When you arrive, they sit you down and welcome you personally with tea, while you look out over the horizon and soak up the scenery. Then they ask you personal questions about how they can make your stay as relaxing as possible. The questions range from small to big things like any food allergies, preferences, or just things you want in your room.
Here's an example of the schedule:
· 6:00 AM Game Drive
· 10:00 AM Breakfast
· 2:00 PM Lite Lunch
· 4:00 PM High Tea/Snack time (These are themed. On our days, it was by color so one day was all pink--Rose teas, strawberry shortcake, strawberries dipped in chocolate, etc.)
· 4:30 PM Your evening drive leaves
· 8:00 PM Return from your evening drive and go straight to dinner.
The safari also includes snacks on your game drives--a "Sunriser" in the morning and a "Sundowner" in the evening. For the "Sunriser", they stop in the middle of the bush and scope out the area for wild animals. Then they set up a little table with a white tablecloth and put out fresh coffee, biscuits and tea.
For the "Sundowner", they put out beers, wines, chips and jerky and you just hang out in the bush enjoying your refreshment.
Also when you arrive at the hotel, you are assigned a ranger and he is your guide for the whole trip. (Shout-out to our guide Philip!) The guide takes you out on the Land Cruiser Game Hunts and tells you everything you ever wanted to know and more about the wildlife that is roaming around. Also cool? Limpopo Province where this hotel is located is Malaria free.
Finally after "roughing it all day on the range, you come back to a fine-dining four-course extravaganza that is customized especially for you. It's amazing.
The next day, you get up and do it all over again. Except instead of relying on a wake-up call or an alarm clock, the hotel wakes you up by place some hot coffee and cocoa on the deck of your front patio by the bean bag seats. It was really the lap of luxury in the wild.
Rates at the Marataba begin at R3,300 which is about $313 USD. Rates do vary depending on the season with April through September being the off-season.