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MalaMala Sable Camp
Reviewed 30 April 2012

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.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank ladycruiser52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 - 44 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2012

We stayed in the Lion's den in Sable camp, which was quite spacious and very near the pool and the BOMA where the evening meals were held. The service was impeccable and our guide, Grant, was outstanding as he was always flexible, constantly informative and extremely knowledgeable. The two game drives per day were outstanding, no problem in getting up early as our time sense was battered by the long flights to get here. The food was great, being both plentiful and having selections that were quite different from the normal home fare. Saw the big 5 with the added thrill of driving at speed (think Indiana Jones at Disney on steroids and for real!!) across the reserve to see cheetahs before sunset, my teenage son will never forget Africa simply because this ride! Leopard tracking in the dark was awesome and watching two female lion cubs chase a group of 5 adult giraffes across the airstrip was animal comedy at its finest. The baby bull rhino battling his mother , inspecting and snorting at our Land Rover and running back to mom was priceless.

Room Tip: For extra room, perfect for a family and a marvelous view across the green space towards the river
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Dcubed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

Is the place where all began....now their 3 lodges give a taste of the past and the new Rattrays lodge gives the luxury unbeatable experience.
The drives are held with the traditional Range Rovers, and is a smooth way to go all around the bush.
Rangers are profesional, and you have a high level of posibilites to see the big five, and sure the beautifull leopards. Good option around Sabi Sand. Don´t miss it.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Williecarballo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2011

We visited Mala Mala for 3 days after visiting Cape Town for six nights during our Honeymoon. I don't even know where to begin. The service was impeccable and our guide, Adam, was informative and supremely knowledgeable. The two game drives per day were outstanding complete with cocktails served at sunset in the bush!

Set on 44,000 acres we saw the big five (Lion, Leopard, Water Buffalo, Rhino, and Elephant) every day! This was an unforgettable experience and I would recommend it to anyone visiting South Africa.

Room Tip: Sable Camp (at the end of Main Camp) are excellent suites and more private and exclusive than the Ma...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ryan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2011

My husband and I stayed at a few game reserves on this trip. Mala Mala was the least "wild" of the bunch. It was more of a luxury place with more of a hotel feel. The guides were informative, the food was quite different from the normal fare at home and since we quite enjoy experiencing new and different cultures, this was right up out alley. Flying around in small aircraft in Africa is always a bit scary, but when in Rome...
Of the reserves we tried, this is the one I would recommend to families with older children, as you will not feel too exposed to the outdoors. We saw many if not all of the big five, and it was a great first time safari. If you want to be immersed a bit more into the wild of Africa, there are other reserves that will fit the bill, but if you don't want to be in a luxury tent, this is great. Have fun and enjoy yourself and don't forget to take photos of yourself in Africa, as we arrived home with 700 photos of animals and 2 of us!
I recommend mixing up a few reserves, so you can get a feel of the wild side of Africa. It was a wonderful trip and I will never forget it!
We were sleeping one night... we heard a loud sound above our bed- near the ceiling and then across the room. We turned on the lights, checked around, and noticed a large scorpion running across the floor- we realized it must have hit the ceiling fan and then it was thrown across the room. Lovely, but exciting. We called our safari guide, and upon examination and removal of the offending scorpion, we were told that a bite from this guy would put you in the hospital for a few days. Only in Africa. We enjoyed this trip and can't wait to take our daughter back again when she is older!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank stb3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2011

Mala Mala is one of the private game camps in the Sabi Sands area bordering Krueger National Park. OUr guides were extremely attentive and went out of their way in search of the "Big Five". Every morning we had a wake up call by our ranger and then the hot berervage of choice was sent to our room. After brekfast &7 AM) we were on the road. We stopped in scenic area for tea, sundowerners and one moring sunrise wiht tea and scones. Our guides arranged to cook an entire brekfast in the Bush one morning to our delight. Mala Mala rangers are not afraid to go off road in persute of game, thi si the primary reason we selected this preserve. NIght time meals are served outdoors in a BOMA which is a bamboo structure. Our wonderful ZUlu villagers performed for us with their beautiful voices. Best 4 days of any vacation our family has ever had.

Room Tip: All rooms in Sable camp are the same
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank FLhurricane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2011

We LOVED MalaMala! The entire staff, property, service and safaris were exceptional. Although the decor in the rooms could use a little update, they were good size with a foyer, living room, 2 full baths and a deck overlooking the bush. We saw the Big 5 and then some every day. One big caveat worth mentioning, however: we went to another reserve afterward that was only 20-30 mins away, but since the Rattrays (who own MalaMala) won't let anyone drive on their land, we had to drive 3.5 HOURS all the way around to the neighboring property. Other than that, our stay at MalaMala was magical!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank kelr2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about MalaMala Sable Camp

Address: Paul Kruger Gate Road, Kruger National Park 2116, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4 star — MalaMala Sable Camp 4*
Number of rooms: 7
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

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