I think we were all a little nervous … well some of our number at least. ‘Small plane syndrome’ and I certainly had a case of it. Amazing how quickly things change, having just completed four small plane flights I find them thrilling.
All in the name of work … ja,ja some people have all the luck. I have just hosted seven Cape Town tour operators on a Marataba and Madikwe Safari Lodge educational. My client is MORE – a five star boutique hotel and lodge operator and I honestly think I am one of the luckiest people to work with this incredible team.
Marataba is a private lodge situated in the Marakele Reserve. 23 000 hectares of unspoilt beauty watched over by the Waterberg mountains, it is a place to disconnect from life’s challenges and treasure your soul again in nature.
15 luxury tents, beautiful public areas and staff who wear broad smiles and whose wish is the happiness of each guest.
I could write pages about the delicious food, list adjectives describing the beauty of the lodge and write word pictures about our surprise fairy-tale boma dinner. All together awesome.
But the game drives, under the experience and guidance of Gawie were the win. Bouncing over gravel roads, cameras and binoculars ready we learnt about mammals, birds and trees.
Gawies driving skills would rival any Dakar leader, he won us over to squeals and cheering when he crossed the stream and brought us safely up the sand bank.
We learnt so much; tracked three huge lions, spotted giant ellies, watched a Lilac Breasted Roller swoop overhead and were soon pointing out Yellow Billed Hornbills around each corner. We tasted a spear-like plant filled with water and the warthog sightings were a favourite for one agent and by the end of our stay we were singing “im-pa-la” to the tune of “informer”.
Three of us share the star-sign Scorpio, what a thrill to clearly see our constellation in the clear night sky and for a brief while sharing its space with Orion.
During our stay we had a chance to visit Marataba Trails Lodge, a five suite Eco Lodge focussed mainly on walking safaris. Talk about simple elegance and intelligent construction.
How sad to leave after just one night, “we need at least three nights here” one of our group commented. I could not agree more.
Magical Marataba, you have stolen my heart.