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MalaMala Main Camp
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Reviews (357)
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All reviewsmala malathe rivergame viewinghunting lodgewild dogsprivate reservecape buffalosafari experienceseparate bathroomsthatched roofoff roadafrica tripkruger national parklions huntingbreakfast and dinneran outstanding jobland rover
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Reviewed 19 September 2010

This is an excellent private reserve where you are sure to see many animals, some within touching distance (though I wouldn't). The highlight for us was being right in the middle of a lion/buffalo showdown. They were so close we could feel the movement of the air as they ran by us on both sides. The 4 children, between 8 and 18, were enthralled. Our guide, Greg, was very attentive and answered all of our questions in great detail. He made sure he got as close as possible to the animals and we felt very secure at all times.

The food was good and plentiful. The staff were pleasant and attentive, The rooms were large and comfortable but could use a little TLC. The overall experience was very positive and we would love to go back there.

Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
Thank 1srgeneration
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2010

What an incredible experience we were blessed to have at Mala Mala!!! We loved every single minute of our stay here from the wake up tea service in our room, to breakfast, to our guides and tracker, to lunch, dinner, drinks, and most of all the SPECTACULAR game viewing for which we could have hoped!!!

The leopards are my favorites. We saw at least one up close and personal every day. I think the wild dogs are my next favorite, but the lions and lion CUBS are very hard to beat.

This experience, not simply a stay or visit, is one to be remembered for a lifetime.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hooktown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2010

I took my 23 year old nephew to South Africa for the World Cup. I figured, once we've gone this far, we have to do some kind of safari. I have always done my own travel arrangements, but because of the World Cup, I could not even find accomodations, and the trip had to be customized for dates of travel around our game dates. So, I looked on Tripadvisor for folks commenting on South Africa and found a great, great travel agent in the US that specializes in Africa. I worked with Matt at Travel Beyond who was working with a South Africa travel agent called Thompsons. There were a few glitches in the execution, but both Travel Beyond and Thompsons were very responsive. Anyway, after looking at various game reserves that both Travel Beyond and two other agents came up with, after trading off costs and reviews, we chose Mala Mala Main Camp. It's kind of confusing how the private parks/reserves are referred to - they all are in the area of (and sometimes referred to as part of) Kruger National Park. Also, many of them say they are part of Sabi Sand, which is also the name of one of the reserves. Mala Mala is a private reserve, the largest in acreage (33K acres) of them all, with the largest border with the actual Kruger National Park. It is on the high end of the reserves cost wise, but not the most expensive. Mala Mala has 3 camps - Main camp and Sable camp which are more basic (but not very basic at all - the rooms were huge, 2 bathrooms for the two of us, open view onto the camp with animals at your windows) - and Rattrays, which is more exclusive, high end and expensive. There are only 4-6 people in each jeep and I think there are only about 12 or so jeeps on the property at one time. It's two weeks later, and I'm still blown away by our experience there. I can unqualifiedly recommmend Mala Mala.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank AmyPP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2010

We absolutely loved Mala Mala... everyone was incredibly welcoming and the game viewing was outstanding. We've been on safari before in other parts of Africa and this was by far the best experience! From the location to the guides (Chris was fantastic) to the service to the food/amenities. We got amazingly close to the animals, particularly the big cats which are my personal favorites. Our back deck overlooked an area frequented by elephant and antelope - game viewing right from your chaise), the camp also had several nyala who would bee seen around munching on the flowers. All in all we were well taken care of an saw all of the big 5 and then some! We would absolutely go back and highly recommend it to all our friends. Thank you Mala Mala!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Suzanne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2010

We're life long travelers with loads of experiences with guides under our belts. We've also done numerous safari's. If you want to have the best game viewing experience in Africa (it was better than Kenya), then be sure to go to Mala Mala and ask for Graham Dyer to be your guide.
While at Mala Mala we encountered two individuals that go on Safari every year for weeks at a time and have been doing it for years - they are both regulars at Mala Mala. One said that out of all the safari camps Mala Mala had the best game viewing, and the other one hires Graham for private safari trips to other countries!

Mala Mala was one of the pioneers of the no hunting driving safari. For over 40 years the guides have carefully handled their vehicles to ensure the wildlife are comfortable with the large vehicles and it shows! The animals truly have no fear of the vehicles. This means that you don't need thousands of dollars worth of zoom lenses and binoculars as the guides can drive right up to the animals and the animals simply don't care. They frequently will walk right by you, even stopping to smell or rub against the vehicle.
Mala Mala has the game drives down to an art. You don't end up with photos of game with other vehicles in the shot. Mala Mala also has a choice piece of land (the river attracts loads of animals that you can see from your room) so the concentration and variety of game on their land is outstanding, likely the best viewing in all of Kruger. The rooms are spacious and comfortable.

I can not emphasize enough what a difference the right guide makes - at Mala Mala Graham Dyer is the absolute best. He has endless knowledge, answers every question with enthusiasm and is just as thrilled to be there as you are. There is nothing worse than having a guide that is "been there, done that" about everything and only giving out minimal information, while watching the clock. Graham enhances the safari experience.
October is an outstanding time to go - very little vegetation so it's easy to see the game, water is scarce so they come to the river and there are babies everywhere. Baby elephant, leopard, lion, monkey, baboon, birds, rhino, hippo, wild dogs - etc. To give you an idea of the quality of game viewing, we saw the Big 5 within 30 minutes of our first game drive. If you are a "big cat" person - this is your spot!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank InnSpire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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