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“My dream is to return back”
Review of MalaMala Main Camp

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MalaMala Main Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Moscow, Russia
Level 6 Contributor
190 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“My dream is to return back”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

When you like to travel all over the world and life isn't so long to see everything, you understand that not so many places where you will arrive once again if behind you the whole world is open. It is no so much places where I would like to return. I could be there the whole eternity, go to safari in the morning and in the evening, and in the middle of the day to sleep outside near bungalow. Mala Mala is not big and it is private with it's breakfast and dinner? very tasty, at each coming couple or the company the reynzher who is looking after you so as you are in camp of scouts. Lodges - numbers deserve never-ending compliments, everything is thought so over and is elegant. Bathroom with candles and wardrobe on a ladies' half and a shower with an exit to the mini pool on the man's. And a hall with a sofa before huge glass doors with an exit to a terrace overlooking the river. I very much want to return there still, thanking Mala Mala for my fell in love with Africa. And of course I saw there all "big five"

Room Tip: all bungalows are excelent!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SvetaSvetlana15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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309 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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English first
Carlsbad, California
Level 6 Contributor
427 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Mala Mala owns some of the best (and largest) land in Sabi Sands. The diversity of landscape is impressive; eye-popping even. This leads to sightings surpassed only by Londolozi. Guides are top notch. Rooms and service are impeccable.

Why the caveat? When visiting a neighboring property this year, a giraffe was electrocuted and fell on the border of three properties. Mala Mala moved the body inside their reserve, we suppose to offer guests an up close view of scavengers. Regardless of whose square meter of property the giraffe occupied, who stages a wild scene? Makes you question the authenticity of the operation.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bruce M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MalaMalaGameReserve, Manager at MalaMala Main Camp, responded to this review, 24 September 2014
Hi Bruce

Thank you for your review of MalaMala Game Reserve.

Unfortunately the giraffe you refer to died as a result of touching the overhead power lines that serve camps within this region. The power lines are situated on the MalaMala boundary and near the major access road to MalaMala’s camps and several other camps within the Sabi Sand. We felt that any predators being attracted to that carcass should be left alone to feed in peace and not be disturbed by constant traffic from delivery vehicles and transfer vehicles. We therefore moved it some 100 metres off the road and the predators moved in to feed off the carcass.
We had a similar incident recently when lions killed a buffalo on our airstrip. We moved the carcass some distance from the airstrip to permit aircraft to land whilst the lions fed in peace.

We seldom interfere but will of course do so if we feel there is an issue of safety for either our guests or the wildlife.

Kind regards,
MalaMala Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Just to give you some background, my family is not the type to spend more than 4 hours doing any one thing on vacation. We usually try to see it ALL which means bouncing around a lot, so when we decided to book 3 days at Mala Mala I thought it was too much, but I could have spent the whole WEEK there! It was a great balance of time to relax and time to be adventurous. The rangers there were very talented and the entire staff was very accommodating. Someone in our party was semi-vegan and the kitchen staff prepared vegan options for her during the whole time. During the drives the ranger packs a snack for a mid-morning bush walk or sunset snack with wine. We saw all of the Big 5 and got to watch some animals hunt which was really fun to see. It is amazing what those land rovers can do!

We only had two slightly problematic occurrences. We drove from Johannesburg which was fine but the gravel road into the camp was rough and we sure scraped up the bottom of our car and had to go pretty slow. It took us a longer time than planned to drive (about a 7 hours) so we missed the first night drive. This was entirely our fault, but doing it over again I would have given us a little more cushion to get there. Also, we were not really sure what was appropriate for tipping people at the reserve so deciding on what to tip was little stressful.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaitie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2014 via mobile

Fabulous fabulous fabulous! On a morning game drive we saw the "Big 5" and got so much interesting information! Our guide was extremely knowledgable, polite, accommodating, sincere, and had a true love of his profession and nature! Our accommodations were over-the-top beautiful, extremely comfortable and clean! The cuisine was gourmet and the presentations were gorgeous. The entire staff rates an A+ in professionalism and hospitality! They even celebrated my birthday in true South African style!

Stayed October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Mala Mala never fails to deliver. This is my third visit and I still get blown away everytime I am here. Naturally we saw the "Big 5" but the Leopard sightings were amaising. We saw Leopards every day and in one day saw 5 individuals with one big male walking right passed our vehicle. The rooms and staff were great and the meals good.

Room Tip: All rooms are of a very high standard so view is the only variable. I would go for one with a river...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank SafariMike66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellevue, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014

Everything about our experience at Mala Mala was amazing. Our guide picked us up from the airport in an open-sided Land Rover for a 45 minute trip through back country to the base camp. We had no idea how many animals we would see just on this ride to the base camp--the excitement was definitely building. We were greeted at the Mala Mala base camp and then served a delicious lunch. Then we were shown our beautiful rooms overlooking the river. We went on two excursions a day and saw so many incredible sites. On the first afternoon we heard a leopard on the hunt and our guide was able to track him down. The leopard was high in a tree with the impala he had just caught. Our guide, Yuri, was so skilled at tracking down the animals and was incredibly knowledgable. Yuri was so accommodating to our needs as a family traveling with four kids and was always looking out for us. Yuri is just a really amazing, genuine guy and did so much to make this an incredible experience for our family. This really was a trip of a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wamama K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Beach, California
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

This was one of the most impressive places I've ever stayed at. Granted this is a very expensive game reserve, but everything we spent was right there for us to take advantage of. They assign a guide to you as soon as you arrive. He (or she) is not only your game driver but your constant companion throughout your stay: wake up call in the mornings, game drive, escorts you to breakfast and lunch, meets you for your afternoon/evening game drive, greets you for dinner, and escorts you to your room at night. That last part is required because there are no fences at the game lodge: they don't want you on some lion's menu. Our room was amazing: 20' high thatched ceiling, two gigantic bathrooms, a sitting area, a bar, a huge patio looking out to a view of the river. The food was very good: good selection and quality. Our guide Matt, was a Durbin local, and his respect for the animals was contagious. Our game drives were EXTREMELY lucky: the big 5 in the first day. Yeah, it cost a lot, but it was worth every penny.

Room Tip: Ask for the room farthest from the dining boma in the main camp.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ratboy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about MalaMala Main Camp

Property: MalaMala Main Camp
Address: PO Box 55514, Northlands, Kruger National Park 2116, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — MalaMala Main Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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:
Mala Mala Main Camp Hotel Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
MalaMala Main Camp Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

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