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“Not bad but did not live up to reputation”
Review of MalaMala Main Camp

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MalaMala Main Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 2, 2007

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.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank KyRoamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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300 - 306 of 342 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2007

Travelled to Mala Mala in Jan 2007 with 14 family members. What a time we had!!! Stayed at the main camp as we had children with us. Absolutely fabulous. The game drives, the service, the food and the staff were all exceptional!!

We saw the big 5 on our first game drive on the day we arrived.
Spent 3 nights there and saw loads and loads of animals.
Had 2 rangers (Nick and Grant ) look after us and they were fantastic. Weather was very very hot though so if you dont like the heat go in the cooler weather. Last day of our stay reached 42 degrees.

Everything about this Game Reserve is top quality. 5 star all the way. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and would love to go back. Highly recommend it to families and couples alike.

If you ever want a safari holiday - go to Mala Mala. A amazing experience.

5  Thank MelbourneNikki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2006

Great lodging and good food. Friendly, helpful staff. Tops for seeing animals -- saw the "big five" and much more in two days. On-site airstrip and daily service by SA Airlink make this camp easily and quickly accessible. 'Reservations' staff were very helpful, made all arrangements via emails.

  • Stayed: October 2006
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4  Thank ATCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2006

We ended our trip to southern Africa with three nights at Mala Mala. It was the perfect ending to a great trip. As other reviewers have said, Mala Mala is about the animals. We saw our big five many times over plus numerous other beautiful birds and animals. The staff is friendly, top notch, and very down to earth. The food was great and way too plentiful. This game reserve is huge, and we never traveled all the possible roads. The rangers share so much information with you. The trackers are just amazing and you are not limited to traveling the roads to get the best views. If you want to see something the rangers will find it for you. Each morning as we were getting ready to go out, we watched a troupe of baboons crawl out of a tree near our cabin and head off for the day. We had so many unique animal encounters. Lots of Leopards and Lions. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and we are glad we chose Mala Mala.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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14  Thank cadcamguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2006

Mala Mala offers, in our opinion, the perfect balance between hotel excellence and a safari experience. You have fantastic rooms, excellent service and great food. But in my experience you also have the finest game viewing anywhere with excellent rangers and a tried and tested routine that works (make sure you have a breakfast and drinks in the bush)

We saw everything we wanted and Greg our ranger worked extensively to make sure we did. The highlight was tracking a Leopard in the dark after she had killed an Impala - amazing.

I am sure there are more luxorious safari destinations but do you really need large flat screen TVs when you are on safari - the view out over the sands river was unbeatable.

For our needs this was as close to perfection as you could find. Thanks to everyone for making our stay so enjoyable.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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13  Thank Bedbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2006

Mala Mala is by far one of my favorite places that I've been in the entire world - and I've been to alot of places. I loved it so much that I went 3 times in one year. Even though the cost seems pricey at first, it's definitely worth it. Everyone there is at your service and the rooms are nice and spacious with your own balcony and 2 bathrooms. The service is excellent and everyone is so friendly. The rangers who take you out on the drives are very knowledgable and make each drive exciting and different. They bring you up close and personal with all the wildlife. I saw the most amazing things during my trips there - lionesses hunting buffalo, hyaenas and leopards fighting over dead impala, herds of elephants playing in the river...the list goes on and on. If you have to splurge on one trip in your life, Mala Mala is the place to go.

  • Stayed: August 2005
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13  Thank WheretoNext16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Vancovuer, WA
111
Reviewed June 2, 2005

My husband and I took our 10-year-old along with us for this adventure. Mala Mala not only met our expectations, but excelled in every area. Our ranger and tracker were excellent, as well as the accommodations and food. We went on safari to see animals and we saw not only the big five, but cheetahs and rare blue sided jackals and much, much more. We stayed four nights/days, which gave us a real sense of the bush. We want to come back some day with our four-year-old. We've been telling stories about our experience since we've come home, and let me tell you, this place just doesn't have an equal. Other locations pale compared to this.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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: $1,413 - $4,228 (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

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