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“Amazing Colonial Style Safari Resort!”

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Rattray's on MalaMala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Ratrays at Mala Mala is simply superb.

The service is outstanding, the resort stunning and recently built (2007), the rooms are magnificent and the Safari experience amazing.

On our first day, right after we arrived via a small plane on their private landing strip, we were whisked off by our guide Michael, and immediately we saw the Big 5 followed by a 'live Kill'. We then had a wonderful family style dinner in a resort style setting. What a way to enjoy Xmas.

We stayed for 3 days, and every day was like Animal Planet LIVE. For our first Safari experience, I can definitely say Ratrays at Mala Mala was an A+! Thanks to the entire staff for making our Safari a true Bucket List Trip!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Libertb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 - 115 of 183 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2013

We stayed for four nights in October 2013 as part of our honeymoon. MalaMala is simply the best. It's by far the largest private game reserve in the area - making the animal viewing is unparalleled given proximity to the river. We saw all of the big five on the first day. The next two days there were torrential rains for a good part of the day, so the animal viewing wasn't as good but still decent. We stayed at Rattray's (the higher end location on MalaMala - compared to Main Camp and Sable). The main difference between the camps is that at Rattrays you have max of four guests per vehicle, whereas at the Main Camp there can be up to six. The accomodations at Rattrays are also five star. The rangers were friendly and knowledgable, the food was great, and the rooms were absolutely gorgeous We can't say enough about Rattrays. When we go back one day, we'll likely stay at MalaMala Main Camp since it is more affordable (this trip was our honeymoon) but at Main Camp you still get access to the MalaMala private reserve.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank newyorker10006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

A top notch establishment- I don't have one bad thing to say about the place. The staff was terrific and the property was stunningly beautiful. The rooms are pretty darn swanky: cable television, wifi internet, air conditioning, two bathrooms, a bathtub, and a large patio with a private little dipping pool. The food was terrific! The area is teeming with wildlife and the guides really know their stuff- we took hundreds of photos. I could go on and on and on, but long story short, I highly recommend you stay here if you're considering traveling to the Kruger National Park- you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank BigTexDFD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

I agree with other reviews that this exceeded my expectations. The service, accomodations, food and the game drives were terrific. I wish I came to this safari camp last as the others I visited later could not compare although they were still very good. The animal viewing was amazing.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank tripmaster2623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

We chose Mala Mala Rattrays for our first safari based on the recommendation of Craig Beal of Travel Beyond. We are so glad we followed his recommendation. Mala Mala has the Sand River running through it and abuts Kruger National Park. It is a huge private reserve (I believe it is the largest of the private reserves in the area) comprising 33,000 acres. Only vehicles from the Mala Mala camps are allowed on the reserve and they are allowed to go off road (unlike Kruger). There were never any more than 3 vehicles allowed at a sighting and we were frequently the only vehicle present. We chose to stay at Rattrays because there are no more than 4 people in each vehicle. The khayas are huge with his and her bathrooms, plunge pool, and deck overlooking the Sand River. Mala Mala's motto is "It is all about the wildlife" and if you are interested in seeing the "Big Five" and more, this is the place for you. We were not disappointed! Highlights of our 4 night/5 day stay with our fantastic ranger, Greg Baldwin, were seeing a leopard dragging her freshly killed impala along the ground to a tree (our first night drive!) and the next morning (our second game drive) sitting among a pack of wild dogs as they consumed their kill and fought off a hyena. We experienced the excitement of following the dogs off road and watched them run down another antelope. The rest of our game drives were also wonderful and we had many leopard sightings, elephants, cape buffalo, lion, rhino, hyenas, warthogs, giraffes, mongoose, jenet, wildebeast, baboons, vervet monkeys, zebras, vultures, raptors, different types of storks, and a wide variety of antelope. I am sure I am missing some of the many animals we saw. I suspect that going during the dry season enhanced our wildlife viewing as the animals were mostly concentrated around the river. It is unbelievable how close you are able to get to the animals, just don't stand up in the range rover and you will be just fine. We appreciated the care the rangers took to minimally disturb the animals while we were observing them. You will be very very busy and we barely had enough down time to download our pictures between the early morning game drives, bush walks, meals, and night drives. Others have complained about the food which is served buffet style (we liked it just fine, we did have better food at other places during our trip to South Africa, but no place could beat Mala Mala in terms of the quality of the wildlife viewing and level of service and hospitality) as well as the fact that alcohol and sodas are extra but we found the prices for those items reasonable (I don't drink anyway), and there was unlimited wonderful ice tea, hot tea and coffee available. If your priorities are an all inclusive camp with 5 star food and alcohol, go to one of the other luxury camps, if you want fantastic wildlife viewing that is unbeatable, come to Mala Mala! Yes, staying at Rattrays is expensive, but it is worth every penny!

Room Tip: All of the khayas have great views of the Sand River. We saw an abundance of wildlife from our deck.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank vhuang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

After few days around different camps in Namibia and South Africa we arrived at Mala Mala. The other camps were pretty good, but Mala Mala is in a different league. Rooms, service and atmosphere were all above standards (AND there are bidets !!!! in the bathrooms, which after two weeks brought tears to my eyes). The safari game is also pretty,pretty good. Mind you, if you look for a more local atmosphere maybe not the best of places.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank faustxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

One of the best vacations that I have ever had!
The game drives were fun and exciting.
We were within a few feet of Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhino and Zebras.
Rattray's pays Incredible attention to detail. The only thing that you have to do is enjoy yourself.
The Staff, accommodation, and food were perfect. From the first moment that you arrive, until the minute that you leave, they create the most wonderful safari experience. Our ranger, Daniel was terrific. We were fortunate to meet and spend time with other guests, all of whom were friendly and fun to be with. Rattray's gets my vote for vacation of the year!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank brencara
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

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
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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