We stayed at Mala Mala Main Camp in mid-May, early winter. The units were spacious and well keep. The landscaping was well done. The food was average at best.
The game rides were long and we often drove for hours before spotting an interesting animal. Of the areas we visited, the game density was definitely the lowest. Our guide was young and inexperienced, but tried hard and had a good spotter with him.
Of our three safari stops, Mala Mala was our only leopard spotting. In fact, of six game rides we saw a leopard, all different, on three of them.
We spent at least 7 hours per day crashing through the brush looking for animals. Those in other vehicles with more experience guides did better than we did.
We rate it as very good. I am not sure whether winter or our guide resulted in the lack of animals although over the three days we saw all of the big five and numerous other animals. Had the food been better, we would have rated it as excellent since the camp was so well kept and staff so attentive.
At the prices charged, soft drinks, wine with dinner, etc should have been included as was with the other camps we visited. That sort of nickle and diming cheapens the experience and ought not to have been.
The owner and his wife were there while we were. They often are there and mingled freely with the guests even in the lower cost Main Camp.
- 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