“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” – William John Burchell (English explorer)
The Wild Life
Africa is the cradle of civilization, but coming to Marataba feels as if the modern world might never have happened. It’s a land immemorial, where the Nature’s Way has survived; San rock art and Iron Age sites preserve a rich heritage, and untamed animals still roam free.
Within Marakele National Park (a place of sanctuary), our Marataba Game Reserve is home to all of the Big Five – with a healthy population of the critically-endangered black rhino; over 360 resident bird species – including the world’s largest colony of endangered Cape vultures; and rare yellowwood and ancient cycads flourish.
An Exclusive Private Safari
At Marataba we keep visitor and vehicle numbers low, meaning the landscape is coloured with animals over landrovers and people. Just seven of our vehicles, carrying no more than six people each, are out in the concession at any one time and have exclusive traversing over 23 000 hectares.
You’ll be unlikely to encounter any other guests and instead, your field guide is able to take you within close ranger of Africa’s most impressive species. You won’t be angling for a view on guided bush walks and Miss Mara water safaris either, which present spectacular photo opportunities!
And there’s no need to sacrifice comfort for the close-up – our vehicles are kitted out with cushioned bucket seats and water-proof device holders. Miss Mara includes comfy deckchairs, while – even on bush walks – there are gourmet refreshment stops.
Surprise Safari Stops
As one of Marataba’s many tailor-made experiences, our safari stops are something truly special. Between the action they are pauses to simply appreciate being in the bush, and in the moment.
An exciting morning breaks for hot beverages – including coffee with sneaky tots of Amarula liqueur, if you like – and freshly-baked treats, as the animals begin to stir. Your afternoon winds down with sundowners and scrumptious nibbles in a surprise location, which your field guide has found to show off what is possibly the day’s most epic event – an African sunset.
Your MORE Guides
Our safaris bring you face-to-face with the natural world, but what would they be without your field guides who heighten the thrill of the search? All are FGASA-qualified (some by our own NJ MORE Field Guide College based at Marataba), and highly-skilled at leading safaris in Big Five territories and tailoring them to your personal interests.
But more than that, they are selected for their palpable love of the world’s last wild places and their ability to inspire this in you – putting them in a league of their own. They are your scouts, teachers, translators and – given how much time you spend with them – friends, so your affinity with your guiding team is essential.
A Specialised Walking Experience
Our Marataba Trails are specialised, on-the-ground bush experiences for the seasoned hiker and safari goer. Challenging trails take you to the far reaches of the reserve – from the edge of the plains to mountain crests. But this is also is a wonderful opportunity to slow down and take note of the smaller creatures, often missed from game viewers, and to discover more about our floral kingdom’s species – many with fascinating medicinal properties and traditional uses. On each trail, you’ll step out of a busy routine to reconnect with life through being in nature – the greatest teacher of the only things that truly matter.
Untamed and Untainted Wilderness
Marataba is a wildlife Eden and set in the middle of its vast wilderness, the safari possibilities seem as endless as the horizon itself. The game here is impressive in both numbers and diversity, due to our location in a transition zone between the dry western and wetter eastern regions of South Africa.
Here, the traditional safari animals, including the eminent Big Five, are found alongside rare species like the highly-endangered pangolin. But at times when you’re not seeing animals appear from around every bush, the plant life can be just as intriguing. Marataba and the Marakele fall within the even greater UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve – the only savannah biosphere in the world.