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.

“Mala mala”
Review of MalaMala Main Camp

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
MalaMala Main Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 15, 2013

We spent two days at Mala Mala game reserve in February 2013 as part of a tour of South Africa and this was a wonderful experience. We had a great ranger Matt who took us on all our game drives mornings and evenings, was great fun and had a vast knowledge on all the wild life. We saw the big five and so much more at close quarters in their natural surroundings.

Our accommodation was large, comfortable, two bathrooms wonderful views out of panoramic windows and had a large viewing deck, where there was always something to see.

All the staff whatever they did were always pleasant and courteous.

Can't extol the virtues of Mala Mala high enough, it was the high spot of our tour, would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank mistyWolverhampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (351)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

232 - 238 of 351 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013

Our exeprience at mala mala main camp was great. It's not the big plains and running herds you would expect of the Serengeti, but we still got up close to most animals including leapords, elephants, a pride of lions and giraffe. I think this was much better viewing than what I hear about Kruger.

The food was good and the staff wonderful, though it did take us a day or two to get used to the where to go for what and how much the guides and staff attended to the guests. The staff was extremely helpful when we had to leave early.

Our one big mistake was driving ourselves in a compact rental car. The road into the park is narrow, dirt road with lots of hills and puddles if it rains. We were supposed to stay 4 nights, but we saw everything we wanted in the 4 game drives we had so 3 nights ended up just fine. Some bugs in the rooms but TIA.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CoffeeFanDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

We spent two nights at the Mala Mala Main Camp. It was truly an amazing experience.
I would say 2 nights is plenty - as we did 4 game drives over the 2 days, and saw just about every animal on the list.
The reserve itself is very large, with lots of opportunities to get close to all the main wildlife. The photos i have are incredible.
The rooms at the Camp - are massive... the one we stayed in had 2 bathrooms king bed and room to play football.. Dont expect a 5 star hotel room though - these are cabins, and the bathrooms are looking a little dated, but having said that they were clean and functional, nothing to complain about.

We were very lucky, we had a great guide who appeared to really enjoy his job. He bonded with our group well. He was very young, but very knowledgeable. We had heard a little about some of the guides being a little unhappy, but we didnt see that, and our guide talked a lot about enjoying his job, and the great experience it was giving him.

The food was ok - i wouldnt say it was 5 star, but there was plenty of it, and was well cooked and healthy.

Between game drives there is not a lot to do, other than lie beside the pool or nap... either worked well for us :-)

The only let down of the whole trip was Federal Air (the airline they use to get to Mala Mala). Both flights were changed without notifying us - and it seemed the only reason they changed them was to consolidate flights to get more people on. I was pretty annoyed at one of the changes due to the international flight connection we had to make - where i had allowed plenty of time, but thanks to Federal Air, we had to run to catch our TransContiental flight.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank aussieguy69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

the Private camp is a stunning place to stay-- our room, with a liivng area, bedroom, entry area, etc also had a large patio where we sat to watch elelphants walk by in the morning-- safari's are the usual, twice a day, mid mornnig and late afternoon, we sawrthe "big five" the frst monring out--the food was great, rhe serive exeelnt, as tho we wer ein our own house but had wonderful help--the drivers were experts, we felt we were the only ones there, really never saw another of the open air Range Rover's with the exception of watching the lion kill when our driver radioed the others to witness this rare event, I coudn't recommend a place any higher then this one--

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank whatatripwehad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

The game viewing here is superb. Saw so much here all in a short space of time. The terrain is quite hilly and not open but the drivers can go offroad which is great. The guides do seem to be like slaves which is a little offputting. They serve you meals, must sit with you during the meals, must get you drinks and must escort you to your rooms. We heard (privately) from our guide (and also other guides at other lodges) that the guides here are underpaid and overworked and not allowed visitors. There are no trackers either but the fact there are lots of trucks means if there is a sighting then you will know about it. The rooms are great with views of the river where we saw hippos, rhinos and elephants interacting as soon as we arrived. This lodge used to be a hunting lodge but seeing numerous photos on the walls of hunters with their 'trophies' was distasteful, unnecessary and offensive.

Room Tip: All rooms have great views
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank bigbruceSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2012

My wife and I stayed three nights at this magnificent private game reserve in South Africa in October 2012. Our experience was amazing. Everything was top notch, from our transports to and from Nelspruitt Airport, to our accomodations, to the food, service and the staff. To be fair, this was our first safari experience, so I can not compare Mala Mala to other game reserves, but I simply can not imagine how one could get a more fulfilling and exciting game viewing experience anywhere. In total, we did six game drives over three and a half days (Friday afternoon through Monday morning), including three exhilerating night drives. The wildlife was unbelievable. We got so close to the animals that you could actually reach out and touch some of them, including lions, cape buffalo, and elephants. Mala Mala is huge and has no fence around it. The Mala Mala property borders Krueger National Park for almost 8 miles. We saw the Big 5 on almost every game drive as well as a large assortment of other amazing animals too numerous to mention. The food and accomodations were excellent. Evening meals were either in the main lodge or in the outdoor boma (depending on weather) and every meal included a high tempo performance of african songs by the staff. Pieter, our Ranger, was great. He looked after everything, from our wake up calls at 5 am to making sure we were safely escorted back to our rondevals after dinner (we saw fresh leopard tracks near the dining room at Sable camp one morning, indicating that a leopard may have transerved through the camp during the night). Our rondeval was large and well appointed, including a sitting room, foyer, master bed room and THREE bathrooms! We even had a walk-in closet. I am usually a tougher reviewer than this, but I truly can not find anything to fault about Mala Mala.

Room Tip: We had room #25 which faced the bush and a small watering hole. Baboons were present just outside ev...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank GoCaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

It was once a life time experience for me, the Mala Mala Game Reserve is simply the most beautifull place I have ever been. I stayed at the Sable camp part. Amazing game view - Big Five in the first day, perfect and experienced rangers, perfect food, great breakfasts. Boma evening performance with all the flags of nationalities staying in the camp in that moment. The rooms are really spacious, well designed.
The advantage of the reserve that it is really big and you can see a different types of the landscape. My favourites were the cheetah brothers we have seen on the last day.

Room Tip: River side rooms have a better view, as there is allways someting happen at the river bank.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tomas79_Prague
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
12.7 mi away
Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate
10.2 mi away
Dulini Lodge
Dulini Lodge
#1 of 43 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
433 reviews
8.4 mi away
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge
#11 of 43 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
525 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
2.8 mi away
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Londolozi Private Game Reserve
#2 of 43 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
468 reviews
9.9 mi away
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Res...
#1 of 1 in Inyati Private Game Reserve
457 reviews
10.9 mi away
Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
Leopard Hills Private Game Reser...
#1 of 1 in Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve
297 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to MalaMala Main Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about MalaMala Main Camp

Address: PO Box 55514, Northlands, Kruger National Park 2116, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Price Range: $1,501 - $4,036 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — MalaMala Main Camp 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
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

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