Our Rating
8.5
Overall

Marataba Trails

South Africa, Near Gauteng, Marakele

from R 2950 pp/night sharing

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30%
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Our Rating
8.5
Overall

Marataba Trails

South Africa, Near Gauteng, Marakele

from R 2950 pp/night sharing

Save
30%
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Our Verdict

Head out on foot through truly spectacular countryside then return to relax at one of the most attractive lodges in South Africa!

Our Ratings

8.5
Overall
8.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

Our Ratings

8.5
Overall
8.5
Luxury & Style
9.0
Setting
8.0
Game Viewing
8.0
Romance

What's Hot

  • Walking trails give you the opportunity to really experience the bush close-up and personal – and the highly qualified trail guides and stunningly scenic countryside through which you walk make for an utterly unforgettable and rewarding experience!
  • Quite simply one of the most beautiful and attractive lodges in the country with its clean, contemporary style balanced perfectly by the use of warm natural elements like gorgeous wood and stone walls
  • In the heat of summer, take a dip in the crystal clear waters of one of the natural rock pools you’ll encounter as you explore the spectacular gorges on foot!
  • After enjoying the stunning scenery on foot, it doesn’t end when you retreat to the lodge, where you’ll drink in the spectacular 180 degree views of Waterfall Valley which are an ever present, whether you’re relaxing in your luxurious suite or lounging about in the lodge’s public areas
  • Guests consistently rave about the superb personal service (6 staff members to just 8 guests!) at Marataba Trails. Meals are also a highlight with delicious cuisine on offer
  • The lodge is totally solar-powered so you can enjoy all this luxury and indulgence with a clear eco-conscience too

What's Not

  • The reserve's spectacular terrain means that a decent level of physical fitness is essential to enjoy the daily walks
  • Solar power doesn’t allow for air-conditioning in the rooms so bear this in mind if this is an issue for you – perhaps visit during the cooler months instead of the height of summer
  • No swimming pool at the main lodge where you can relax in the heat of summer (not counting the natural rock pools in the gorge here!)
Marataba Trails

Marataba Trailsthe walking trails take place through some of the most spectacular scenery in any of the South African reserves, with rivers flowing through gorges and grassy plains framed by imposing mountains

Lodge Profile

Head out on foot through truly spectacular countryside then return to relax at one of the most attractive lodges in South Africa!

Quick Overview

Location
Marakele
Drive Time
3.5 hours drive from Johannesburg
Malaria
No
Setting
Overlooking a valley
Rooms
5 Eco-suites
Aircon
No
Pool
No
Spa
In-room massages
Camp Fenced
No
Tracker
You're the tracker!
Off Road
Yes (for walks); No (on drive)
Child Policy
No children under 16

WALK ON THE (LUXURIOUS) WILD SIDE

There are just a handful of lodges in South Africa that specialise in walking safaris, but the gorgeous new Marataba Trails Lodge stands out by offering both the most luxurious and gorgeous accommodation as well as taking you through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country! The lodge is set on a hillside with truly stunning 180 degree views into Waterfall Valley, an isolated and scenically superb section of the Marakele National Park.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE BUSH

Exploring Big Five bushveld on foot is a completely different experience to the usual game viewing on the back of a 4X4, a much more immersive experience in short. Whilst you’re not likely to get as close up and personal with large animals as you will on the back of a Land Rover, we’re in no doubt that your adrenaline will pump far faster when you do encounter game on foot! You’re rid of the engine noises and diesel fumes and the jarring and bumping along on rough dirt roads. Instead you’ll find your senses becoming ever more finely attuned to the sounds, smells and sights of your bush surroundings; you’ll suddenly become aware of which way the wind is blowing and find yourself wondering whether that twig you heard breaking was one of your human companions on the walk or something else entirely!

GUIDED BY SUPERB RANGERS

As you would expect, you’re guided along the trails by the very best and most highly qualified trail guides (no under 16’s are allowed by the way for safety reasons). Apart from ensuring your safety, they are also fantastic at sharing their amazing bush knowledge with you. You’ll find yourself learning fascinating things about the smaller aspects of your natural surroundings, things would usually be ignored as you barrelled along on your 4X4 to the next Big Five sighting that’s been radioed in.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

As mentioned previously, the walking trails take place through some of the most spectacular scenery in any of the South African reserves, with rivers flowing through gorges and grassy plains framed by imposing mountains. At Marataba Trails camp the usual arrangement is  that the walks (3 to 4 hours long) take place in the morning when temperatures are cooler and energy levels higher  - after heading back for breakfast and the chance to chill around the lodge, you then head out in the afternoon on a game drive or perhaps even a boat trip on the lake!

WIDE RANGE OF TRAILS

Marataba Trails offers guest a range of walking trails suited for hikers of various abilities and showing off different aspects of the surrounding landscapes, but a decent level of physical fitness is essential. Riverine trails follow the meandering, twisting river as it winds through the valley, giving you fantastic opportunities to spot game as they come for a drink by the river’s edge or at the larger waterholes you encounter. Then there are the Gorge trails that drop deep into the gorges where in the summer months you’ll be able to cool off with a swim in the crystal clear natural swimming pools! Want to look deeper into the amazing history of the valley and see iron-age ruins and cave paintings? Their Special Interest trail will take you on a journey through the past, delving into the mysteries of the Stone Age and ancient civilisations of this area. And if you’re a more seasoned hiker, the longer Mountain trails are there to give you more of a challenge: a winding walk up into the heights of the Waterberg peaks, giving you incredible vistas and panoramic views over the vast plains and valleys below.

SUPERBLY STYLISH ROOMS

Whilst the emphasis here is obviously on the walking, we can’t help getting excited about the actual lodge itself which is one of the most attractive in the country! The rooms and public areas alike have clean modern and contemporary lines, yet it’s all softened through the extensive use of natural elements like gorgeous wood and natural stone walls. Perhaps most strikingly of all, everything is set up to maximise the truly amazing views over the valley below. Wood and light are the key elements of the 5 luxury suites at Marataba Trails: beautiful wooden flooring and finishes work with polished-to-a-glow furniture that utilise gorgeous dark grain to bring a natural richness to the rooms; and light absolutely pours into the suites, with wide glass windows and floor-to-ceiling doors giving an unhindered view of the amazing Waterfall Valley.

COMPLETELY SOLAR POWERED

Another great touch at Marataba Trails is its ethos of environmental sustainability. It’s impact on the surrounding habitat is minimised as much as possible, and the lodge is entirely run by solar energy. However, what this does mean is that air-conditioning is not possible in the rooms, just fans so be aware of this if this is a personal deal breaker for you or instead visit in the cooler months.

Pricing

pp/night sharing

More Information

Booking Notes

  • Marataba Park Fees are R 250 per adult per STAY
  • Guest Conservation contribution is R110 per person per STAY
  • Rates are subject to change without prior notice
  • Subject to availability

Child Policy

  • Children of 16 and older welcome. (Strictly no under 16 policy)