My friend and I went to MalaMala basically because we had seen on the internet that you had the best chance of seeing the Big 5 at this property than any other. Being in the Sabi Sand area right next to Kruger National Park was perfect, the service was incredible and we DID see the Big 5.
You are greeted at reception upon arrival with a cold drink and a cold wet cloth for refreshing. Introductions are made of the management staff and the guide before you are escorted to your room. Shortly thereafter our luggage arrived and we were able to freshen up. Since we arrived after lunch, they were very kind to provide us with a nice tea and sandwiches.
Our ranger, Gary Hill, was awesome. He was sure to ask what we wanted to see and made sure that this was accomplished and then some. I can't say enough about how knowledgeable, polite and incredible Gary was. He made our stay at MalaMala absolutely wonderful. On our last night while driving back to camp we came upon a leopard walking down the road and Gary followed after it once it went into the bush. We watched as it took down TWO Impalas at once. It was an incredible scene for us as well as Gary as you usually don't see sights like that. One of the impalas got away but I must say that this was the highlight of our trip. Again, Gary was excellent.
Our lodging at the main camp was beautiful with 2 bathrooms, a living room and a great deck overlooking the river where we were able to view hippos. There was a huge walk in closet with a safe and both bathrooms were equipped with a separate shower and a tub.
As travel agents, we were able to take a tour of Sable Camp and Rattrays and you could not go wrong with any. Rattrays is very colonial and has an exceptionally luxurious feel to it. One of the units we saw had a tub in front of the window looking out at the bush and the bed was draped in the mosquito net. It was so beautiful and romantic.
I would highly recommend this property to anyone and families. The Main Camp will allow children and the Sable Camp allows only those children over 16. Rattrays does not allow children at all.
The food here was very good and plentiful. We enjoyed the singing and dining in the Boma. Appetizers and soups are served by wait staff at the table and the main course is buffet style with so many things to choose from. It was nice having new foods to try and having some of the old standards "just in case".
This was the first reserve I have ever seen thus I have nothing to compare it to but I will say that the game drives and the Main Camp were more than I expected and I could not imagine any place with better service, guides and reasonably priced accommodations. We love it here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- MalaMala Game Reserve is the Safari Industry's blueprint to the luxury photographic safari. In existence since 1927, this massive thriving tract of land produces the most exciting wildlife experience this side of the equator. MalaMala Game Reserve is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13 300 ha (33 000 acres), MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. For over four decades, Michael Rattray has remained focused on his objective to preserve and protect the land over which he is custodian. Allowing nature to move to its innate rhythm, guests experience today what the forefathers of the African Safari would have experienced at the turn of the century. This philosophy has paid off, as experienced by a veritable collection of photojournalists and film-makers who have made MalaMala their destination of choice to capture footage of wildlife viewing that would rival any Hollywood production for thrilling and breathtaking animal encounters. MalaMala's Camps (MalaMala Main Camp, Sable Camp and Rattray's on MalaMala) are the embodiment of an authentic safari experience pioneered at a time when the safari was simple - unassuming camps, vast sweeping plains, the African sky and the bush in all its splendour. Wellness was the feeling after a long day in the wild. Cigars were shared without pomp and ceremony. Guests to MalaMala will still spend hours beneath an inky sky in the traditional boma exchanging stories from the wild - a sumptuous meal, good company and relaxed faces warmed by the crackling fire, accompanied by the nocturnal symphony of sound. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- MalaMala Sable Camp Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa