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“Beautiful Reserve”

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Marataba Safari Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Thabazimbi
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful Reserve”
Reviewed 27 June 2014

My wife and I spent 3 nights at Marataba Safari Lodge in early June 2014 and enjoyed a five star experience. The setting, accommodations, food, and game drive vehicles are top notch, as the other reviewers have described. In Marataba's case, the staff is what made it such an outstanding experience for us. General managers Gawie & Yolandi Grobler are engaged and enthusiastic about their jobs. Our field ranger - Melanie Delamare - was knowledgeable and insightful. The resort staff was gracious and helpful.
A highlight of our experience was a river cruise with Melanie Delamare and Liam Charlton. My wife and I had the good fortune of being the only two who chose to cruise that day, and we enjoyed a special encounter with playful, bathing elephants. Fortunately, we had taken a diversion to seek out an African Rock Python that was crossing the water ahead of us, only to stumble upon the young elephants frolicking in the shallow river waters directly ahead. We lingered there for a fascinating afternoon cruise.
We would gladly return to Marataba upon our next visit to South Africa.

Room Tip: The rooms front the stream that runs through the lodge.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank vagabond07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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336 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Wow! Where do I start? My husband and I just spent 2 nights at this magnificent lodge and I truly cannot find a single fault with any aspect of our stay!! We have been to numerous Game Reserves in the past, and I can honestly say that this area was by far the most picturesque we have been to. The views are simply beautiful and the staff couldn't have been more friendly, obliging or professional if they tried. Of all the lodges we have stayed at in South Africa, we have never been served so much food!!! Tea, Coffee & muffins upon waking for our drive, Mid morning snacks on our Safari, Generous breakfasts each morning (Continental & Hot), a 3 course lunch, High Tea, Snacks on our afternoon drive, and then a 3 course dinner upon our return! Just unbelievable. The chefs here clearly know what they doing, and each and every meal I had was simply delicious!!! The luxurious tents we stayed in were very spacious, beautiful and had every amenity you could wish for. The setting is peaceful and serene and to make it even more special, I had the most relaxing massage by the skilled therapist outside my tent overlooking the mountain view!
The game viewing was great too. As if having 2 separate Leopard spottings wasn't enough....on one of those occasions a leopard made a kill right in front of us and then stood only metres away from the jeep watching us closely with his dinner!! How lucky was that?? I have to give a very special mention to our Safari guide David, who was not only the nicest and most friendly guy you could meet, but his knowledge base was extensive and his enthusiasm for his job very impressive indeed. Thank you David. You made our stay a very memorable one. Every staff member at this lodge was incredibly friendly and enthusiastic in every way. It goes without saying that we will be returning to this lodge again!! You will not regret booking here. So do yourself a favour!! (Claire & Warren).

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bear1376
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Just back from a 3 night stay at Marataba. This is a MUST DO when you are in South Africa! We had 3 generations there & everyone completely enjoyed everything about this place! The service, food, safaris & tents are deserving of a 5 star rating. Gawie & crew worked hard to make sure we were happy 24/7. Thanks for a memorable trip, Marataba staff!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toledo, OH
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2014

The (second) best thing about Marataba is also its biggest weakness- you are the only lodge on this 23K hectare reserve. As such, the guides have to work a little harder to find the animals since they don't have a horde of vehicles from multiple lodges out there scouting for each other (max 5 vehicles from the lodge itself in the entire reserve). However, once you find something interesting, its all your to enjoy as long and as privately as you would like. And you will find interesting things - the game is plentiful and the guides excellent (no cheetah, however). Additionally, they appear to find some harder to find/unusual stuff that most places.

Food, rooms and staff are all excellent.

Best thing, actually, is Wikus, a guide and head of the safari program. Best guide I have had in over 3 months spent on safaris in different parts of Africa. Amazing knowledge and skill.

Overall, I would highly recommend this lodge for someone wanting an exclusive experience where you savor what the animals are doing. If this is your first safari where you just want to tick animals off a checklist, you will do fine here, but there are other reserves where you will see more types of animals in a shorter time.

Room Tip: All are great with excellent views, but 8 sometimes has a family of warthogs that stack themselves a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ProfJohnB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I have never written a review on Tripadvisor before but, after the most amazing stay at Marataba I have decided to put fingers to keyboard to let everyone know just how magical this place is. My Fiancée and I have recently returned from a four night stay at this beautiful lodge set under the gaze of the Waterburg Mountains. On our arrival we were greeted by Natasja outside the lodge, which we thought was a wonderful personal touch. As soon as she took us through to the main area we were blown away. The views across to the mountains were stunning, it genuinely took our breath away just how beautiful the surroundings of Marataba are. She explained all the details of the lodge and then showed us to our luxury tent. I use the term tent very loosely as it had a super king-size bed, large bath and wet room area with underfloor heating and a lovely outside deck that looks over to the mountains. After we had settled in it was time for lunch, which was exquisite. Every meal we had was of an exceptionally high standard. It was usually a three course meal choosing from several options off a set menu. My fiancée is vegetarian and the meals that they created were some of the best she has ever eaten. The staff and service were excellent, especially Shaun and Godfrey who always had a huge smile on their faces and could not be more attentive.
Over our 4 days we were able to go on 8 game drives, all of which were with our ranger for the time we were there, Wikus. We would like to take this opportunity to say that he made our holiday what it was. Wikus was very knowledgeable about all the animals in the reserve, the surrounding areas, even the night sky. He was funny, enthusiastic and made us enjoy every second we were in the Jeep, even on the cold mornings when we were supplied with blankets and hot water bottles to keep us warm. He was able to find four of the Big Five, including a leopard sitting beside the dam, a male and female lion roaring to each other in the darkness, an elephant that charged towards the Jeep and a rhino that had a three week old baby in tow.
Marataba is a magical place whose staff are a credit to themselves. I proposed to my girlfriend on this holiday and I could not think of a greater place where I could have done this. We are both seasoned travellers and there is so much of the world to see but, the biggest compliment I can pay to Marataba is that we will both be back, that's a promise.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Robin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sussex
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2014

We recently spent 4 days at Marataba and it was fantastic. It has the most beautiful location with the Waterburg mountains as a backdrop and we had a great uninterrupted view from our tent - no.12- which was at the end of the row of tents. I call them "tents" but these part solid built, part canvas rooms are the most luxurious tents you can imagine,with really comfortable beds, underfloor heating in the bathroom area, outside shower and decking area.The main buildings are well-fitted out, and the food and wine was excellent. There is so much food on offer, that we usually skipped lunch, as there was just no room after the lovely, freshly-cooked breakfast when we returned from the morning game drive and in order to work up an appetite for the three course dinners. The game drives at 6am and 4pm went to different parts of the park where the terrain can be quite different. The scrub is still quite dense in places, which can make animal viewing difficult, but that is an issue being actively managed, and Adriaan, our guide,certainly tried his hardest to find leopards and lions for us- we could hear them, but couldn't find them! One word of warning- take plenty of warm clothes if visiting at this time of year-May- as although the temperatures were about mid-20's in the middle of the day, it was bitterly cold (the coldest I have ever known on safari) first thing in the morning and early evening when you are out in the park...the lodge even provided hot water bottles for guests to take in the jeep in the morning. The few days we spent at Marataba were fabulous, and that is thanks to all the staff, from the Management, front of house, waiting staff, kitchen staff, housekeeping and the rangers- we really hope to return.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank alfieSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paarl, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

My wife and I stayed here for two nights. The service was fantastic the staff super-friendly and the surroundings really wild. We have been to many game lodges and on many adventures in Africa, Marataba beats them all! This is worth every cent and you must savour every second, it will make memories for you.

Room Tip: Stay in the bedrooms close to the main lodge, it is qite a walk at night!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian R
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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