We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Superb !”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Rattray's on MalaMala
Certificate of Excellence
Budapest
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Superb !”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

Since '99 I allways chose something else, but now finally I booked Rattray's Mala Mala...
Great lodge, great staff !
Such a shame that the manager, a lovely Belgian young woman, leaves ! She is one of the best I ever met !
As a territory, it's fantastic...big, the river, changing landscapes.
Wildlife as well great !
Food, drinks, stay...perfect !
Our ranger Ross is a wonderfull guy and it is a shame that rangers at Mala Mala must do all by themselves, because of the fact they don't work with trackers (anymore) !
It is absolutely not less quality, safari-wise, then Singita or Londolozi...maybe even a fraction better.
Absolutely a shame that the good staff leaves, she (and her husband/ranger Nick as well) are a difference comparing lodges.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gilbert v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

168 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    152
    11
    3
    1
    1
See reviews for
25
103
5
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2012

Rattray's at Mala Mala was close to my number one and definitely my partner's favorite on our safari trip. The rooms were actually houses and they were large with two bathrooms (one with a tub and one with a shower),each adjoining a dressing area with a large closet, a large living area with a dining alcove and an open bedroom raised above the living area with a writing desk as a divider as well as a hall entrance which provided more intimacy. Outside, there was a wonderful private plunge pool which we used a lot because one day the temperature went up to 38 Celsius (100 fahrenheit)! Another day, on the other hand, the temperature was in the low twenties (approx 75 fahrenheit) so be prepared for the variations in temperature. We went the beginning of September 2012. The veranda was huge with a beautiful view of the Sand River (where I saw my first Giraffe I might add). We saw two lions upon arrival at our house. Houses are separated from each other by what look like adobe walls - very discrete, which provided a great deal of privacy on the verandah and pool side of the house.

The service is very personalized with an assigned guide responsible for the needs and wishes of their guests. The guide also shares meals with their guests and are very easy to converse with. The ages of the guests varied a great deal and this did not seem to pose a problem. However, this is a small peaceful lodge with the action taking place on the safaris.

Meals were at fixed times: breakfast and lunch a buffet type affair with hot and cold dishes and always one continental dish for a difficult eater such as myself. Dinner was always excellent. We had dinner in our room every evening as we were tired at the end of the day and wanted an early night. Wake-up with a phone call from our assigned guide came at 5:30 AM every morning for a pre-safari snack at 6 AM when all the guests would gather at the main building. I'm not a really social person, but I found this laid-back and pleasant.

As for the morning and evening safaris, we had a private jeep as per our request, due to my heart condition. It gave us the freedom to go at our own pace. I sat next to the guide where it was not very bumpy. The seats are staggered so those seated behind the guide get a tremendous view but it can be a bit of a rough ride (I know, I experienced this in India and had to bow out after a day). That said, Rattrays has a maximum I believe of four people per jeep so it is never crowded in the jeeps. Also, only once did we see more than two jeeps at a sighting.


Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the animals, birds and the stars. I'm a bird watcher, more enthusiastic than knowlegeable, and yet I came away with over 50 sightings over three full days. It was an absolute pleasure spending time with Yuri whose love of the bush was contagious .

The game was fantastic and I liked the more intimate viewing experience with individual animals, rather than herds. The diversity of game was impressive aided by the fact that Mala Mala is a huge concession and more importantly, stretches over both sides of the river.That said, we did have a few qualms about off-roading and its effect on the environment and the animals. Not that we saw any deleterious effects. The lodge is also surrounded by a fence.

In conclusion, we could have spent weeks at this camp instead of 4 nights. It was just wonderful, thanks to the staff, the accomodations and the variety of game.

Room Tip: We stayed in house #4 which I found to be just the right distance from the main building. From what...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HayKay1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2012

From the moment I arrived, my ranger met me and showed me the lovliest place in Kruger. I had a stunning khaya all to myself. Wish my house in the States was that glamorous! Every need was met, the management outstanding (always checking to ensure all is good), the chef is fantastic (handled all food allergies), and best of all I saw the Big 5 safely. The staff is fantastice and I only wish I had more time to spend there! Worth every penny!!!

Room Tip: all the khayas are the same and furnished in outstanding items.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank corky9108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012

I stayed at Rattray's during my third trip to Africa and Rattray's puts every other safari camp I've stayed at to shame. From the accommodations to the services to the food to the game drives, nothing could be improved upon. Our accommodations included a main suite with a sitting area looking out into the game reserve. On one side was the "women's" dressing room and bath; on the other side was the men's dressing room with a double shower and outside a plunge pool and an outside shower. There was also a large deck. My wife and I had a debate about whether this was bigger than the apartment she had when I met her. The game drives were wonderful. At Rattray's no more than four guests are in any one land rover so there's no worries about being far from the ranger or not being able to discuss what you want to see. Our ranger, Adam, took us by the hand and made sure we had everything we needed. Among the sights: 7 lion cubs and their three mother; a lion and her cub feasting on a Cape Buffalo; a young leopard catching young Egyptian geese; driving amidst a thousand Cape Buffalo. Food was gourmet and plentiful. Our wish was our command. I just wish we had booked more time here. One note: we made a brief stop at the main Mala Mala camp -- there was a bigger gift shop there -- and it seemed a lot more rustic than Rattray's; also the main camp did not have the four person limit. Rattray's cost more. I didn't see the rooms or partake of the food at the main camp, but my sense was that the extra cost is well worth it.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank prhnjd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2012

I gave this camp a 5 because it truly is incredible if you are looking for an over the top luxurious experience. The guides and staff will do anything to make your stay perfect, the food is outstanding, in the winter they always have hot water bottles on the drives to keep you warm, and the accomodations are amazing - you get a fairly huge house with heat and air conditioning, a big bed, a private deck with a splash pool, two huge washrooms with heated floors, a tv, and just about everything else you can think of. The water is also ALL filtered so you can drink right from the tap.

But a word of caution - this place is incredible but it is almost too perfect, in that you don't really feel like you're in Africa anymore. I am not pretending that I like to "rough it" at all, but this place was just so over the top that it didn't feel like an authentic safari experience to me. I saw incredible game, but in the other camps I stayed at (Mashatu and Stanley's Camp in Botswana), we also saw amazing game, had very nice accomodations, but it felt more like a real safari and an African experience. So if you want over the top luxury while you see animals, this is definitely the place for you and it is an incredibly beautiful and well run property. But if you want a bit more of a real safari experience, there are other camps where you can get that while still having excellent accomodations.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank P G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We had the pleasure of staying at Rattrays Camp for three
nights in april of this year after first visiting cape
town earlier in the trip. This was our third trip to
africa (kenya/tanz on our honeymoon, zimbabwe) so were are
well attuned to the safari experience (and fully addicted).

We chose Mala Mala because of its reputation as the best
place to see wildlife in the Sabi Sands and it lived up to
its reputation.

Upon arrival at the airstrip we found out we had been
upgraded to Rattrays camp which was tremendous as this is
the most luxurious of the Mala Mala camps.

It is worth pointing out that this is a fenced camp. We
prefer unfenced but for many this will provide peace of
mind. We did see a large male lion walking along the
fence the last morning so it is there for a reason. You
will still have monkeys in the trees outside of your room
and the view from your deck of the Sand River below
provides the opportunity for great game viewing. The fence is well hidden from view.

ROOM:
Enormous, unbelievably appointed with a huge bed, two huge
bathrooms, a deck with a plunge pool, air conditioning if
you want it etc... Its actually almost a bit over the
top, but i am certainly not complaining. After previous
trips staying in luxury "tents" this was quite a change.

GUIDE:
I view this as the single most important factor besides
luck for a good safari trip and we were very lucky to have
Chris. As one of the most senior guides there (he was
acting manager during our week) he has an enormous amount
of skill tracking, seeing and anticipating the animals moves. Many of the younger guides seemed to defer to his
judgement. They are very good at managing good sightings
to limit the number of cars without making you feel like
you are missing out (by using their radio headsets).
Unfortunately for future visitors this was chris' second
to last week. I'm sure he will be missed

FOOD:
I'd give it a A-/B+. plentiful, and definitely good, just
not great (that title is still held by kleins camp in
tanzania). The Brai was good with a nice performance by
the staff. The bushbaby in the tree above also seemed to
enjoy it

SERVICE:
Outside of the gregarious guides, the staff was friendly
if a bit shy. I think the vibe here is more laid back as
opposed to some other camps with an assigned butler, many
managers fawning over you etc.. I liked the laid backness
of it, its all about the game here.

WILDLIFE:
This is where malamala and Rattray's stands out. Their
concession is ENORMOUS when compared to all the other
private concessions in the sabi sands except maybe singita. and many of those
concessions share traversing rights with each other to
cover more ground and increase the chances of good
sightings. Only guests of the malamala camps can
traverse their concession. they share a huge unfenced
border with Kruger National Park. They have the most
exposure on the sand river which is where many animals go
to get water. the map on this link kind of lays it out for
you.
http://malamala.com/What_Makes_Us_Unique.htm

We saw SO many animals it was ridiculous. many times we
couldnt get a couple hundred yards from the entrance to
camp without stopping numerous times. Huge prides of
lions, lion cubs, lions mating; multiple leopards a day, the cheetah
brothers on 2 different days (including one climbing a
tree), a hyena den with tiny cubs coming up to the vehicle
to chew the tires, giraffe, huge herds of elephant,
giraffe, and buffalo. then all the plains type game kudu,
waterbuck, zebra, wildebeaste, nyala etc.. The most
impressive were the numbers of rhinostill thriving in this
area. We also got very lucky and saw a serval and two
honeybadger which were firsts for us. The highlight was definitely seeing a mother lion moving the den of her 3 three week old cubs.

Its also worth pointing out that there were less people in
the cars at rattrays vs the other mala mala vehicles we
saw. to be honest we only saw other vehicles a few times
and it was NEVER an issue. We were alone or with one other couple for our all of our
drives.

Activities:
we did two walks and its such a rush to be on the ground not knowing what you might see. we felt comfortable with chris guiding (armed of course)

Room Tip: All of the rooms are the same layout/quality. The rooms extend to the right from the main lodge so...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sek07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2012

Hi we stayed a few days here in early June and from the moment we arrived Gordon took over. A great ranger in a fantastic facility with abundant animals. This is a first class way to do a safari. Regards to a great team there and thanks,Peter and Elizabeth Short.

Room Tip: They are all good
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clatu28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
5.8 mi away
Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge
Lion Sands - Tinga Lodge
#2 of 13 in Kruger National Park
379 reviews
10.6 mi away
MalaMala Main Camp
MalaMala Main Camp
#1 of 3 in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
309 reviews
19.4 mi away
Dulini Lodge
Dulini Lodge
#1 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
388 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
12.8 mi away
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
#3 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
444 reviews
11.7 mi away
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge
#6 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
300 reviews
8.5 mi away
Lion Sands River Lodge
Lion Sands River Lodge
#11 of 42 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
784 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Rattray's on MalaMala? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Rattray's on MalaMala

Property: Rattray's on MalaMala
Address: P.O. MalaMala, Skukuza, 1353, Kruger National Park 1353, 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
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Number of rooms: 8
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 
Also Known As:
Mala Mala Rattray`s Camp Hotel Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Rattray's On MalaMala Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing