Marataba Trails Lodge

Game Lodge, The Waterberg


Walking safaris are rare enough in South Africa, and this is the country’s only option to combine the Big Five with a malaria-free location.  A sister property to the Marataba Safari Lodge and just three hours’ drive from Johannesburg, this tranquil escape concentrates firmly on hiking amid picturesque red mountains, rivers and sublime wildlife.  It’s also a real escape: there’s no wi-fi or cellphone reception, just five tents and a firm accent on healthy cuisine.  


Furnished in a minimal, open-plan Scandi style using glass, wood and stone, the suites come with private decks and glass-walled rain showers looking for miles down Waterfall Valley.  Inside are wood-burning fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows and luxury products.  Each unit is solar-powered, so don’t expect hair-dryers or all-day lighting, though there is enough juice to charge cameras.


Days begin early with fresh kiwi, pineapple, and berry pre-breakfasts.  Much later, guests gather to watch magical sunset on the main deck, a sundowner in hand.  Then comes a candlelit boma dinner, during which the lodge’s chef teaches about bush-style cooking while preparing organic food over an open fire, and some storytelling and stargazing.  


Truly remote, the camp is located amid a 23 000 hectare private concession within the scenic Marakele National Park.  Differing in degree of difficulty and fitness required – though above-average fitness is recommended – its various trails introduce different areas of the reserve.  You can scale the Kransberg range, trek down riverine gorges, find Stone Age cave paintings or concentrate on spying leopards or lions; options are typically agreed the night before with a professional guide.  Morning trails (3-4 hours) will be the longer, before shorter afternoon jaunts after tea.  Full-day outings are also possible, as are dips in Matlabas river pools.

Child Policy

Due to the demanding trails, only children aged 16 and older are accepted.





Marataba Safari Lodge

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