On 1 June 2018, Marataba Trails Lodge will become Marataba Mountain Lodge – redefined as a traditional safari experience in an exclusive retreat. We have come to realise that her essence is defined by her location – too special to keep hidden away, and to only be appreciated by those taking the trails that originally defined the offering. As part of this shift, Marataba Trails becomes a stand-alone, specialist walking experience for the seasoned hiker looking for a challenging trail in a unique part of the world.
These are the only trails of their kind in a Big Five reserve, taking guests through Marataba South Africa – a malaria-free, private concession within the Marakele National Park. The park conserves 67 000ha (165 560ac) of the UNESCO-recognised Waterberg Biosphere – the only savannah biosphere in the world! – and Iron Age sites of great historical significance. Marakele is a place of sanctuary, as its Tswana name suggests. It is home to the critically endangered black rhino, the world’s largest colony of endangered Cape vultures, and rare plant species of yellowwood and cedar trees, among a multitude of other fauna and flora. Our trails put guests in the thick of things, getting them closer to nature.
Marataba is blessed with a great diversity of ecosystems and landscapes. Its trails lead through different areas of the reserve, providing a variety of experiences. Our expert trails guides, leading the hikes, will advice on suitable routes based on guests’ interests and fitness levels.
Riverine trails: follow the Matlabas River’s course and pass some of the bigger watering holes, which attract a large variety of game, including hippo.
Gorge trails: descend into the Waterberg Mountain valleys – only accessible on foot – where guests may have the chance to cool off in freshwater pools.
Mountain trails: are longer routes, leading up and over some of the reserve’s mountains – the vistas from these trails are extraordinary, presenting Africa in all its magnificence.
Interest trails: lead to areas of historical interest on the reserve, offering guests the chance to see cave paintings, relics of the Stone Age, and Iron Age ruins.
Marataba is blessed with a great diversity of eco-systems and landscapes. The trails make use of different areas of the reserve, and a variety of trails options are available, differing in respect of degree of difficulty and fitness required. Trails range from trekking over the top of the Kransberg range, to traversing through gorges. Regardless of the route, the one thing that remains consistent is the likelihood of encountering wildlife along the way.
Guides are senior trails guides with years of experience in leading guided walks in Big 5 territories. Not only are they fully qualified to lead these walks, but they have been carefully chosen for their personalities and how they are able to interact with guests. There are two senior trails guides at all times. It is imperative that there are two guides on every walk, no matter the number of walking guests. The maximum amount of guests we can walk with at one time is eight.
Click here to read more about Marataba Mountain Lodge and the Marataba Walking Trails.