in duration, depending on the terrain, guests’ fitness levels, and weather. Longer 8 hour trails can be arranged for the more intrepid hiker. The minimum number of guests is 2; the maximum is 6. Two senior trails guides will accompany you, no matter the size of your group. They are FGASA accredited, with many years of experience in leading hiking trails within Big Five territories.
The Thabametsi Treehouse hideout is solar powered and built over 2 levels, and includes a main bedroom, full shower, lounge, and viewing decks. It has been securely constructed above the ground, where the animals remain at a safe and comfortable distance. Your field guide will provide a full orientation before departing, but is always on call via radio until you are collected the next morning after sunrise and a good breakfast. Your suite back at the lodge is still available just in case you wish to return at any time.
Your rate includes a Guest Conservation Contribution, which goes towards protecting the animals and their environment.
Please be advised that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), terrestrial UAVs, as well as aerial UAVs (or drones) is prohibited for the following reasons:-
1. The lodge is committed to ensuring that all guests and wildlife are not disturbed, where practically possible, by artificial mechanisms of any kind;
2. Security concerns around rhino poaching;
3. The use of recreational drones is prohibited in terms of Section101 of SA Civil Aviation Regulations 2015.
This policy includes the lodge staff as well as professional photographers.
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If you're not sure which place might be best for your own trip then either give us a call or get in touch via the website, and we'd be delighted to run through the options with you.