This lodge is very hard to rate..... I notice many people write about the experience (=the game drives) at Mala Mala and I agree with everybody, it is outstanding. The ranger we had was very nice and very knowledgeable. We saw everything you came to see (=the big 5) and more and our kids where as fascinated as us and enjoyed the 3 hour drive in the morning and the 3 hour drive in the afternoon, no problem. The nature is just fantastic and all drives where different. The 4WD we had needed to be updated, they where not up to a luxury lodge standard. We had to change wheels 2 times during our 3 night stay...and that takes time from your experience.
HOWEVER, this is a site reviews hotels and the for the price you pay at Mala Mala, we expected much more. The rooms really needs to be updated. They can not have been renovated since the main camp opened. The bedspread and the whole atmosphere in the room was just ordinary and old looking. The bathrooms were the worst..a SHOWER cabin from the 70's with fixtures from Hans grohe that must be nearly antic. I would have chosen to stay at Rattray's or Sable camp since it looked newer but they do not take children there so we had no choice. The food was just ok nothing special and you had to stay in line like a school cantine to get your food and then your ranger had to run back and forth to get you drinks. It just felt very cheap and when you pay 1000 dollar a day you at least think the drinks where included but you had to pay for even soda water. The chef was very visible and really made sure that everybody felt taken care of but it just did not help to have great staff and great rangers when the facility and food was not even close to 5 star quality (maybe 3). If you want to see Leopards in the wild and great nature, this is probably your best bet (but don't expect luxury). If you want good food and luxury accommodation don't go to Mala Mala main camp you will be disappoined.
- 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 Main Camp Hotel Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
- MalaMala Main Camp Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa