General

If the African Safari were personified, her home would be MalaMala…

MalaMala Game Reserve is the Safari Industrys 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, MalaMala shares a 19 km (12 mile) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park and lies 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.

Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhinoceros – the most sought after and dangerous of the world’s big game. In previous centuries it was these five species which gripped the imagination of hunters and sportsmen, drawing them to Africa to experience the blood pounding thrill of hunting and shooting “The Big Five”. It is in reserves like Mala Mala where this hunting and shooting still takes place, only the hunting is done by experienced rangers and Shangaan trackers, and the shooting is done with cameras. But it does not mean that the thrill and exhilaration of encountering these animals in an open Land Rover is any less gripping.

Folk lore and legend are rich with regards to the Big Five. Encompassing beliefs such as the following: ” The Great One put the animals here for us to use wisely and respect, even as we hunted them, but he knew that without fear we might lose our respect for these creatures. So he put the five here to help us remember. The lion and leopard taught us fear of the night, that only the daytime was ours. The buffalo, the elephant and the rhino taught us to fear their strength, that we might respect the strength of nature.”

Mala Mala Main Camp

The soul of MalaMala’s Main Camp is tangible:

    • It is present in the sepia photographs in the safari bar, reflecting the history of the area;
    • it is present in the massive Jackalberry Tree, a silent witness in the boma from the beginning;
    • It is present in the faces of the staff some who have worked for the family for over 30 years;
    • It is present in the floodplain beyond the camp which has witnessed the changes year on year;
    • It is present in the granite outcrops of Sithlawayise and Campbell Koppies who stand guard over this pristine wilderness area;
    • It is present in the Sand River which journeys through this sanctuary supporting this dramatic eco system, but more importantly it is present in the generations of wild animals who have found solace in their home territories on MalaMala

Every aspect of the Main Camp is designed to appreciate and enjoy the view of the surrounding wilds. Pathways wind their way along the perimeter of the camp to reveal individual ochre colored units tucked into the greenery which flanks the Sand River. Massive trees and rolling green lawns are filled with birdsong, with the occasional antelope or elephant which seeks the succulence of greenery. The camp is unfenced – an oasis in the midst of the bushveld .

Camp Facilities :

    • The impressive lounge, air-conditioned dining room and historic bar are conducive to good companionship – safari style
    • Air-conditioned library with satellite television, internet connectivity and DVD player – affectionately referred to as the Monkey Club
    • A large wooden safari deck, in the shade of a Jackalberry Tree – the ideal vantage point from which to observe the steady flow of animal life at the Sand River’s edge
    • A large filtered infinity pool with magnificent views across the river
    • A well-appointed safari boutique with quality clothing, jewellery and artefacts.
    • A small fitness facility with stationary bicycle, treadmill, multigym machine, rowing machine, sit up benches, pull up bar, free weights, mats and a steam room
    • A massage service is available on request
    • A fully stocked wine-cellar houses a selection of some of South Africa’s finest wines

Accommodation :

8 luxury suites and 10 luxury rooms each with :

    • ” His” and ” hers ” bathrooms
    • 24 hour temperature control
    • Direct dial telephones
    • A mini-bar
    • A mini safe
    • Tea and coffee making facilties
    • Hairdryers
    • Insect repellent
    • Family rooms able to accommodate a third adult or two children are available on request.
    • Disabled Accommodation

Age restriction :

    • Children of all ages accepted
    • Children under 12 years of age, sharing with an adult, pay the quoted child tariff
    • No children of 4 years and younger are permitted in the boma for dinner, or on game drives (unless parent’s have booked sole use of a vehicle)
    • A babysitting facility is available at a nominal fee

Capacity on Game Drives : 6 guests per safari vehicle

Sable Camp

Imbued with the spirit of MalaMala and sharing her soul, the Sable Camp is a more intimate version of the Main Camp and the choice for those seeking a more private and intimate safari. Situated at the southern end of the MalaMala Camp in a prime elevated position overlooking the Sand River and surrounding bushveld, Sable Camp accommodates a maximum of 14 guests. It may also be reserved exclusively for between 10 & 18 guests – but book early! Each of the individually decorated, spacious and comfortable suites under traditional thatching occupies an idyllic vantage point and provides a platform from which to admire the unimpeded views.

Camp Facilities :

    • Air-conditioned library with satellite television, internet connectivity and DVD player
    • Air-conditioned safari bar and dining-room
    • A large wooden safari deck – the ideal vantage point from which to observe the steady flow of animal life at the Sand River’s edge
    • Safari Deck overlooking the Sand River and surrounding bushveld
    • A filtered Swimming Pool nestled in the flood plain below the Camp
    • A massage service is available on request
    • A fully stocked wine-cellar houses a selection of some of South Africa’s finest wines
    • The Safari Boutique & Fitness Facility are located in the MalaMala Main Camp which is situated close by

Accommodation

5 luxury suites each with:

    • “his” and “hers” bathrooms
    • 24 hour temperature control
    • direct dial telephones
    • a mini-bar
    • a mini safe
    • Tea and coffee making facilties
    • Hairdryer
    • Family rooms able to accommodate a third adult are available on request.
    • Lions Den Suite : 2 en-suite bedrooms (with facilities as above) separated by a large sitting room.

Age Restriction :

    • No children under the age of 12

Capacity on Game Drives : 6 guests per safari vehicle

Rattrays on Mala Mala

Rattray’s on MalaMala offers a glimpse of an era long past when distant travellers to Africa married the magic of the wild with an elegance and refinement that have been immortalized in the epic tale of Karen Blixen in ‘Out of Africa’. The epitome of regal colonial safari-style, the newest addition to the MalaMala portfolio is a culmination of over 40 years of experience within the Rattray Family.

Rattray’s on MalaMala’s bears the style of crystal and leather, with beautiful furnishings that are a treat to the connoisseur of the finer things in life, captured over generations on a land that remains as old as time.

Each suite or khaya (Zulu for “home”) functions as an inclusive home, resplendent with hand-selected furnishings, lavish his-and-hers bathrooms, a secluded outdoor shower and a private heated plunge pool.

Camp Facilities:

    • A beautifully appointed library containing rare Africana books and magnificent works of art
    • An elegant, African themed air-conditioned dining room
    • A historic bar featuring photographs of the early days of this unique area and its pioneers
    • A large wooden safari deck where meals are served – and an awesome game viewing experience in itself!
    • A large filtered infinity pool with magnificent views across the river
    • A well-appointed safari boutique with quality clothing, jewellery and artefacts
    • A small fitness facility with stationary bicycle, treadmill, multigym machine, rowing machine, sit up benches, pull up bar, free weights, mats and a steam room
    • A massage service is available on request
    • A fully stocked wine-cellar houses a selection of some of South Africa’s finest wines

Accommodation:

    • 8 luxury khayas for a maximum of 16 guests
    • Private verandah with grand river views
    • Indigenous private garden – a haven for the birds
    • ” his ” & ” hers ” bathrooms featuring a ball and claw footed bath, double shower, & under floor heating
    • Outdoor shower for a nature experience with a difference
    • Heated plunge pool built into the private verandah
    • Outdoor and Indoor dining area for intimate in-room dining
    • 24 hour temperature control – airconditioning, heating and overhead fans
    • Hairdryer
    • direct dial telephones
    • a mini-bar
    • a mini safe
    • Tea & coffee making facilities
    • Optional satellite television, laptop computer with wireless internet connectivity and DVD player

Age restriction :

    • No children under the age of 16

Capacity on Game Drives : 4 guests per safari vehicle

A day at MalaMala Game Reserve, no matter your choice of camp, combines exhilarating game viewing opportunities with a chance to relax and refresh the soul. The phenomenal wildlife, around which your experience revolves, is the priority at MalaMala, whilst the comfortable camps, wholesome cuisine and impeccable, friendly service complement this focus and we encourage our guests to immerse themselves in the experience. For many this will be a unique lifetime experience which will be cherished forever.

On arrival at the camps within the MalaMala Game Reserve, you will be introduced to your ranger and tracker team who will be your hosts, guides and educators during your stay with us. Whilst an itinerary will be suggested (as detailed below) to take advantage of the more comfortable temperature ranges and the enhanced game viewing opportunities, it is also important to have time to relax and enjoy the camp surroundings and commune with the environment.

Game drives are conducted in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles in the 40,000 acre MalaMala Game Reserve. The rangers are in constant radio communication with one another to keep each other informed about the location of the game. Headsets are used for this purpose so as not to disturb the sounds of the African bush. The 4-wheel drive safari vehicles enable the rangers to leave the road and provide guests with close up game viewing and fantastic photographic opportunities. Night drives, with the aid of powerful spotlights, bring the bush to life at night.

The suggested itineraries are not set in stone so please discuss your requirements on your arrival with your ranger who will do his best to be as accommodating as possible within the confines of the camp routine and with consideration for your safari companions – other MalaMala guests also being hosted by your ranger and tracker teams. A later departure from the camp to meet up with your safari team is possible if you prefer a relaxing morning whilst your new found safari friends want to beat the sun and get up earlier. The rangers, camp management staff will try to accommodate the various requests from all the guests in camp but this may not always be possible or advisable.

The suggested itineraries differ between the hot summer months and the warm winter days which melt into cold evenings. The transitional short periods of autumn and spring will also see an adjustment to the suggested itineraries which will be determined by the temperatures experienced at the time.