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“Most beautiful place ever”

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Marataba Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Thabazimbi
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
1 review
“Most beautiful place ever”
Reviewed 15 November 2012

The best ever relaxing cosy place to go.From the entrance gate you will start seeing animals already, and on arrival you get welcomed by a manager and a drink. Your luggage gets taken to the room and Sherry waiting. Do's and don'ts get explained and when u are ready u can relax and absorb the beauty of the surroundings. Game drives are very nice and relaxing. Food is very good but still prefer steaks etc...but we tried everything. Chef comes to tell u what he or she is preparing for dinner and u sit and relax and have a drink or six. Room 10 is definitely the best one to be in, most beautiful view of all. Everything about Marataba is excellent. Will definitely go again in 2013 and stay longer than weekend.

Room Tip: Room 10 the best or no: 9 also good.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Stephena5040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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349 reviews from our community

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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2012

Let's be clear: The Waterberg as a safari destination is hugely underrated. Add a world class lodge such as Marataba and you end up with an outstanding package and the best I have experienced in my 15 odd years in and around the continent of Africa.

The 23000 hectare private concession of Marakele National offers fantastic mountain back drops to a highly diverse bush and an abundance of wildlife. You will find yourself taking truck loads of iPhone pictures worthy of becoming screen savers on your computer. But reality is of course always better and I challenge everyone to mention a more breathtaking spot in South Africa and beyond. They say pink is bit of a girlie color, but when the sun sets on the wrinkled sandstone rocks of 'The Berg' you will silently admit to yourself that it's the prettiest (pink) thing you have ever seen.

We travelled two families with both younger children and a teen. Even though Marataba is very bush-boutique-chic it absorbs children with warmth and kindness. The food and service were top notch and a special kudos to JP, our ranger for the three days we spent there. He tackled our younger kids very well and made it very clear to them and us what was acceptable and what was not when respectfully embracing the wild. He is a walking talking encyclopedia and balanced the whole experience very well, taking on a barrage of questions from the younger ones while pouring adequate doses of both safari trivia and mind boggling stats, facts and findings on the older passengers. Outstanding he is!

So what's not to like: Well, it ain't cheap and the ***** embrace can be a bit suffocating when you just want to chill. Then again, you can always say 'no thanks' and reboot back to default bush setting, find that book and that hammock overlooking the waterhole which was frequented by both elephants and antelopes when we were there.

Next time we go: I shall make time for that fishing trip and a game walk. I just hope JP is still there to gracefully promote that spot which he so clearly cherishes.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bister22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dannenfels
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2012

After five years we spent the second time four nights at Marataba. People changed, but not the dedication to make your stay unforegetable. Our tent bungalow - this time at the pool side- was nicely oriented to the plain field, where every morning a hundred of impalas passed by. It is a priviledge to participate especially the morning safaries in that private game ressort - not meeting many other cars as in other parks - undisturbed and well informed by a knowledgeable ranger. On our first day we saw all big 5, elephants, rhinos, lion, buffalo and leopard, but also many other remarkable mammals and birds. We enjoyed the delicious food at lunch and dinner, nicely decorated in different table settings according to wind and wheather conditions - good discussions with other guests in a round at the camp fire.
An experience to repeat some years later again.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank helmut d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed 27 September 2012

The accommodations at Marataba were like nothing I've ever experienced! I can't express how exquisite and thoughtful the décor was and then put it in the setting of one of many National Parks in Africa and you get a dream vacation. We saw the big five in just two days and this wasn't luck. Marataba's expert guides and trackers work their darnedest to find any animals you may have missed in earlier days. On our last morning our guide Arie was determined to get us a leopard sighting and we got it tenfold. We came across the most dramatic scene of a leopard eating a kudu in a tree with hyenas anxiously waiting below...it may have been one of the most exciting things I've ever witnessed in nature. If you get to take one safari in South Africa in your life, this is it.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank StephanievR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2012

Spent the long weekend 22-24 September at this magnificent lodge.

Is there anything bad?
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, except maybe that we only spent 2x days there and could have stayed a week. :) It starts with arrival at the boundry gate and being met by the friendliest smile from security. The lodge itself is the most beutiful piece of architecture i have ever seen. It is bright, modern and just so welcoming. All public areas are immaculately maintained.

The rooms are exceptionally spacious, immaculately clean and so well layed out that it is a pleasure to spend time in the room. The rooms have a very private outdoor shower that in the 30 degree plus heat is a real treat. There are perfectly located plug points, for charging cell phones and ladies hairdryers. Then it is the attention to detail that really makes the difference. There is a vat of Sherry in the rooms and the quality of the extras. The soap, shampoo and air freshner are all Charlotte Rhys. The towels we had looked and felt as if they were brand new.

Service, is equally top notch. If you ordered a drink, you couldnt count to 10, before it arrived. The staff are always friendly but never in your face. What is ultra impressive is that management are always around, interacting with the guests and also actively involved in serving and assisting.

Food is plentiful(as you would expect at a 5 star lodge) Breakfasts have a very healthy feel about them and dinners were an absolute taste delight. Lunches were more on the light side(no shortage of food) i.e vegetarian on 2nd day and light meat(Ostrich kebabs) on 1st.

With regards to game drives, i probably enjoyed the drives more than any others i have taken over the last 15 years. Howard our ranger was truly exceptional in every way. He was ultra knowledgeble, so friendly and just always gave the impression of being in total control and at one with his guests. To add to our enjoyment we had lovely fellow guests. A couple who got engaged at the lodge and another couple celebrating their 10 yr anniversary. Stopping halfway during the drives for drinks and snacks and chatting with Howard and our new "friends' was lovely.

I think a point worth mentioning is that one has to go to a a Lodge like Marataba, which is not situated in the Kruger area, with reasonable expectations of what you are going to see. Me and my wife thought the game viewing was excellent. We saw, Lion, Rhino and Elephant close up. G

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
224 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We stayed for 3 nights in Marataba. We didn`t know what to expect, as it was our first safari. When we got there we entered the gate with our small rental car. I have to say, I was really scared to get stuck in the sand, but it was okay. When we got to the lodge, they took our luggage and car. We got a cold drink and then we had lunch. After that they showed us our room. Wow, the tent was luxurious. The view was to a waterhole where we saw every day new animals. The room was super clean and a bottle of sherry was waiting for us. Then we went on our first game drive - that was exciting. We saw lots of things, were going after tracks and had a nice sundownwer. When we got back, we had a nice glass of wine and dinner. I have to say, the service was amazing, the food, there are no words to describe that. We had the chance to talk to the manager as well, and that was a very nice experience too. The game drives were all good. Well, there were not so many animals and the good ones are hard to track, but the cool thing is, that you have to find them. On the last day, they gave us back our car, it was washed and ready to go. Thank you for an amazing experience - we will come back.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Martin2010187337
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
128 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2012

I was treated to go to Marataba for a night for my birthday. The lodge is situated in a concession of the Marakele Game Reserve and is situated with a beautiful view towards the Waterberg Mountain Range.

The lodge is designed in a modern architectural style with rock, timber and glass and is really beautiful in every sense. On arrival at the lodge, a lone elephant came to the watering hole and drank, and this was the perfect welcome for us. The lawned area in front of the lodge is the perfect place to sit during the day and soak up the surrounding area, bush and views towards the mountain. In actual fact, this is all we did the whole time at the lodge. We decided not to go out on game drives in the reserve as we actually just wanted to relax and enjoy the lodge and surroundings.

The tented suites are also wonderful and beautifully located. Our suite (which was the last one on the right past the swimming pool – no 12) had 270º views of the mountains and bush. The manager took us to our suite and upon arrival at the suite; we saw a brown hyena carrying an old kudu carcass away from the tent. This happened about 5m from our porch. This really was a special sighting as the brown hyenas are not a regular sighting. The tented suite has everything you can dream of and the bathroom is beautiful with free standing egg bath and adjacent shower, with private outdoor shower all overlooking the Waterberg Mountains. Complimentary wine, sherry, snacks upon arrival just made everything special.

The food during our stay at Marataba was really excellent, as normally lodge food can be a bit bland and tasteless and unimaginative, but it was truly delicious, fresh, well prepared food that looked and tasted excellent. Compliments to the chef of the lodge!

We did find the wine list a bit small, but it is also understandable with a lodge being that far from the nearest shops, but maybe a bit more choice can be added.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the lodge and will definitely be back for longer stay in the greener season and then do game drives as well. That said, just by driving to the lodge, staying at the lodge and driving back, we saw plenty of wildlife to satisfy our needs. Giraffes, wildebeest, elephant, hyena, plenty of buck and obviously the ever present warthogs.

This is a magical place and is worth the visit!

Room Tip: Ask for Tent no 10 - has a beautiful position and view!
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mitxcoac
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
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Thabazimbi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre 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
Marataba Safari Lodge Thabazimbi, Africa - South Africa

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