Mala Mala Private Game Reserve is known in the safari industry as the perfect destination for luxury photographic safaris. The reserve has been in existence since 1927 and is one of the largest privately owned "Big 5" game reserves in South Africa. It comprises of 13 300 hectares which is a thriving and exciting area of land producing some of the best experiences when it comes to wildlife safaris in South Africa. Mala Mala shares a 19km unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the Kruger and the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. For over fourty years, Michael Rattray has focused on preserving and protecting the Mala Mala Private Game Reserve which he owns. The nature moves to its own rhythm and guests get to experience today what the forefathers of African Safaris would have experienced at the turn of the century. This has paid off and a vast number of photojournalists and film-makers have made Mala Mala their destination of choice to capture footage of wildlife viewing and breathtaking animal encounters. Mala Mala is home to three luxury camps; Mala Mala Main Camp, Mala Mala Sable Camp and Rattray's on Mala Mala. These camps are simple and the embodiment of an authentic safari experience pioneered at a time when the safari was simple - unassuming camps, vast sweeping plains and the bush in all its splendour. Wellness was the feeling after a long day in the wild and cigars were shared without pomp and ceremony. Guests will spend hours around the fire under the stars in the evenings and exchange stories from the wild while enjoying an incredible meal with good company.
The lodges that we normally make use of in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve can be found below. Click on the lodge to see detailed information with costs.
Elephants in the riverbed in front of Mala Mala Main Camp
Luxury Sable Camp within the Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
A fantastic sighting of a lioness with her cubs at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Laze around the pool and overlook the bush at Rattray's on Mala Mala
Cheetah taking a rest on a termite mound in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Chalet at Mala Mala Main Camp
Rhino family at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Huge herd of buffalo in Mala Mala Private Game Reserve
Game Viewing at Mala Mala: A day at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve, no matter which camp you choose combines incredible game viewing activities. The day normally starts with a 3 hour sunrise game drive followed by breakfast and possibly a morning game walk (optional). Later in the afternoon you will again depart on another game drive where besides game viewing you will also have the opportunity to watch the sun set with a cold drink in hand. The drive continues into the night with the use of spotlight.
Game drives are conducted in open 4-wheel drive safari vehicles where rangers are in constant radio communication with one another to keep each other informed about the location of wildlife. Headsets are used for this so as to not interrupt the sound of the African bush. The 4-wheel drive vehicles enable rangers to leave the road and provide guests with incredible opportunities to get really close to the animals to take photographs. Night drives bring the bush to life with the use of spotlights.
Wildlife at Mala Mala: The "Big 5" - Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino are the most sought after and dangerous of the world's big game and all can be found on a regular basis at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. In centuries gone by it was these animals that attracted the big game hunters but today the only shooting that is done is by camera. This however does not mean that the thrill and exhiliration of encountering them on open Land Rovers is any less exciting.
Mala Mala however is not just about the "Big 5". Having the unfenced border with the Kruger Park means that you will find a wide variety of other wild animals such as Cheetah, Hyena, Wild Dog, Jackal, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest as well as many different antelope and much more.
We have just returned from our third holiday organised for us by Journey Into Africa. As always we have been delighted with the immaculate organisation of the trip which this time was quite complex. All the aspects of the trip flowed seamlessly from one to another with all the transfers taking place smoothly. Our stay at the Royal Livingstone was relaxing and a good base to do the activities around Victoria Falls. The game drives at Chobe Botswana, were very productive with our guide ensuring we had good sightings of many different animals. Golf at Fancourt was relaxed and a great place to end our stay in South Africa. We would certainly recommend booking with JIA. Dealing over the internet is no problem and queries are always answered immediately. We would certainly return for a fourth time.
Pete & Mary Barnett UK 12 Day Vic Falls, Chobe & Fancourt Golf Tour 24 July - 04 August 2010