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“Superlative -- all around!”

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Rattray's on MalaMala
Certificate of Excellence
Sunriver, Oregon
2 reviews
“Superlative -- all around!”
Reviewed 16 September 2013

We had a fabulous time at your beautiful Rattay Camp. As first-time safari visitors we were not sure what to expect, and this trip far exceeded our wildest expectations. Seeing animals in their natural habitats – up close and personal – was thrilling in a way we could not have imagined. Our ranger, Brendan Cole was outstanding – serving as guide, ranger, interpreter, and host. His driving skills were very impressive – he was able to pick the best vantage points and get us there safely and securely. He made it all come alive for us, seeking out different ways to experience the richness that is Mala Mala, and providing us with background stories on the individual animals and their prides, movements throughout the area, and environmental threats both in the wild and from man. His passion and dedication made all the difference in our understanding of what we were seeing. That said, we were able to see the Big Five within 24 hours and were able to see the “Big Seven” – including cheetah and wild dogs several times by the end of our stay. The camp is an amazing place to experience wildlife; the diversity is dramatic and represents great value for any safari visitor.
Our khaya and all the accommodations were sumptuous and the meals were a delight. We were offered the opportunity to dine with others, including our guide, or on our own, and we chose to get to know the other safari guests and compare notes on wildlife sightings, Land Rover adventures and other memorable experiences. Our trip was made richer by sharing our experiences with others while enjoying our own private space. The food was delicious and we appreciated the opportunities to try new things and dine in different settings on various nights. We would certainly come back and will tell all our friends that this is the place to go to see the most wildlife while learning a tremendous amount, and enjoying the highest degrees of comfort and travel delights.

Room Tip: All the rooms are gorgeous. We were in #2 - a bit closer to the main camp, which made it very conv...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laurel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed 10 September 2013

With our second daughter and son-in-law, we had the most amazing 4 days at the end of August
staying at Rattray's and going on safari excursions twice a day with Brett Meadows. His driving ability, knowledge about the area and animals were great and was fun to be around at mealtimes. The highlights were numerous from lion cubs and hyena cubs to amost every other wild animal you could think of. The food, local fresh produce, was very enjoyable from delicious breakfast ham through to Apple Crumble at dinner. Staff were all pleasant and enjoyed their hospitality immensely.
We hope to be back with our first daughter and son-in-law!!!!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Lynn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA USA
Level 6 Contributor
267 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

Having traveled a substantially, Rattray's was at the very top of my experiences. Initially, you may think the cost is "over the top" but I assure you it is not. Superb service and luxurious boutique accommodations with no more than 4 guests per large, open vehicle. The safari organization and format was essentially perfect - early morning safari at 6:30AM, 10AM breakfast, lunch at 1:30PM followed by 3:30PM safari ending at 7PM. Dinner at 7:30PM. Your "Ranger" guide is individually responsible for every aspect of your stay. My wife and I stayed 5 nights - a perfect, first time stretch. Our safari experiences defy description - all enhanced by our Ranger Greg Baldwin. We were regularly amazed at Greg's knowledge, experience and sense of safety. The general manager, Andre was exceptionally professional. Everything about Rattray's is top notch and it's easy to understand their AAA level ranking. "Fantastic" is an understatement.

Room Tip: We stayed in #8 Kaya - located the furthest from the the main lodge. This was ideal for us.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GSSATLANTA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

With Roan as our guide, we were able to see everything! Cheetahs, lions, leopards, wild dogs, rhino, cape buffalo, giraffes, zebras and more! He even spotted a chameleon at night! That was when I knew he was good. Accommodations were incredible. Food excellent. We went to four camps and if you could only go to one, this would be the place to go because you saw lots of animals. If I had to pick an improvement it would be better sundowners and more savory snacks in between meals.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank welove2goaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montgomery, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2013

Our guide, Roan, met us at the Mala Mala airstrip and set the tone for our stay at Rattray's. That tone remained most accommodating and hospitable throughout our 4-day stay. The lodging is spectacular in every sense of the word---think Four Seasons in the Bush! It included a beautiful, spacious and open concept bedroom and living area and separate bathrooms equipped with all the up-scale amenities you can imagine. A beautiful patio with plunge pool awaits right outside the sliding glass door. Rattray's has thought of everything to make your stay most luxurious and comfortable. And if you're fortunate to have Roan as your guide, all the better! He is most informative and willing to go the extra mile to make your camera safari truly unforgettable. One evening, we had the opportunity to witness a pride of lion feasting on a kudu---an experience we'll never forget! All of the guides work closely together to bring you the best of the bush. The only negative I can say about Rattray's Camp is the food. Lunch and dinner remained consistently mediocre. There is not much creativity or imagination to the menu items. But the experience and exhilaration in seeing the Big 5 multiple times outweighs the food situation. Rattray's remains a keeper!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kid55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
447 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2013

have just spent the last 4 days at Rattray's at Mala Mala and it was OUTSTANDING!

Managed to see all the Big five in the first two days along with an array of other animals. The Raangers go out of their way to meet your requests and the staff are brilliant.

The rooms are huge and have a his and hers separate bathroom and I even managed to use the plunge pool twice (thanks to the great weather).

We had breakfast packed instead of returning to the camp each morning and it made the experience even greater. What could be better than a continental breakfast set up alongside your jeep in the stunning surrounds that are this truly amazing area.

Early mornings and late evenings are on the schedule so be prepared. You will be impressed!!

Expensive? Yes! Value for Money? Yes! Worth every cent!!!

Well done...keep it up because I'm coming back and will be bringing friends!!

Room Tip: I can't add anything. The numbers are strictly limited so every room is great and they all have...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Grant T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

We started our African safari at Rattrays. The camp was as close to perfect as a camp can be. The staff was outstanding. Our guide Brendan was professional, knowledgeable and fun. Our room was beyond beautiful... modern his/hers bathrooms and a comfortable bed with luxurious linens facing the water and an outdoor plunge pool that was heated. The food was of excellent quality and creative, with lunches being a traditional African choice and another non-African choice and unlimited salads and side dishes to accompany both. Dinner was less creative (grilled meats and fish) but nonetheless delicious. Our only complaint was that we were paired off with another older couple for our game drives our entire stay and were seated with this other couple and our tour guide for every single meal. Although we loved our guide, I am sure he would have welcomed a break from us and as far as the older couple, we did not sign on to go on vacation with anybody else and would have preferred to dine alone. We could not have requested this on the spot as we were told at mealtime where to sit and tables were pre-set according to who you were out on the game drives with plus tour guide. A better option would have been to arrange tables in settings of two and let guests choose whether they wanted anybody else to join them. Tour guides should be given meal time off. Just some constructive criticism and a word of advice to those folks wishing to have some private meal time. This camp has WIFI which is a plus. Many camps do not have WIFI but WIFI is harmless and alleviates any stress for those of us who may need to stay connected for very good reasons.
The game drives were packed with sightings. We saw the big five within days and viewed many other sighting including a kill between a hyena and kudu.
I highly recommend Rattrays but would call the camp ahead of time to request meal time without your game drive partners if you wish to be alone as there is plenty of time on the land rover with the other guests (8 hours each day!).

Room Tip: Room#1 closest to main building and #7 furthest away. Recommend being close to main building for sa...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dalocopa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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

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