MalaMala Game Reserve lies strategically sandwiched between the Kruger National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve. The unfenced borders between MalaMala and the Kruger National Park on one side, and the Sabi Sand Reserve on the other allow animals to migrate unhindered to the perennial Sand River which flows north to south through MalaMala for 20 kilometres.
MalaMala is part of a conservation gene pool that covers 5.5 million acres of land in the heart of the South African Lowveld. The reserve supports a variety of habitat types; dense riverine forest, acacia-combretum bushveld, open grassland and rocky outcrops, each sustaining different plant and animal species.
You have a good chance of seeing the 'MalaMala Seven' during your stay (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Cape Hunting Dogs and Cheetah). MalaMala is regularly cited as one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing. You just need to read their regular wildlife reports to get a feel for how amazing the wildlife in this region is.
There are three distinct camps at MalaMala all making the most of the beautiful location on the Sand River. The bustling Main Camp (pictured) consists of 19 recently refurbished rooms and suites - thatched air-conditioned rondavels line the riverbank with elegant interiors and large bathrooms complete with outdoor shower. 8 suite Rattray's Camp and 7 suite Sable Camp are smaller, quieter and even more exclusive.
Morning and afternoon drives are enjoyed in open 4x4 vehicles with 3 rows of 2 seats. Vehicles are equipped with blankets and ponchos.
The camp also has a lovely pool overlooking the Sand River and a small gym area.
Sara visited in March 2019, self-driving to Mala Mala from Johannesburg (which was very easy to do). She thought the refurbishment was lovely maintaining the historic exterior and boma, where Nelson Mandela has dined, but transforming the interiors from old-school hunting lodge to a really stylish and very comfortable safari lodge. Food and drink was of an excellent standard, the team has a good eco approach reducing single use plastic usage among other things and guiding was of a high quality. Sara saw 6 of the MalaMala 7 - she had to wait to see lions further south in Kruger.
19 luxury rooms / suites (37 guests) - 7 Riverview suites, 4 Riverview luxury rooms, 7 Waterhole suites and 1 Single Riverview suite each with :
• 24-hour temperature control • Direct dial telephones • A mini-bar • A mini-safe • Bathroom amenities, insect repellent and hairdryers • Tea and coffee making facilties • Rates are fully inclusive excluding premium brands
A fully equipped disabled suite is available
Facilities • An impressive lounge, air-conditioned dining room and historic bar • An air-conditioned library with satellite television, internet connectivity and DVD player • A large filtered infinity pool with great views • A well-appointed safari shop • A small fitness facility with stationary bicycle, treadmill, multi-gym 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
5 luxury suites and the 2 bedroom Lion’s Den suite (max 14 guests) each with :
• En-suite bathroom • 24-hour temperature control • Direct dial telephones • A mini-bar & mini-safe • Bathroom amenities, insect repellent and hairdryers • Tea and coffee making facilities • Rates are fully inclusive excluding premium brands
Lions Den Suite : 2 en-suite bedrooms separated by a large sitting room.
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 • A filtered swimming pool • A massage service is available on request • A fully stocked wine-cellar
• 8 luxury suites for a maximum of 16 guests • Rates are fully inclusive excluding premium brands • Private veranda with grand river views • Indigenous private garden - a haven for the birds • "His" & "hers" bathrooms featuring a ball and claw footed bath and double shower • Outdoor shower • Plunge pool built into the private veranda • Outdoor and indoor in-room dining area • 24-hour temperature control - air-conditioning, heating and overhead fans • Hairdryer • Direct dial telephones • A mini-bar and mini-safe • Tea & coffee making facilities • Optional satellite television, laptop computer with wireless internet connectivity and DVD player
Facilities • A beautifully appointed library • An 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 great views • A well-appointed safari boutique with quality clothing, jewellery and artefacts • A small fitness facility with stationary bicycle, treadmill, multigym machine, sit up benches, free weights, mats and a steam room • A massage service is available on request • A fully stocked wine-cellar