My stay at the Marataba Safari Lodge was so many months ago, but sometimes it feels like a few weeks ago. Often it feels like a dream. As someone who had only ever seen animals at the zoo and had never been camping, the experience was other-worldly. And I’m really convinced that a large part of it feeling that way was because it was at Marataba.
I don’t really do a numeric rating, but Marataba would score 5/5. Our stay was perfection.
The lodge is located in a private section of the Marakele National Park. As a result, the most ‘traffic’ you’ll get on game drives is one or two vehicles. Their safari vehicles were very well maintained and appeared almost-new. Combine that with an excellent guide (ours was Landon) and safari drives felt like you really were out in the bush, not on holiday with a hundred other families. The Marakele National park is stunning too. The views of the mountains from the lodge created and incredible backdrop for the sunrises we had while at the lodge.
The lodge itself is comprised of luxury ‘tents’. Now take the word tent with a pinch of salt, because it’s more of a mini-villa with a roof. Your ‘tent’ comes complete with a huge bathtub, indoor-outdoor shower and king-size bed. The bed overlooks your private patio, which in turn, overlooks the watering hole and mountains (the mountains are stunning once again). I must warn you though, it is a tent roof, and if windy, the material will move, and make a noise. Still, it’s a tent without having to sacrifice any luxuries. I loved the open-plan shower that looked out onto the reserve. Not much can beat that.
Your time at Marataba Safari Lodge includes two set game-drives a day, or a pre-arranged river safari (very much recommended!) and pretty much any other drive or walking safari you would like to organise. Each game drive includes a snack break and you’re treated to a pre-sunrise snack, full breakfast, mini-tea and a full dinner in between. You’ll be stuffed.
Since you’ll need to be rolling yourself out of the vehicles by your third day there, the friendly staff are always there to help you out of the vehicle and help you freshen up. Service was impeccable but casual. I really like that combination. There’s a space for service that’s incredibly formal, but it’s not on safari where you might need to ask for a comfort stop (ask your guide what that is). I wouldn’t dare ask the staff at The Edition about that. At Marataba you’re made to feel that you can do anything and it’s necessary, the majority of the guests have travelled pretty far for this experience and I wouldn’t want them to have to compromise.
So, I don’t think I have to say much more, but Marataba Safari Lodge is incredible and you won’t regret it if you choose to go here. It’s fantastic.