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  • Writer's pictureMike Sutherland

Conservation Safaris at Marataba Conservation Camps

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Located at the foothills of the Waterberg Mountains in South Africa is Marakele National Park. It is one of the countries youngest national parks which was initiated in 1986 and later declared as a national park in 1994.

Within its borders is the Marataba Contractual National Park, a 21’000 hectare, privately managed concession and lies where lush bushveld gives way to the Kalahari sands.

Marataba operates under a unique public-private partnership that ensures a productive pooling of resources and expertise and aims to protect the areas diverse flora and fauna through a modern, hands-on conservation approach that has put this region firmly on the map.

To support the conservation efforts ongoing in the reserve, the recent launch of the two Marataba Conservation Camps, Explorers Camp and Founders Camp has brought new life to the region, with guests getting to enjoy an authentic, conscious, family safari that lends itself to fun and learning.

Marataba Conservation Camps have a philosophy where guides put conservation at the forefront of your safari, educating guests with a deeper sense of understanding for the area, its wildlife and what it takes to ensure its sustainability. The fun and flexibility of any private safari remain with game drives, bush walks and gin and tonics while boating on the Matlabas River.

The difference here is that guests are encouraged to actively participate in some of the pioneering projects that are constantly ongoing on the reserve. From ecological interventions like veld condition surveys to elephant and predator monitoring and management. If guests are interested in participating in Rhino Conservation safaris, this can be pre-arranged.

Marataba forms part of the larger Waterberg Biosphere Reserve and is currently home to a critically important rhino population in South Africa. These rhino, like all others, face several threats currently, the most serious being poaching for their horn. With this devastating poaching epidemic putting pressure on their survival as a species, it is important to continue to keep these efforts front of mind.

The Escape team was recently invited to visit the reserve to learn more about the experience and whilst there, we were lucky to take part in the chipping, sampling and foot-collaring of 3 young rhino. We experienced working with the conservation teams on the ground, who gave us constant insight and understanding into the project.

Imagine getting to experience this first hand, to feel the rhinos breathe on your hand as you monitor its breathing pattern, or feeling their thick skin on your palms.

The Rhino Conservation Safari is a unique offering that allows guests to understand the work that goes into the protection and monitoring of the key rhino population that exists on Marataba. Guests are encouraged to be actively involved in the entire process, to gain a deeper sense of understanding while knowing that they are contributing to the protection of these animals.

Annually, Marataba aims to notch and collar as many rhinos as possible to then have the ability to identify and monitor the majority of the population at any given time. It is an ongoing and essential wildlife management intervention that is imperative for the success of the species and undertaken for conservation purposes only.

If you are interested in visiting the Marataba Conservation Camps, to feel connected again, get in touch with our team at

Rhino Conservation Week at Marataba: 9 - 15 August 2021

Come Escape with us.

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