Marataba lodge: sweet tented suites
Katrien, married, Mom of Bas (7) and Elodie (3), from Belgium
“Are we spending our nights in a tent while we are in the middle of a reserve, surrounded by wildlife?” was my sons reaction when we arrived at our room. I guess he had a point, we were surrounded by wildlife and yet this was the most luxurious tented stay we ever experienced. We were in South Africa to have a meet up with girafes, elephants and lions. Little did we know our accommodation was not fenced and we weren’t allowed to walk around by ourselves after sunset. Exciting? You bet!
It’s all about balance
Marataba Lodge is one of these hotels that you just can’t get. The hotel is so perfectly organised that it is hard to believe how they keep everything so in control. While the kids could play unlimitedly in the big garden, there was still a way for the parents to enjoy the breathtaking views. The scenery is astonishing. This hotel sure managed to create a haven in the middle of wildlife with so much respect for the environment. At the same time your stay will be luxurious (one glimpse and you’ll be in awe, I’m not kidding!) and your kids are welcomed as if they are the most important people of the hotel. As hard as I try to, this place can not be described.
“As hard as I try to, this place can not be described.”
In room relaxation
As we are traveling with kids who go to bed quite early, we have two options. First option is to take a babysitter and enjoy the time we have as a couple. Second option is to just go with the flow and enjoy some time in the room. We ALWAYS prefer the second option, no matter where we are. But man, what an incredible place to spend your evenings!
You can sit on the deck at night with the sounds of the surrounding wildlife and read a book or drink a glass of wine after you enjoyed a refreshing outdoor shower. Everything you need or want can be provided in the room. Our kids were too tired to have desert after dinner, so the people of the kitchen brought it to our room afterwards.
We had already enjoyed a game drive in the Madikwe reserve before we arrived in Marataba. To Elodies (3) biggest joy, she was allowed to join on the game drives. We were introduced to Helen, our guide during our stay, and the match between her and our kids couldn’t be better. She was, besides a fantastic guide, the best person to be driving around with as a family.
After the regular game drive in the typical open vehicle, we even did a boat tour where we saw hippos and sooooo many birds. The boat was an instant success for our kids. They could walk around and have a snack. Or two…
“Everything you need or want can be provided in the room.”
When the kids are happy, the parents are as well
The hotel has a daily routine which consists of: morning game drive – breakfast – spare time – lunch – spare time – afternoon game drive – dinner. The spare time was to be filled with anything we wished for. The kids soon wanted to check out the Eco House (which was the kids club). When we arrived, they immediately laid eyes on the trampoline, the swings and the sandbox. Elodie was served with paint brushes and crayons, while Bas was taken to try the game of archery. The kids edition off course. Because mom and dad were secretly longing to spend some time by the pool, the kids entertainers assured us to bring the kids to us as soon as they asked for it.
They had the time of their lives with the attention of the girls entertaining them. These girls really take the term ‘kids club’ to a whole new level. They created a place and environment where the kids can be 100% at ease. Even at night, during dinner, they are at the disposal of the kids. Because dinner time can take a little bit too long for the little ones, they provide a movie and pizza for them.
Time well spent
I can guarantee you this: when you leave Marataba Lodge (holidays can’t take forever) you’ll feel sad. It’s a place where you feel so welcome and relaxed that you wished it never had to stop. I really want to thank the whole staff for taking care of us the way they did. Because the experience we had here was all thanks to them.
When we ask the kids what destination they would like for our next holidays, they never doubt: South Africa!