Marataba Conservation Camps. Balancing Tourism with Conservation.

In a privately managed 21,000 hectare portion of the Marakele National Park — an exclusive wilderness at the foot of South Africa’s scenically beautiful Waterberg mountain range, Marataba Conservation Camps host a range of innovative and conservation-themed safaris from their sensitively placed accommodations.

As written for Amadi Travel and appears in Hamaji Magazine.

Rewilding The Land

Uniquely situated where the lush bushveld gives way to the Kalahari sands, Marataba is a public-private partnership that is committed to protecting the area’s diverse flora and fauna through hands-on conservation practices. Formally proclaimed in 2001, Marataba’s first conservation milestone was the rehabilitation of old farmland into a national park. This entailed removing hundreds of kilometres of fencing before being able to reintroduce elephant, black and white rhinos, hippo and buffalo to the land. Healthy populations of antelope had always existed there, something which allowed for iconic predators such as lion and cheetah to be returned.

Setting up Camp at Marataba

There are two camps to choose from, namely Founders Camp and Explorers Camp, both offering a unique opportunity to enjoy the wild spaces of the reserve. Founders Camp, which can be booked on an exclusive-use basis, has four suites and a dedicated vehicle and guide. Located on the banks of the Matlabas River, it offers views across the valley towards the iconic mountains ahead. The interiors are a sophisticated blend of traditional and contemporary, while the suites have large decks that are ideal for afternoons spent watching the wildlife down at the riverbank. The camp has indoor and outdoor dining areas, an interactive kitchen and an inviting swimming pool that’s perched on the edge of the river.

Star Camp Out, sleep under the stars

An opportunity to completely disconnect from the modern world while reconnecting with nature is the recently added Star Camp Out. Located in a remote and yet unused corner of the park overlooking the craggy Diamant Mountains, the four simple yet comfortable tents are miles away from anything and anyone and offer a perfect escape into the wild. Spend your days exploring the hills and gorges that surround the camp on foot, returning for sundowners and dinner around the campfire — and an opportunity to sleep under the star-studded skies.

Activities and Immersive Conservation Projects

Each booking at Marataba Conservation Camps is allocated a private conservation guide and vehicle, meaning that you control the pace and theme of your stay. As always on safari, guided game drives are the best way to cover large distances and for you to get a feel of the park while enjoying bountiful wildlife spotting and building an understanding of the environment from your guide. Boat trips on the Matlabas are entrancing, and perfect for bird enthusiasts. Pausing while out on the water to sip on a G&T at sunset is an ideal way to soak up the scenery.

Rhino Conservation in Action

One of the park’s main points of focus remains rhino conservation with Marataba and Marakele National Park home to a critically important population of white and black rhino, which like other rhino populations across the continent are under pressure from several threats — most especially rhino poaching. By arrangement, you can join Marataba’s professional wildlife veterinary team on an ear notching exercise. Ear notching has been adopted as an accurate individual recognition system and is implemented at Marataba who in time hope to have each one of their rhinos identified in this way.

What we love about Marataba Conservation Camps

  • Marataba’s belief that if wild places are to exist for future generations, that more people should be directly involved in their protection, something that can be achieved through their interactive conservation efforts.
  • The Marakele National Park’s stunning geography, dramatic escarpments and meandering river.
  • The variety of experiences and activities offered, from daily game drives and boat trips to swimming and hiking, tracking cheetah and monitoring the growth rate of elephants.
  • The top-quality guides and conservation team that bring the reserve to life — for children and adults.
  • Marataba’s exclusive and semi-exclusive booking option allows families and small groups to enjoy complete privacy.
  • How staying at one of the Marataba Conservation Camps contributes to the efforts of The Marataba Foundation, established to empower and transform the local community.
  • The park’s proximity to Johannesburg, and the fact that the area is malaria-free.

Getting there

From the Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, it Is only a 3,5 hours’ drive to the Marataba Conservation Camps within the Marakele National Park. Alternately you can opt for a 45-minute private air charter. Road transfers are easily arranged on your behalf, otherwise you do have the option of self-driving.

Booking Details

As recommended by AMADI, a conscious luxury travel brand that designs journeys for like-minded travellers across Africa. Marataba’s active commitment to conservation aligns perfectly with AMADI’s ethos and client interests. Connect with AMADI for additional details and assistance with your travel arrangements. A minimum of three nights stay is advised, as is partaking in a Rhino Notching experience.

Contact: | +41 (79) 731 00 06 | Download the full magazine at Hamaji Travel In Africa.

Writer. Earth Advocate. A Conscious Traveller. Consultant in Sustainable Travel Practices. Determined to save a species 🌱

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