where the waterberg mountains give way to the kalahari sands

Marataba is located on the north-western edge of the 2.5-billion-year-old Waterberg Massif in South Africa’s Limpopo province. The rugged cliffs are iconic and mesmerising and stand watch over the winding Matlabas River below, whilst the vast plains stretch all the way into the Kalahari system of Botswana. This wonderfully varied landscape supports an equally as varied cast of wildlife, and the area is home to the Big Five as well as a globally significant population of white and black rhino.

Our backdrop is the magnificent Waterberg Massif, the 3-billion-year-old mountain range that is ever-present wherever you happen to be. The name Marataba in fact means “place of peace at the mountain.” Over the millennia, the Matlabas River has carved dramatic gorges through the terrain, in which painted rock faces still hold the secrets of an ancient way of life.

The ever-changing colours of the mountains are a result of the sedimentary rocks, rich in manganese and oxidized iron, and in the glow of the setting sun are a tribute to the beauty of the landscape.

The region doesn’t suffer from the stifling humidity that is typical of the lowveld regions of South Africa. From October to March, the summer months, daytime temperatures are hot and short, sharp, sometimes dramatic thunderstorms are common

In winter, April to September, the daytime temperatures are mild and pleasant, yet it can be cold in the morning and evening. From the lush, green plains, fed by the summer rains, to the dry earth that appears in winter, the transformation of the landscape is incredible.