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Fancy a sleep-out under the stars? Where? Right under the strikingly beautiful sheer cliffs of the Waterberg in Marataba, just under four hours from Joburg. There’s nothing quite like slipping through the drapes of your four-poster, pulling up the duvet and embracing the inky blackness of night with the very real surround sound of a Big Five reserve. Baboons bark as they bed-down in the cliffs above, lion roar on the lush green plains of the Marakele and the setting sun gives way to a star-strewn sky.

By the time you hear the slow whoop of laughing hyaena, you’ll be tucked up and cosy in this beautifully designed double-storey, solar-powered treehouse with a luxurious bathroom underneath a magnificent cantilevered deck. Built around a Weeping Boer-Bean tree and with jaw-dropping views, this IS a perfect hideaway!

The treehouse is always booked along with a suite at the main lodge or, our favourite, the Marataba Mountain Lodge – just in case you radio-in and feel like returning (but I promise you it’s worth staying!). Tucked into the hillside at the end of the valley, and with only five private Eco Suites, the beautifully decorated Mountain Lodge is the perfect combination with a night spent in this extraordinary treehouse. Definitely one for the bucket list!

What we love!

  • Its location – right under the cliffs of the Waterberg – you couldn’t get closer if you tried! And this is the only place where you can sleep out in this biosphere – an immense privilege.
  • Sundowners up here are beautiful and the tapas picnic dinner just right – you’re so preoccupied with watching the cliffs change colour and listening for movement in the bushes below, that it’s wonderful to have many small dishes to sample.
  • That children can be booked for this experience too: there are twin roll out beds under the four poster. We cannot think of a more rewarding, life changing experience to share with your kids.

What you need to know…

  • The Mountain Lodge takes children over the age of 16, so if you’re combining your family safari with a Marataba Thabametsi Treehouse sleep out, we would book you into the MaratabaSafari Lodge instead. The lodge suite remains yours for the night (this is a weather dependant experience) as you leave most of your luggage there and only pack an overnight bag for the treehouse. Mail us for details and we’ll fill you in.

Reviewed by Michelle Snaddon

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Waterberg, Limpopo

Waterberg, Limpopo  A true bush getaway is an essential part of the African experience and the Waterberg region offers limitless horizons to immerse yourself in wilderness and wildlife. A UNESCO registered biosphere reserve, it is a vast undiscovered stretch of bushveld, ancient mountains and rolling savanna starting 200km north of Johannesburg in the Limpopo province, encompassing

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