Guests per Safari Vehicle
Marataba Mountain Lodge lies within a 23 000-hectare concession in the eastern sector of the magnificent Marakele National Park, at the foot of the Waterberg Mountains, approximately 3.5-hour drive north of Johannesburg in western Limpopo. Thabazimbi, Rustenburg and Ellisras are all within easy reach.
Within a dramatic landscape encompassing vast plains, dense bushveld, winding rivers, deep gorges and majestic mountains, Marataba is an exclusive private concession in the heart of Limpopo's Marakele National Park, a 'place of sanctuary' for Africa's Big Five and a multitude of other animal species including rare antelope such as roan, sable and mountain reedbuck. This malaria-free wilderness is also home to the world's largest breeding colony of the endangered Cape Vulture. Birdlife within the park is prolific with more than 400 species having been recorded, a veritable birder's Eden.
Marataba Mountain Lodge is a stunning eco-friendly camp situated in a remote part of a beautiful 23,000ha concession within the Marakele National Park.
Marataba Mountain Lodge was originally designed for keen hikers looking for a bush adventure in a big 5 game reserve. However now it offers all the same activities as its sister lodge, – game drives, sundowner river cruises and bush walks. But if you are keen to do bush walks, it is very well situated!
The lodge is cleverly hidden on the hillside with 180-degree views into Waterfall Valley. It has a true sense of wilderness, utterly remote and with only 5 rooms.
Everything in the lodge reflects the natural bush outside – it is designed to complement and not compete with the landscape. But great attention has been given to ensuring a quality experience. The result is what they term a ‘Scandi-safari’ design which is off the grid – taking its energy solely from the sun’s rays.
This is the ideal place if you are looking for a ‘digital detox’ with neither wi-fi nor cell phone reception. However solar power allows camera equipment & phones to be recharged to ensure they are always at the ready to capture another glorious day!
All five rooms have spectacular views down into Waterfall Valley, which is particularly magical at sunset. Each has a private shaded viewing deck, fireplace and en suite bathroom with a rain shower (with a view). The lodge has recently added a small swimming pool for relaxation during the heat of the day.
The Marakele National Park is characterized by contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys. All 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, have settled here.
Marakele is home to most of the large mammals synonymous with the African bush, including elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, leopard and cheetah. Lion and spotted hyena are the only large predators found in the park. A small pride will soon be re-introduced in the park. The wild dogs have been the first of these re-introductions. Resident antelope include, sable, kudu, eland, impala, waterbuck, tsessebe and many smaller species. Chacma baboon and Vervet monkey are two species to be watched carefully for mischief, particularly around the rest camps.
It is possible to see certain closely related species alongside one another. These include (eastern species first) Southern and Crimson breasted Boubou, Arrow marked and Pied Babbler, Tawny-flanked and Black-chested Prinia, Pintailed and Shafttailed Whydah, Black-eyed and Redeyed Bulbul, Grey and Cape Penduline Tit and Whitebrowed and Kalahari Robin.
The park is an excellent place to look for raptors, with many species using the uplift generated off the cliff faces of the Waterberg to sore on the thermals. Apart from the vultures, visitors should look for Gymnogene, Jackal Buzzard and several eagle species, including Black, African Hawk, Black-breasted Snake and Brown Snake Eagle. In summer Wahlberg's Eagle becomes prominent. On areas of high ground, Cape Rock Thrush, Mocking and Mountain Chat, Malachite and Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Swee Waxbill should be searched for.
Other species to look out for in the lower-lying bushveld and broadleaf woodland regions include Purple Roller, Black Cuckooshrike, Brubru, White-crowned Shrike and White Helmetshrike and the exquisite Blue, Violeteared and Black-cheeked Waxbills. Bee-eaters are conspicuous, particularly White-fronted and Little with Swallow-tailed (winter) and Carmine and European (summer) present as well.
5 Eco-Suites (showers only)
Johannesburg - OR Tambo International
3.5 hours from Johannesburg
Marataba Mountain Lodge, South Africa